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Old 10th November 2013, 00:46   #1
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Default The Curious case of TV Advertising & Car Makers

We are regularly bombarded with ads of soaps, detergents, food, beverages, underwear, jewelry, phone connections, automobiles, financial products etc on Television - all of them being consumer facing products & services. But do you know what's odd?

All the consumer facing companies advertise the same old products again and again, but with different actors/models, themes, stories, offers, packaging etc. Nirma detergent powder or Pepsi/Coke has not changed much over the years, always available at the local grocery store - but the manufacturer never stops advertising their products on TV.

But car makers are different. They only seem to advertise the car at around the time of launch. After that, they totally ignore TV as an advertising medium and concentrate on advertising in car magazines, other general interest magazines, newspapers, billboards, radio and internet. Any guesses as to why TV is ignored as an advertising medium by the car manufacturers?

Some observations:

1) The premium car makers (Audi, BMW, Mercedes, JLR, Volvo) almost never advertise on Television. BMW X1 (with Sachin Tendulkar) was probably an exception.

2) As mentioned before, almost all car makers use TV ads for launching a new product/models. A few examples -

Maruti K10, Wagon R, Swift, DZire, SX4)
Hyundai i10/Grand/Sonata/i20
Toyota Innova, Etios, Liva
Honda Jazz
Tata Vista, Manza, Aria, Storme, Grande
Mahindra XUV500, Scorpio, Quanto
Renault Duster
Nissan Evalia, Sunny
Chevrolet Cruze, Sail/UVA
Ford Figo, Fiesta
Fiat Palio (with Sachin), Punto (with Yuvraj), Linea

3) And then, they go off the airwaves after a couple of months.

4) It's quite obvious that a large number of car models have never been advertised on TV (but we see their ads in other medium). If cars like Chevrolet Captiva are advertised continuously, they could do a lot better - because the segment (premium SUV) is doing well. As they say - Out of Sight Is Out Of Mind.

5) If Mahindra wants to increase the sales of Xylo and if Tata wants to increase the sales of Aria 2WD, it helps a lot to target the audience via a mass medium like TV. But first, Mahindra needs to stop comparing the Xylo with sedan and Tata needs to stop comparing Aria with a SUV. Call it what it is first - a MUV! A competitor to segment leaders Ertiga & Innova.

6) Maruti is perhaps the only car company that keeps advertising their products like soaps & detergents. They still advertise Swift & Dzire even though they were launched a couple of years back and are best sellers. Perhaps this is the secret of their success?

7) Some Maruti ads are very clever. They advertise multiple car models in a single advertisement. Mahindra too has come up with a similar concept recently.





There's even a Suzuki Grand Vitara in the above ad! And that sells at the rate of 2 or 3 a month.

An important lesson that other car makers still need to learn perhaps?

Last edited by smartcat : 10th November 2013 at 00:51.
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Old 10th November 2013, 01:11   #2
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Default re: The Curious case of TV Advertising & Car Makers

Hero Motorcorp has been doing the same for its two wheelers and probably Maruti took a cue from there for its cars. The Line T Jet was aired often and it just fancied people's attention and now the Classic Linea is on airwaves. Mahindra with its punchy song and tag line has captured the hearts of people. Nano, despite trying out various ads are still slow movers.
An automotive ad succeeds if only it captures the imagination of the viewers in their requirements. An ad that is flashed in between a mega serial that makes people cry, may not go well at least with the women folk who give the final nod. It would do well to check how a TRP rating for a show on Supercars in NGC works or an ad in a Discovery Turbo works and then flash an ad in that too.
MRF ads were of space age technology when they had put up MRF Zigma.It went on to boost Maruti Esteems / 1000 sales too. Manufacturers can share the OE tie ups to their brand showcasing too. This might sound a calculated risk in this day and age of recalls due to OE manufacturer's flaws too
Curiously enough, people go channel surfing nowadays that wait for the entire show to come to curtains beyond the breaks and reviews on our Teambhp site more than suffices to know about a latest launch much before the bookings begin
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Old 10th November 2013, 01:18   #3
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Other manufacturers should learn how to make Awesome car commercials from TATA and TATA should learn how to make good cars from the other manufacturers :P I still have the Safari dicor commercials with me and they are really awesome. Even the latest storme ads are good. I love this concept of marketing all cars under one ad by Maruti and Mahindra. It surely helps manufacturers establish an all-rounder image. Hyundai needs to have this kind of commercial Which should also include the Santa Fe and not just the i10, i20, verna and Elantra.
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Old 10th November 2013, 01:48   #4
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Default re: The Curious case of TV Advertising & Car Makers

