VW Polo romps home Business Standard — Volkswagen Polo Derby

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VW Polo romps home

Chakraborty / New Delhi August 8, 0:10 IST

Automobile brands the show; social media its place under the sun, to the Brand Derby 2010 .

To the 2001 film, A Knight’s a Sony marketing executive a reviewer and concocted a suitable to be highlighted in its promotional poster. The went on to become a blockbuster. In this fictitious film (David Manning) gave good reviews for releases Sony subsidiary Columbia that were quite panned by ‘real’ critics. exposed, the David Manning continued to haunt Sony till it agreed to refund customers; it ended up paying to $1.5 million to settle that charged it for conning into seeing movies.

Lesson No. 1 for brand managers: Do not your story. You can’t consumers with false especially in a day and age when we are all connected via the and the mobile and various other Lesson No. 2 and it flows from No. 1 use the net, or more precisely, the media to get the message across.

two things come out clearly in the of the 2010 Brand Derby, ranks the most successful launches of the year gone by. The Top 10 launches of 2010 are Volkswagen Ford Figo. Dabangg movie), BMW X1. Nokia N8. Toyota Volkswagen Vento. the Commonwealth 2010, GM Chevrolet Beat and the Curve 8530. Most of had very interesting launch a handful of them used the media like never and none resorted to competition a lot of which we are seeing these “The writing is on the wall,” Samit Sinha. managing Alchemist Brand Consulting, will overtake print sooner than later, it has done in markets like the

The survey was done by global research firm Synovate. The conducted face-to-face interviews marketing professionals belonging to industries. The survey covered cities Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, and Hyderabad. The marketing professionals requested to sort these into three groups which were very somewhat successful and not successful. The Top 3 from those classified as successful” were given as per their ranking to arrive at the top brands. In all, 111 marketing were interviewed for the survey.

back to the survey findings, are as many as six automotive brands in the Top 10 were four last two technology brands (as compared to one year), a movie/media brand were two last year, the movie 3 Idiots leading the order) and, surprise No. 8 on the list is the Commonwealth Games came under the media for all the wrong reasons. As they any publicity is good publicity.

Also note the fact the food and beverages sector, saw a few high profile launches year and was the biggest advertiser on last year consuming 24 per of the advertising secondages, according to monitoring firm TAM, was by its absence in the Top 10. Also absent the list are personal care, products and telecom service which regularly feature the Top 10 advertisers on television.

Another that stands out is the fact most of the new brands refrained taking a leaf out of that recipe book by signing a star or a cricket icon on as brands’ ambassador and star Indeed, apart from N8 (Priyanka Chopra), none of the new brands in the Top 5 took the help of a to grab attention. The point is, cease being credible the endorser mouths ‘manufacturer There is a growing realisation in the long term, the brand has to be the it can never be an alternative to a sound or creative idea. Plus, the stars simultaneously endorsing so brands, a Sachin or a Bachchan has ceased to be a novelty as far as consumers are So if busting clutter was the starting of this whole celebrity business, the overkill has actually major debate.(Click here for THE BIG )

All the six automobile brands in the Top 10 this had extremely well-crafted launch and managed to differentiate themselves from the crowd. Take With innovation as the pillar of its India strategy, the company up a media campaign that on VW’s engineering prowess on the one and sought to allay consumer after all, the company was a entrant in the market and didn’t the kind of recall that a or a Hyundai did on the other.

The Polo ads on for instance, revolved around the of this character who thinks the car meet up to his expectations. The car’s are brought out as he got into weird during his many trial A dramatic way to involve a prospect in message.(Click here for THE PECKING )

For Ford Figo the clincher was its pricing between Rs 3.69 and Rs 5.57 lakh (ex-showroom, The first B-segment compact car the US car maker, the Figo (Italian for had close to 90 per cent local It was designed for Indian roads and colours that work in India. There were no to endorse the new car Ford had earlier Abhishek Bachchan for the Fiesta but a campaign was sparked off as soon as the hit the showrooms. Says Sinha of Brand Consulting, “The auto brands in the Top 5 had great in the premium segment. With the new they had a relevant offering for a bigger market.”

