Lucky 13 for Overdrive as it’s anniversary time

16 Sep,2011

By Akash Raha

Automotive monthly Overdrive celebrates this month with its 13th anniversary issue. As part of the celebrations it has launched an iPad application and a brand-new site (

The 500-page collector’s issue is on the stands, priced at Rs 200. Talking about Overdrive and the 13-year-long journey, Mr Sandeep Khosla, CEO, Infomedia18 said, “We believe the journey for Overdrive has been very successful. Through these 13 years there have been a lot of changes in the world of automotive journalism and in the sphere of print journalism as a whole. Overdrive has been able not only to adapt but to adapt quickly and better than any other player, which has given it the edge it currently holds… There are a lot of reasons that have worked for Overdrive otherwise as well. The biggest probably is the constant endeavour to seek and present quality content to the consumers.”

The Overdrive Auto community has grown since last year’s launch of its Hindi edition and also its social media initiatives. Also, the Overdrive TV show is being successfully aired on three channels.

When asked how Overdrive is faring in terms of its competitors in the market, Mr Khosla said, “…if you look at all major competitors that we have today, all are Indian arms of international players who derive a lot of their content and design from their parent publishers. Overdrive has been the only purebred Indian automotive magazine which, we believe, has worked to our advantage. We are able to understand the needs and wants of an Indian consumer much better than any international titles. And we are not forced to comply with guidelines and thinking which are not relevant to our market. However, we have also stressed on keeping ourselves a step ahead in terms of content and presentation to that of the various international titles.”


Content innovation

Referring to the content of the collector’s edition, Mr Sirish Chandran, Editor, Overdrive said, “We have some great auto stories which the editorial team has put together covering not only the moto-world in India but across the world. Our 13th anniversary special sees our biggest comparo test ever. The newly launched Maruti Suzuki Swift takes on six of its toughest rivals in the Indian market. In addition to this there are some great cars and bikes, comparos, reviewed from across the globe, news from the auto world and a runup to the Indian GP in our motosport section.”

The issue also includes a bumper consumer engagement activity for readers, with over Rs 26 lakh worth of prizes to be won including a Toyota Etios Liva, a chance to drive a Maserati in a international race track, an exclusive Indian Grand Prix VIP visit with Force India, an All Terrain Vehicle, and freebies.


iPad app and website

When asked about the differentiating factor of the Overdrive’s iPad app, Mr Amit Seth, Head – Marketing, Infomedia18 said, “There are several USPs; for starters it’s all about a great user experience. It’s not just putting the issue in digital format up on the iPad. We have customized each and every article and story for the medium. From customized covers to adding videos, pictures and specifications of different cars and bikes to optimize user experience. So what you get is all the information at your fingertips without having to go to a number of places. Every aspect of the application has been specifically worked on for ease of use and to make the experience lifelike.”

About the website, Mr Chandran said, “We have unleashed the all-new website and wish to provide the overdrive fans a better experience online. A reader can now get online and watch and compare every car and bike being sold in the Indian market today.”

Mr Khosla said, “Overdrive has always been at the forefront of technological evolution with regards to the automotive magazines in India and we wish to keep our edge intact. We are today looking to capture consumer space across platforms. The iPad is today one of the most important platforms. It only extends our leadership in the automotive domain on different platforms such as magazine, television, web and social media. That is one of the key differentiators for Overdrive today: versatility across platforms.”


Campaigns and initiatives

Overdrive has also been promoting its 13th anniversary offerings: Special collector’s issue, Overdrive iPad application website across various platforms and media. On television, there are TVCs running on CNBC TV18, CNBC Awaaz, CNN IBN, IBN7 & Lokmat, Vh1, Mtv and NDTV Good times. Web banners, mailers and innovations have also been carried out on the online space. OOH properties across India, with billboards in Mumbai and Delhi too are activated. Specially created POP material for organized retailers in major metros and also retail outlets across India has also been worked upon.

With so many offerings from the Overdrive stable, the person who has to gain the most is the consumer. What remains to be seen is how other auto magazines react to Overdrive’s aggressive manoeuvres.


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