While I do agree with certain points of your opening post, we often see car ads on TV while launches (like the list you have mentioned) be it for an entirely new product or a new variant of it. If you look at the Safari EX ad pre Storme, they did advertise heavily for the price cut variant as well and the same is what Fiat did with the Linea recently.

IMO, the sole objective of automakers using television commercials is to create brand awareness of their newly launched product or variant among the prospective customers, that 'we are here' and 'this is our product'. What you and me may not keep in mind while seeing these ads is the initial heavy advertising expenditure that the company incurs. They look for maximum reach to their target audience in this period hence, go all out to market and advertise its product through various media.

But as time goes the focus shifts more on other mediums which are definitely more cost effective than television ads, to create 'brand recall' in the minds of the consumers. Cars are high involvement products and a prospective buyers spends a substantial amount of time going through the internet, auto journals, brochures, dealerships, promotional events (display at malls, auto shows, etc) to learn more about the product and make a decision. Infact after the first sight of the car on TV, the company focuses its expenditure on these other media and sales promotion which is the next place that a prospective buyer looks (discounts and good deals).

To clarify my point, the Tata Motors may spend X amount to advertise their Aria 2wd on tv. But since they spent X amount already, they cannot pass on any further benefit to the consumers (price wise) as they have to recover their ad expenses. Now instead if they give out ads in newspapers, magazines, internet etc about the same Aria 2wd, they are still in a position to reach their TG, save cost on the TV ads as well as give the customers a monetary benefit with the saved money (from the initial X budget) in the form of freebies/ cash discounts, which would be a more attractive and feasible proposition.

Lastly, premium brands such as JLR, BMW, Mercedes do advertise on TV just like all other auto brands but only on certain channels and target a specific audience. You may find their ads on Vh1, HBO, Times Now, etc time and again but may not on mainstream channels like Sony, Star +, etc.

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Old 10th November 2013, 04:21   #5
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Default re: The Curious case of TV Advertising & Car Makers

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Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post

Lastly, premium brands such as JLR, BMW, Mercedes do advertise on TV just like all other auto brands but only on certain channels and target a specific audience. You may find their ads on Vh1, HBO, Times Now, etc time and again but may not on mainstream channels like Sony, Star +, etc.
I've found this to be pretty accurate, even overseas. Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, JLR, Alfa Romeo, Lexus, Infiniti and Audi seem to have their adverts only on channels like National Geographic, HBO, Discovery, CNN and Fox.

I've never seen their ads on free-to-air channels, the only ads that we do get on these channels are for Fiat, Great Wall, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, KIA, Suzuki, Ford and GM (Holden), and they're usually the same ads repeated multiple times in an hour which can get very annoying. I've only ever seen one ad for the Mahindra XUV here, I think Mahindra should do more to market their products, the Chinese seem to be overtaking the Indians when it comes to cheap, mass-produced vehicles.
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Old 10th November 2013, 08:19   #6
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Default re: The Curious case of TV Advertising & Car Makers

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
We are regularly bombarded with ads of soaps, detergents, food, beverages, underwear, jewelry, phone connections, automobiles, financial products etc on Television - all of them being consumer facing products & services. But do you know what's odd?

All the consumer facing companies advertise the same old products again and again, but with different actors/models, themes, stories, offers, packaging etc. Nirma detergent powder or Pepsi/Coke has not changed much over the years, always available at the local grocery store - but the manufacturer never stops advertising their products on TV.
There's something fundamental we need to understand. FMCG Products and automobiles have totally different patterns of consumption.

Just compare the number of times you buy a soap or consume coke/ pepsi in a month vis-a-vis the number of times you buy a car in a month.