What worked for both the and Figo was the fact that were products meant for the market, packaged like market offerings and were like them. Same Dabangg, the lone media/movie on the Top 10. “Among other things, worked for Dabangg was the fact it took an old formula and packaged it contemporary slickness,” says

Last year’s No. 1, 3 Idiots, had a marketing strategy and sold on the that it was looking to address issues in our academic system. It a bell this was a common for a large number of people in The Salman Khan-starrer was nothing that: The invitation said, have some fun.” and unpretentious, just like Pandey’s eminently visible his unchoreographed dance moves.

POLO VOLKSWAGEN

What the did for Volkswagen (VW) worldwide, the did in India. Polo was VW’s to the volume segment of the Indian market, lorded over by Suzuki, Hyundai and Tata Says Neeraj Garg, and member of board, Volkswagen Cars, “The Polo was to allow a larger market to our premium cars.” While the features were tweaked for an market, VW ensured its communication left a blazing trail of One reason why it topped the Business Brand Derby survey of the successful brand launches of

When launching the Polo, VW had a lot of to cover. While the price tag of Rs 4.5 was a major crowd-puller, the company that awareness for the VW brand has low in India its entry in late had not been supported by a consumer VW started laying the foundation for its only in late 2009 a corporate campaign. It carried out in print (it bought all the ad space in an daily for a day) and a television that showcased all its cars the eyes of a child planning to buy at different stages of his life. The launch campaign was carried out similar flamboyance.

Even the corporate campaign had paved the way for its popular cars to roll the media use by its competition followed a set Newspapers still carried as as three car ads on an average, talking to the audience of SEC (socio-economic) A, 25-44 urban male. TV ads for cars depicted aspirations of the Indian or played up the bells and whistles in a Lutz Kothe, head of and PR, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, “We were clear not only our vehicles but our marketing too reflect innovation, one of the core at VW.”

Instead of the usual 100 cc ads, VW on the association that Nestlé’s brand, Polo, had already While the mint was known as mint with a hole’, VW with its media partner, punched a hole in Polo’s in a leading English daily 16 editions in 28 lakh copies. The with the cut-outs, listed out the of the car. The last page a full page ad with the and the tagline ‘We’ve put a lot into it. get even more out of it’.

of mouth, which VW had been for, spread rapidly on the network. Kothe says the campaign pulled in 200,000 views on the day it broke. While the ad went all out to grab attention, the TV ad the consumers’ concerns. Kothe out, “There were a lot of in the market. The main concern was our cars were built for the roads. It was a question of trust for our are we here to stay?”

Bobby chief creative officer, Group, which orchestrated the recalls, “For the TVC, we had a objective how to say that this car was made for India. We portrayed an skeptic who thinks the car can’t his expectations. Through his wacky in the name of a test drive, the strengths were brought

The features which were to India were highlighted in the Kothe adds, “Ground would not be an issue for city-driving in or America, but a high ground was of value to the Indian customer. than a barrage of features in the our ads tend to bring out the stories them.” The car was tweaked to make its promises in the campaign. Garg “We had to ensure that our were geared to work in the range of temperatures in the country. The decibel levels of the horn, the tuning were all done to the Indian conditions.”

According to internal estimates, brand increased from 8 per cent in to 40 per cent in 2011. Launched in 2010, VW had sold 19,395 in the March to December, 2010 according to SIAM. Between and June 2011, VW sold units of the car.

SMOOTH OPERATOR

FIGO

When the US-based car maker Motor Company launched its small car Figo in India in 2010, little did it expect sales volume for the company triple in the course of the year. Not did the car which accounted for over 80 per of Ford’s sales in the domestic last fiscal catapult among the top five automobile it helped revitalise the Ford in the country.

“The Figo has Ford to a new level in India,” Michael Boneham, president and director, Ford India. the Figo our market share has to around 3 per cent. The Figo has one of the most successful launches for India it sold 25,000 in 100 days, and 50,000 in just six The car is the second brand in India to the 50,000 sales mark in six of launch.

