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Old 23rd July 2015, 12:35   #1
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Default Tata Motors signs up Lionel Messi as brand ambassador. EDIT: Officially announced

Thank you to Team-BHP fan (who prefers to remain anonymous) for sharing this information. Heartfelt gratitude for sharing it with other enthusiasts!

Tata Motors has been struggling in the Indian market and going by their monthly sales figures, the Zest and Bolt failed to create any significant impact for the company and so did the Nano AMT or the 2015 Safari Storme. In its pursuit of gaining acceptance in India as well as in global markets, the company is now rumored to have roped in Lionel Messi as brand ambassador!

Born in Roasario, Santa Fé, Argentina, Lionel "Leo" Messi is a 28-year old footballer who plays for the Spanish club FC Barcelona and is also the captain of the Argentinian national team. He is widely considered as one of the best player in the game by fans and experts worldwide; and boasts of a long list of awards and accolades to his name.

Tata Motors aims to pursue its global ambitions by signing this international celebrity. One thing would be certain after this though - Tata's popularity and acceptance in several nations may witness a positive impact. However, what remains uncertain is the degree of impact this brand ambassador will have on the Indian market, where football isn't a popular sport yet. Clearly, the targeted Indian audience for its upcoming cars can be identified as young, well-read / well-traveled, urban and ambitious individuals.

Leo Messi will be a part of the Tata Kite launch, which isn't too far away. A formal announcement is expected in August or September, 2015. Some units of the Tata Kite have already been shipped to Spain for shooting ad campaigns.

It might be also recalled that in 2013, an Indian phone brand - Micromax signed a hollywood celebrity, Hugh Jackman as their brand ambassador and this strategy positively impacted the brand's image globally.

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Old 24th July 2015, 09:30   #2
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Default Re: The Tata KITE Hatchback (includes scoop pictures)

This is a positive move, though I am not aware of the distribution of TML sales within India and rest of the world

- It certainly shows that the company is serious of its revival and is trying both at product as well as marketing level and has not given up (eg. Chevy almost no efforts)

- Since its a step forward, I am sure the post sales issues will also be addressed / are already underway. I have not seen very many incidents of not accepting warranty claims by Tata's yet, the ASS and product warranty requires serious introspection.

In all a good move by the company provided the marketing budget is not 100% shouldered by product (or the end user by increased product cost) - TML cannot afford to increase product price as of now, it will hit them hard and;

- last since they are into second hand car market, an aggressive buy back of old cars by them would result in increased footfall / consumer response

Way to go Tata !
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Old 24th July 2015, 10:10   #3
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Default re: Tata Motors signs up Lionel Messi as brand ambassador. EDIT: Officially announced

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Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post

, the company is now rumored to have roped in Lionel Messi as brand ambassador!
If you think about it, Messi will have a limited appeal in India. But most urban young professionals surely know or at least would have heard about the football genius. So this might help Tata Motors break the clutter somewhat of generally boring/ similar car ads.

Where this move should help Tata Motors is on the international front. South Africa and South America could be the key markets where Tata Motors might have ambition of capturing some market and if that is the case, Messi surely will help brand recognition.

I think Tata Motors might be looking at new markets because it is clear now what companies like VW and Renault can run profitable operations in India even if they export more than what they sell in domestic market. That gives some hedging against local demand.

Finally, Tata Group itself has global ambitions and Tata Motors globally should be known more than just owner of JLR. So I guess getting an international celebrity of such repute would help build some respect for the brand along with getting some eye balls (of course product has to support such ambitions).
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Old 24th July 2015, 13:42   #4
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Default re: Tata Motors signs up Lionel Messi as brand ambassador. EDIT: Officially announced

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Old 24th July 2015, 15:22   #5
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Default re: Tata Motors signs up Lionel Messi as brand ambassador. EDIT: Officially announced

Quite a daring move and one that's targeting a very selective audience in India. Messi is one of the most iconic footballers of our time, but if he actually is on board, Tata would need to cough up a lot of money - something they wouldn't do if the Indian market alone was concerned.

This looks something of a lesson learnt from the Nano. They probably want to give the Kite a premium / global appeal (as opposed to the cheap / affordable car vibe given to the Nano when it was born) and Messi is certainly a good choice to kick-start that sentiment if that's the idea here. As Saumil stated:
Quote:
Clearly, the targeted Indian audience for its upcoming cars can be identified as young, well-read / well-traveled, urban and ambitious individuals.
Let's hope this move is accompanied with improvements on the quality (product or service) front as well and we don't just land up getting "Messi edition" or "Barca edition" cars from the Tata stable.

Last edited by Tushar : 24th July 2015 at 15:26.
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Old 24th July 2015, 16:45   #6
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Default re: Tata Motors signs up Lionel Messi as brand ambassador. EDIT: Officially announced

Excellent move from Tata, IMO. In countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Eurasia and the Middle East, Tata is bound to strike gold because Leo is literally a household name in these countries. A very well thought strategy, this.

In India too, this will step up the game for brands looking for a wider outreach and who, in all their wisdom, have the resources to do so. Moreover, roping in a person of Messi's stature increases the possibility of linking European Football with India and with greater success, which in turn will be of great help to the Indian footballing scene as well.
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Old 24th July 2015, 17:02   #7
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Default re: Tata Motors signs up Lionel Messi as brand ambassador. EDIT: Officially announced

Interesting Move by Tata.
Though Messi is very popular throughout the world, He dont have a huge fan following in India , say like a cricket player. Tata might be eying for the global sales. Hopefully association with Messi can Make the brand (Tata Motors) more recognizable throughout the world.