While Automobile ads try to introduce a product into the market, FMCG ads go on to influence the consumers.

All these soap/ detergent/ food product related ads are repeatedly advertised thru' TVs because TV ads are considered as the most powerful medium because they include Audio + Video. A typical Indian Home maker, who often makes the choice of buying the FMCG products listed here is more likely to watch a TV ad than reading an Ad in newspaper.

Moreover competition in the in the FMCG/ Financial products industry is much more fierce than the automobile industry mainly due to new entrants/ large number of players. Unless you keep advertising your product, people tend to forget the product and move on to a more attractive brand.

At the end of the day it all boils down to the basic marketing funda that dictates the Ad industry. That said the Indian auto industry has witnessed few of the brilliant Ads ever made in the country.

Here are few interesting links:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...dian-cars.html (Best TV AD for Indian cars)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ell-spent.html (Are car ads effective and money well spent.)

Last edited by Warwithwheels : 10th November 2013 at 08:21.
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Old 10th November 2013, 09:08   #7
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Default re: The Curious case of TV Advertising & Car Makers

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Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
Lastly, premium brands such as JLR, BMW, Mercedes do advertise on TV just like all other auto brands but only on certain channels and target a specific audience. You may find their ads on Vh1, HBO, Times Now, etc time and again but may not on mainstream channels like Sony, Star +, etc.
They do? I got to stop watching those Saas Bahu serials and check out VH1/HBO then! I hope they do this after some extensive research on buyer profile of customers. Because, to me, the profile of a premium car buyer has changed a lot over the last few years.

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Originally Posted by Warwithwheels View Post
There's something fundamental we need to understand. FMCG Products and automobiles have totally different patterns of consumption. Just compare the number of times you buy a soap or consume coke/ pepsi in a month vis-a-vis the number of times you buy a car in a month.
Yeah. And also, FMCG product sales are independent of slow economic growth/high interest rate scenarios while automobile sales are mostly dependent on how good the economy is.



Quote:
While Automobile ads try to introduce a product into the market, FMCG ads go on to influence the consumers.
While I understand the basic differences between FMCG & Automobile products, the fact remains that at any point of time, a few lakh people are contemplating a car purchase - immediately, 6 months from now or maybe 1 year from now.

And it should definitely help to influence those prospective customers with continuous advertisements. It just doesn't make sense to use TV to introduce a new model to the market, and then abandon the medium all together.

When a new model is introduced, sales spike up anyway - there are a large number of models that have never been advertised on TV, but still saw a big spike up in sales when introduced. It's only after a period of time that sales figures go down and settle at a particular level. So why bother advertising on TV in the first place?
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Old 10th November 2013, 10:07   #8
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Default re: The Curious case of TV Advertising & Car Makers

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Originally Posted by Warwithwheels View Post
product related ads are repeatedly advertised thru' TVs because TV ads are considered as the most powerful medium because they include Audio + Video
No longer true. Nielsen research and other third party research points to increase in online video and content consumption. Some excerpts from an emarketer article

Quote:
As millennials age up and take those media proclivities with them, the disparity suggests that the internet will continue to take more eyes off of television and other media
Read more at http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Int...uB10Mzr6M0t.99

Quote:
Interestingly, the internet seems to follow its own logic when it comes to advertising influences. Ads in newspapers were actually tied with results in search engines as the type of ad most likely to prompt internet users in India to visit a website. Ads on TV and in magazines were not far behind
What this basically means is that the old logic of carpet bombing using TV and Newspaper might work but if you need more bang for the buck, then move over to the internet

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
I hope they do this after some extensive research on buyer profile of customers
Oh yes they do. Today if you talk to a marketing professional worth their salt, they will invariably talk about Buyer Journey/Customer Journey or Customer Intent Modeling. All this is jargon for understanding the needs of the target group(TG) and where/what do they do before purchasing.

The dilemma that most brand/marketing managers face is allocating the right spends across various channels (TV, Print, Search, Social etc.). Thanks to proliferation of data and advanced computing today, there are algos one can use to optimize the marketing budget so as to maximize sales or reach.

