This has been a great month for Automobile manufacturers. With festival season around (Dussehra & Diwali), there is expectation of surge in demand.
Alto has proved again that it is here to stay at the top spot for long and K10 sales has just added to the celebrations!! The tallboy Wagon-R proves again that practicality is what the Indians want. The i10 again heralds the flag for Hyundai and the refreshed version stands to its name. Aria has done pretty decent numbers in its opening month. Fabia’s sales have increased three fold – now that’s fab !!Swift has proved again as an undisputed leader in the hatchback category. The cheapest Ford in the world – Figo is also consistently performing well. Cruze has cruised a long way to ward off competition from Civic and Corolla.
Fortuner seems to change the fortune of Toyota in the premium SUV space (the car has already a waiting period of six months and still seems to increase more in near future!!). Innova has always proved to be a Innovative winner in the MUV space and still stands a difficult nut to crack for Aria. Scorpio is one product that has evolved as a category of its own and stands no competition. Bolero presents an excellent case to display how an entry level SUV can overcome the sales numbers of a hatch (Bolero has sold more than Figo!!) and thus stands to be the best product for Mahindra. City vents out the competition from Vento and is still doing good numbers.
Today morning was full of surprises for Times of India readers in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Pune. It wasn’t due to any shocking news but a well thought and deliberated advertisement!!! And whats the return of this huge marketing spend and hoopla? I say it’s getting noticed and for good. Indians have a conservative mindset and are reluctant to try anything that’s new or un-tested. This made Volkswagen adapt a wide-spread marketing blitz right from its entry into the Indian market.
With its intention of making deeper inroads in the Indian Automobile segment VW had launched a similar print campaign last November where all editions of Times of India and Economic Times had close to 16,000 square centimeters of print space. The basic offset was to familiarize Indians with the 70-year-old European car maker. This was the time where they had only 4 up-market cars in their kitty – Jetta, Passat, Beetle and Touraeg. This made VW establish itself as a premium brand and it later helped to leverage on this communication during their launch of Polo.
So, what was so special about today’s advertisement? VW has notched up a global first of sorts by carrying “talking advertisement”. Similar ad was also displayed on yesterdays Hindu edition.
The opening page of the wraparound carries this announcement:
“The Times of India and Volkswagen have created four pages of content as part of a special media innovation. Don’t miss reading and listening to this ‘speaking newspaper’.”
On the last page of the wraparound is a full-page Volkswagen ad for its new model Vento.
As the page is opened a light-sensitive speaker—yes, a light-sensitive speaker— weighing no more than a mere 10-15 grams and stuck on the extreme left panel in the advertisement (above), belts out the line in a loop:
“Best in class German engineering is here. The new Volkswagen Vento. Built with great care and highly innovative features. Perhaps that’s why it breaks the hearts of our engineers to watch it drive away.
“The new Volkswagen Vento. Crafted with so much passion, it’s hard to let it go.
“Volkswagen. Das Auto.”
The same Volkswagen ad runs in other papers without the audio.
So, what say?? Was this blitzkrieg worth doing?? I believe, YES. This is the time when manufacturers need to differentiate and innovate in their communication. And what better time for VW when they already have 2 of their number-crunching models – Polo and Vento at showrooms!!!
The sales figures for August 2010 is out. The Indian car market continues its bullish run. August 2010 was the best month ever – in the history of the industry – with 160,794 passenger cars sold, a whopping 33% increase over the 120,681 sales tally of August 2009. For the record, July 2010 sales were 158,764. The upcoming Diwali season will boost the sector even more.