GM looks to increase emotional quotient of Chevrolet through marketing initiatives

MUMBAI: For a special journey called life! Car and vehicle manufacturer General Motors (GM) India is going all out to increase the aspirational awareness about its Chevrolet brand of luxury cars. For this purpose the company has among other things announced a tie up with jewelry store Tanishq.



Elaborating on the strategy General Motors India VP marketing, sales and after sales Amit Dutta says that a loyalty initiative Optra Gold Rush has kicked off in the Metro cities. This will be a two-month affair that is aimed at pushing the Chevrolet Optra. Here customers purchasing the care get gift vouchers worth Rs 30,000 from Tanishq. However each week a lucky draw is held and the big prize comes in the form of the winner visiting a Tanishq store. The man will then have one minute to pick up whatever jewelry is on display and put it on his wife.



Basically the aim is to take the message of the Chevrolet furthering the bond of love, warmth and emotion between a man and a woman to the next level. Last year a TVC had been done where a man as a treat takes his wife out for drive on his Chevrolet Optra. This year another TVC was created where the quietness of the car is brought to forefront. Basically in the car while the woman is very nervous she can hear the man’s heartbeat. Chevrolet ads naturally air on channels that cater to the upmarket sector like Star Movies.


As Dutta says,” While ads of other luxury cars make a big noise about luxury our message is that the Chevrolet quietly and smoothly moves along. As a result the woman can literally hear the extent to which her partner feels for her. A strong storyline was used to push the emotional quotient. One unique TVC was done through a tie up with BPCL. Through that while the ad was for a petroleum brand FI driver Narain Kartikeyan was shown driving a Chevrolet Optra.

“Just to give perspective when we launched the Chevrolet Optra in 2003 after a gap of 50 years the challenge was to rekindle the association. So our first TVC basically demonstrated the perfect control the car allows the driver. We also conducted a Chevrolet Vintage Rally last year in Delhi. Basically General Motors’ aim is to capture 10 per cent of the car market share in the next few years. We also came out with a book that spoke about the heritage of Chevrolet. Most of our media budget goes towards promoting the Chevrolet brand. It goes without saying that we have become much more visible in 2004 and in 2005 due to our next product the Chevrolet Tavera which launched last year.”

However Dutta points out that while mass media is effective in creating awareness about the aspirational value of a brand direct marketing can have a bigger impact at a lower cost. He gives the example of a tie up that the company did with Jet Airways in 2004. Winners could walk away with a Chevrolet Tavera and as a result GM got 80,000 inquiries.“That represents the number of potential clients. We also do customer relationship management initiatives. For instance through a tie up with ICICI Bank we were able to build up a database of 20,000 potential clients. We have also done innovative loyalty programmes like giving away movie tickets to customers. That is not to say that we do not use mass media like print."

“In fact a print campaign that we did in magazines and newspapers celebrated the fact that 10,000 Chevrolet Taveras were sold. As of now I would say that around 17,000 Taveras have been sold. Also the TVC that was created showed a family going for a holiday. That is the brand positioning of this car – that a husband can use it to get away from the hectic life of the city and go for a break with his family to a hill station like Lonavala. Another TVC was the Monk Ad. This saw students in a monastery enjoying a ride despite the fact that monks have a strict routine.”

While McCann handles the media duties Enterprise Nexus is in charge of creative for GM. The next round of ads for Chevrolet Optra and Chevrolet Tavera will kick off in September. Dutta says that hoarding activity will be taken to the next level. Last year outdoor was used in around 76 cities. This year it will be used in 120 cities, which will include the smaller towns. However the company has no plans to rope in a brand ambassador as of now. Dutta says, “A brand ambassador works better for mass products. For high end products like Chevrolet it is better for the product to speak for itself. Anyway people are not going to buy a car unless they are sure it is reliable. That is why we plan to put in place 90 sales points and nearly 100 service outlets by the end of the year. We will be bringing in mass products like SUVs later on. At that time we might consider appointing a brand ambassador who will be able to help us cut through the clutter.”

The company has also kicked off the GM Service Plus initiative in Delhi. It has among other offers the Free After Three service. Here a service mechanic will reach the car destination within three hours. If that does not happen then the person gets the service for free. So far 600 customers have availed of this service and the company claims to have had a 98 per cent success rate in meeting the three-hour deadline. It plans to introduce this initiative to Mumbai in December. This is way of saying “We value your service and your time’. The aim is to provide the wow factor in the service arena and thus become a leader as far as image is concerned even though in terms of volume sales one might not be number one. In addition before the year is through Chevrolet will unveil its global brand positioning.

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