Targeting today is getting smarter and more effective.https://blog.twitter.com/2013/extend...v-ad-targeting Facebook allows targeting by Geo, Interests etc. If my TG is Golf playing IT professionals from East Bangalore, Facebook will serve ads only to such profiles. All of this results in increased consumption of ad by relevant TG

Might be but companies spend a lot of money today to figure out cross channel influences. All this to ensure that they are investing the right amount in the right channel.
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Old 11th November 2013, 11:23   #9
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Default re: The Curious case of TV Advertising & Car Makers

I'll try using my little advertising experience and answer this for you.

All the auto-enthusiasts will agree that buying a car is a long-term agreement, unlike an FMCG product where the life of a product is too short and it doesn't advertise itself like a car does.

When you buy a car and do your daily office-run or bi-monthly highway trips, you're advertising your car. If you've got a bigger car, you're aspiring a hatchback driver to own it one day. If you've got a performance car, you're aspiring a plain-vanilla car driver to get one someday. If you've got a M800 or a Nano, you're aspiring a scooter owner to get it one day.

However, with other products and services your consumption is very private. The world doesn't know what toothbrush, atta powder or iron-box you're using. Neither does anyone know what funds have you invested in or what kind of insurance cover you've got. So, if your chappatis are better than somebody else's maybe he might switch to your brand. If your teeth are whiter than somebody else's, ditto. If you come across as a person who knows better about investment, people will switch with you to your funds.

But with a car, it's out there for people to see and desire. If anyone is interested, they go for a test-drive. And when someone is taking a test drive, somewhere someone is going "Oh look! A new car by Tata! Maybe I should head over to the showroom and get some info" And once a person is suckered down to the showroom, everything depends on the product and the sales people. The company now has a good chance of converting a person into a customer. But when you go to a mall you pick the product that you want to and nobody comes to know about it. You call the insurance company that you think will give you higher ROI but a stranger in a lift won't know about it. And this is a scary situation for FMCG and Service providers. They don't know what consumers are thinking about and that's why they constantly bombard us with advertisement. But a car company, which does a huge campaign for a launch of its new car and keeps almost maybe 1000 (in case of maruti) cars for demo drive, can't afford to advertise every now and then. Their car that advertises itself. And once in a year they'll come up with a montage (mane cars in one commercial) TV spot for their existing consumers (Hey you've made a good choice) and for their prospective consumers (Is this the car that you're looking for? Or is it this one? Or this one?)

It's just like how you won't see a Levi's advertising for a same product twice in a year. If someone buys it, and it looks good on that person, other people will buy it. Fastrack will introduce their range of military watches only once. If it's bought by a college student, then it advertises itself.

I hope you get the point I'm trying to make here. Your car will influence many on the road, known and unknown people. But your toothbrush will influence only the people who know you or rather people who you chose to share information with.
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Old 11th November 2013, 11:55   #10
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Default re: The Curious case of TV Advertising & Car Makers

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...6) Maruti is perhaps the only car company that keeps advertising their products like soaps & detergents. They still advertise Swift & Dzire even though they were launched a couple of years back and are best sellers. Perhaps this is the secret of their success...
To be very honest, I see the Swift / Dzire ads ONLY when their sales dip. Otherwise, I remember seeing those ONLY during the time of introduction.

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...unlike an FMCG product where the life of a product is too short and it doesn't advertise itself like a car does.

When you buy a car and do your daily office-run or bi-monthly highway trips, you're advertising your car...

However, with other products and services your consumption is very private. The world doesn't know what toothbrush, atta powder or iron-box you're using....

...Your car will influence many on the road, known and unknown people. But your toothbrush will influence only the people who know you or rather people who you chose to share information with.
Wow! The very same thoughts I had. Guess I have that bit of marketing ideas within me. The usual FMCG products are something which is very private to some one. Those again have a higher chance of people switching / swapping / experimenting because those are extremely affordable too.

At the same time, every vehicle sold will make a case for itself in marketing. The more you see on the road, the credibility factor increases too. People start believing those products / brands. Again, these trigger a conversation on those products the moment people notice it. For example, when I am out on the road with my parents, they either ask me which is the car going in the front or I tell them what car is the one passing by. Marketing (indirect) isn't it?!

