High-end car brands cash in on innovation

01 Sep,2011

First it was the talking newspaper, now its the shiny happy newspaper The Volkswagen glossy experiment in the newspaper has certainly created a buzz. In the past two days we have seen two high-end automobile brands come up with visible print advertising, first was the launch of all-new Volkswagen Jetta which has garnered enough reaction and opinion from the fraternity and then the full front page ad on the all-new BMW X3. It is said that the Jetta innovation would have cost anything around Rs5-7 crore though what is debatable is whether spending that amount will reap results in proportion.


The automobile advertising especially in the premium segment has gone all out to capture its customers and the method especially in the case of Volkswagen has been innovative advertising be it the roadblock marking its entry into India or the talking newspaper for the launch of Volkswagen Vento, these innovations have been happening at regular interval and has definitely managed to pique the curiosity on the brand.


Print is the preferred medium to showcase the high-end launches as its gives a decent exposure of the brand and manages to capture eyeballs.


Anilkumar Sathiraju, Associate VP and Head South, Mudra Max, said, These types of innovations help in staying on TOM (Top Of  Mind). Today’s consumer is very smart, educated, well-aware and informed, especially in this category. They would do their complete homework, talk to people, take test drives before making any choice so its important to give the image of `I am a big player. VW as a brand always believes in being the first to innovate and truly believes in innovation as ideally doing something that has never been done before.



I strongly feel that the advertising has definitely not got out of the readers’ mind. Ask people, and they would remember the innovation done by VW. Even the industry to that extent has recognized it and in some categories, innovation and especially in print works, added Mr Sathiraju.



Naresh Gupta, Chief Strategy Officer at iYogi Technologies, is of the opinion that the timing of the advertising is because the car brands are beating the Shradh deadline by creating the connections early. He said, All brands want to catch the Diwali season, and cars involve long drawn-out decision-making. Both brands are pitching early to be on the shopping list.


Mr Gupta explained, These big noise advertising initiatives helps to create bigger desire and also to grab eyeballs. Car brands have to be desired by new buyers and they need a pat on their back from their peers and friends. High-end cars can get tuned out of the mindset due to the perceived premium, and sometimes this needs to be broken. VW does not spend more than anybody else, but spends in one burst and this has helped to grab eyeballs. I would dub this as very smart strategy.



With India seeing more new entrants like Peugeot and old players launching their new variants, the sector is likely to see lot of visibility in terms of advertising. There have been players like Honda who have in the past relied on the digital to showcase their launch but VW has been consistent in its innovation in print which then leads consumers to digital. In Jetta’s case it has meant getting people on Twitter with the #anything4jetta contest. Definitely, a sector which needs close monitoring especially with the festive season coming soon.

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