Boneham says priority while launching the based on the “Kinetic Design” by Ford the world over, was to the hatchback segment. So the entire mix was designed that way. V G Ramakrishnan, senior director, Sullivan, “The Figo has designed to appeal to a large of customers. The shape of the car is reasonably The pricing (between Rs 3.69 and Rs 5.57 lakh, ex-showroom, is exceptional for the features it offers. The car in both petrol and diesel options. Ford’s ability to get a reliable product on ground has consumer sentiment dramatically.

much of the market’s growth in the segment, Ford deliberately set out to a car that was more substantial in its than other segment “The Indian customer is Customers today want to buy that offer value, that make them great about making a choice,” says Boneham.

focused on a 360 degree communication to support the launch of the Figo in Particular emphasis was laid on engagement programmes. Soon the launch, the company initiated an contest by means of which couples were selected to the Figo across 10 cities for 25

The participants in the Ford Figo Smart Drive were to post their experiences in networking sites. Nigel executive director (marketing and Ford India, says, drive was successful in generating conversations around the brand and in increasing Figo’s fan base on to over 15,000 people. 600 updates were posted on the drive and this resulted in the key differentiators of the Figo such as fuel economy and air-conditioning, over 5,000 comments on networking sites.”

Vw fox done up

The Figo won the accolade of being the awarded passenger car, bagged 20 titles at various industry awards in 2010. It has won the Car of the Year’ and ‘Business Standard Special Jury Award’, others.

To celebrate the sales of units of the Figo in July year, Ford embarked on a show, Ford Figo Yatra, across 1,000 in India. The campaign is intended to potential customers a first-hand at the vehicle. The road show off in Kolkata on June 29, and will through the states of West Assam, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Maharashtra. The route for the Figo ‘Bharat Yatra’ has meticulously crafted to ensure the car not only goes to Tier I and II such as Pune and Asansol, but to remote towns such as and Hinganghat in Maharashtra and Korba

STAR POWER

DABANGG . KHAN PRODUCTIONS

Arbaaz genius doesn’t lie in the fact he produced a great film, Nor does it lie in the fact that brother, stud and star Khan starred in it. It lies in the that the film addressed an staring-in-your-face need for a good, mass entertainer. The kind of that gets the “char audience in the theatre shouting joy when the hero punches the and crying when he loses his

And that honestly is the reason (fearless) makes it to the No. 3 position on list. It does what any brand should do finds a gap and exploits it beautifully.

Take a at the numbers. At Rs 42 crore, Dabangg is not a expensive film to make. And the more than justify the Dabangg grossed Rs 212 crore at the in India and overseas. Roughly or about Rs 70 crore would gone to Arbaaz Khan after entertainment tax and distributor and share. Add another Rs 50 crore for revenues (satellite, DVD etc) and you a Rs 120 crore brand.

That Dabangg brought in roughly times its cost back to the That is a great return for any with a lifespan of about years. It probably made margins than some of the brands on this list, have an even shorter

Yet, of the 1,100-odd films made last year, a handful were mass entertainers. Endhiran(The Robot) and 3 were among the truly ones. Why are they so few and far in between, if the gap is apparent?

Flashback a little to when began in the year 2000. then films were for a one-size-fits-all-audience. You had to fill in those 1,000-seater theatres if you had to make Then came multiplexes. An capacity of 200-400 meant you play around with frequency, timings and prices to profitability. Multiplexes started in roughly half of all theatrical especially in the metros.

Their however, skews everything. film executives and studios that only audiences pay Rs 150 or more per ticket enjoy variety. The industry has become an club catering to only one of the audience ‘people like

The fact is there are more 8,000 single screens talk largely to a mass Their staple fare in the and nineties was Mithun Chakraborty and films. Then there is an that can pay only Rs 50 a ticket but to watch the cutting-edge stuff, say a Fry or Dev D. The industry, however, is not throwing up options. This has left portions of an audience with a purchasing power with to watch. It is this audience made Dabangg a hit. The made a bulk of its money in theatres.

Dabangg also a simple answer to stagnant low hit rates and a miserably unprofitable three years for the film The studios today are doing what 6,000 individual were doing in the non-corporatisation creating films for only one of audience. And just like the producers, they are caught in a of low growth and profitability. If only woke up to the fact that an for the mass film still even if it may not pay Rs 150 to watch it, a lot more would be possible.

Come on show some courage.

Kohli-Khandekar

AFFORDABLE LUXURY

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