Edit:: My parents, though they own a car, never bother about the advertising. They know the product name most of the times, but don't (bother to) know the prices, specs etc; not even the brand at times.

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Old 11th November 2013, 12:34   #11
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Default re: The Curious case of TV Advertising & Car Makers

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All the auto-enthusiasts will agree that buying a car is a long-term agreement, unlike an FMCG product where the life of a product is too short and it doesn't advertise itself like a car does.
Brilliant insights on private vs public consumption. Once on the road, automobiles keep advertising themselves and it is more effective than audio visual advertising of TV or Youtube!

I guess once we see more penetration of supermarkets/hypermarkets, FMCG products too will "advertise itself" by just being on the shelf for shoppers to see.

Quote:
But a car company, which does a huge campaign for a launch of its new car and keeps almost maybe 1000 (in case of maruti) cars for demo drive, can't afford to advertise every now and then.
Rather than do a huge campaign for launching a car, to me it would make more sense to spread the advertising budget over a period of X years. That is, instead of spending Rs. 20 Cr on launch advertising Rambo-style with all guns blazing, won't it be more prudent to spend Rs. 5 Cr per year for 5 or 6 years?
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Old 11th November 2013, 13:48   #12
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Default re: The Curious case of TV Advertising & Car Makers

I think car makers decide to advertise their products only when the sale of a particular model is not as per their forecast or expectations. Makes no sense to advertise when there is a six month waiting period.

Whenever I see a car ad that's not a new launch, I'm like "oh so this model is not doing so well now"

I'd like to see car makers bringing more awareness about their brand, what it represents and what are its strengths, rather than a particular model, which these days seem to have short shelf lives. If a model's sales figures start tapering off, car makers tend to resort to facelifts with added features or an all new model to generate interest rather than advertising the same old car which everyone is already aware of.
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Old 11th November 2013, 14:35   #13
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Default re: The Curious case of TV Advertising & Car Makers

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I guess once we see more penetration of supermarkets/hypermarkets, FMCG products too will "advertise itself" by just being on the shelf for shoppers to see.
With you on this one. 100%.


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Rather than do a huge campaign for launching a car, to me it would make more sense to spread the advertising budget over a period of X years. That is, instead of spending Rs. 20 Cr on launch advertising Rambo-style with all guns blazing, won't it be more prudent to spend Rs. 5 Cr per year for 5 or 6 years?
You can spread the budget, but then you can't make the same kind of bang. All the car manufactures make this bang so at least they get about few thousand odd bookings. So that they know that they've got their factories running. Otherwise they do keep coming up with offers and discounts via press or web; which can be targeted better in a particular market to a particular target audience.
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Old 11th November 2013, 15:04   #14
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Default re: The Curious case of TV Advertising & Car Makers

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You can spread the budget, but then you can't make the same kind of bang. All the car manufactures make this bang so at least they get about few thousand odd bookings.
+1.
Also, if you have the budget it will be better to spend the maximum of that budget at the time of launch. This helps in keeping the buzz alive for few weeks / months and hopefully get some booking.

Next step is to show that bookings / delivery and bring out second level of advertisement. By then there should be sufficient vehicles on road which should take up the cause by itself.

Remember the 10 K bookings mentioned by Swift, EcoSport, Duster. Or the thanks for the support we are closing booking till we can clear the backlog advertisements for XUV.

Buying car is a big decision for most of the prospective customers and they will think twice if the model they are going for is not a top seller. For car manufactures if they miss the initial window the car may end up as a dud no matter how much they try.
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Old 11th November 2013, 15:24   #15
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Default re: The Curious case of TV Advertising & Car Makers

For expensive products like automobiles, I feel television will continue to be the least preferred medium for advertisement. Unless, they opt to be the title sponsor (or one of the key sponsors) for a specific program, it’s quite possible that the commercial get lost in an avalanche of advts., and with so many channels around, its normal for a viewer to flip channels during a commercial break. In comparison, spending on print media, billboards/side screens in a sports event, or even usage of a specific auto brand/model in movies may work better and provide a better reach to the target audience.

It’s not just cars, you don’t see many big luxury brands doing advertisements on TV.
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