Hope these steps are towards a brighter future for Tata. More refreshing products with good quality so that Tata can callenge the others. Sure they have the muscle to do it, what lacks is the attitude to do so (IMHO)

On a funny note though, It should not be like Tata make Messi's name get a hit with bad products
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Old 24th July 2015, 17:55   #8
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Default re: Tata Motors signs up Lionel Messi as brand ambassador. EDIT: Officially announced

Stupid move! The Zest and Bolt are pretty average cars by international standards so that rules out export markets, Messi or not, while their new age cars still arent exactly trouble free or quality benchmarks. Improve your products TML. How is Messi going to help?
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Old 24th July 2015, 18:30   #9
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Default re: Tata Motors signs up Lionel Messi as brand ambassador. EDIT: Officially announced

I am surprised ! The bosses at TML seem to think that Messi can score a goal or two for them. I dont really remember TML every using a celebrity for advertising, and if Messi is coming in then this approach comes to an end. Not using any celebrities had helped TML avoid expense on this front - unlike Hyundai who have spent on SRK.

Frankly, TML's problems are not in brand awareness - not something that a Messi can sovle. So I dont think Messi can help much.

As told to us by a TML person recently: TML has been working on their products. This started with the Aria, and the changes can now be seen in the Zest/Bolt, the Nano GenX, and the Storme, esp Storme v2. The Kite should take things forward, as well as the new products that are undergoing testing at their various facilities.

It will take some more time, but they should get there. Like I mentioned above, Messi cannot get them there faster. They would also need to phase out some older products, esp the Indica. (hopefully, the Kite will do that).
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Old 24th July 2015, 18:39   #10
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Default re: Tata Motors signs up Lionel Messi as brand ambassador. EDIT: Officially announced

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Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
Stupid move! The Zest and Bolt are pretty average cars by international standards so that rules out export markets, Messi or not, while their new age cars still arent exactly trouble free or quality benchmarks. Improve your products TML. How is Messi going to help?
My 2 cents. A big name can help when you have a good product but not big name. Tata already has a big name. They need better products.
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Old 24th July 2015, 19:00   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
Stupid move! The Zest and Bolt are pretty average cars by international standards so that rules out export markets, Messi or not, while their new age cars still arent exactly trouble free or quality benchmarks. Improve your products TML. How is Messi going to help?

Exactly my point. If there is no product worth showing off, no celebrities can help. Instead of hiring Messi, they should have hired some world class designers for improving their products. The existing cars won't do. Messi or not. I'm disappointed with Tata. I sure hope they do better in future.
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Old 24th July 2015, 19:21   #12
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Default re: Tata Motors signs up Lionel Messi as brand ambassador. EDIT: Officially announced

I don't see whats wrong in that!

Case in point Tata Hexa.

Hexa launched by Messi - now that would be really cool and would make people notice. I think it would be disruptive- people will be forced to look at Hexa.

Compare it with the usual launch ceremony. Perhaps Karthikeyan comes. No one is going to take note.

I say its a great move. Tata cars have improved, people should take note and they haven't. So if TML thinks they can change that by spending a few million $ on a very worthy celebrity, so be it. They can treat it as a blip on their capex.

Last edited by rrsteer : 24th July 2015 at 19:23.
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Old 24th July 2015, 19:28   #13
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Default re: Tata Motors signs up Lionel Messi as brand ambassador. EDIT: Officially announced

I feel that those days are long gone when people would buy vehicles based on the endorsement done by celebrities and sportspeople. TATA Motors is sounding a little too desperate in my opinion. First they have appointed Accenture to set their house in order and now appointing Lionel Messi as their ambassador is also debatable. In the General Meeting, Cyrus Mistry didn't mention much about TATA's domestic passenger cars' ambition. Rather he mentioned about future models and export plans. My interaction with TATA salespersons and their zonal manager in Guwahati doesn't give me too much confidence in the coming months with respect to their sales since they couldn't tell me their strategy of how to improve their vehicles' brand recall but then as mentioned earlier I am optimistic for TATA to at least catch up to Mahindra's performance.
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Old 24th July 2015, 20:28   #14
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Default re: Tata Motors signs up Lionel Messi as brand ambassador. EDIT: Officially announced

Man, their after sales is still a coin flip. And they are not exactly known to be reliable as the Japs.
But as far as the product quality goes they have made huge improvements. All of a sudden, I'm finding the Nano more desirable than the omnipresent Alto if I were looking for a second car.

Good move by Tata pulling in my favorite player. I hope it works for them.
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Old 24th July 2015, 20:43   #15
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Default re: Tata Motors signs up Lionel Messi as brand ambassador. EDIT: Officially announced

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Originally Posted by pranjal1984 View Post
I feel that those days are long gone when people would buy vehicles based on the endorsement done by celebrities and sportspeople. .
TML should know this better than most. If only we look at the number of IPL teams sponsored by them and their sales performance over the past year .

IMHO this is a great move by TML and I am just speculating but looks like they are getting ready for a global launch of Nexon, Hexa and probably the Pixel.

I wish them luck.
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