Just after Ratan Tata unveiled the much-awaited Tata Nano on Thursday, Mint asked some smart creative minds in India about how they would go about selling the car. Most of them said they would want to steer clear of pitching the Rs1 lakh car as an entry-level car, even if it is. So what would they zoom in on? Read on.
Raghu Bhat & Manish Bhatt
Positioning: When you hear the price, the obvious temptation is to come up with something like “Cheap Thrill” but, we would like to position it as a “Small car for people with big dreams”.
Raghu Bhat & Manish Bhatt, Contract Advertising
Pitch:The rationale for the pitch would essentially be that the new emerging India has a strong streak of ambition. So, this car is a dream for the great Indian middle-class. Though it is Rs1 lakh, it is no less than a Ferrari for the people who will buy it, as it gives them membership to an exclusive club, something that they had been waiting for.
How not to sell it:On the basis of functionality as it takes away from the romance of the car as a passport to an exclusive club. Also, wouldn’t use a celebrity as it would deflect attention from the car, which is the real star.
Tagline: Chhoti Car, Badhe Sapne (little car, big dreams).
Positioning: As the intelligent machine.
Priti Nair, Grey India
Pitch: The Tata Nano lends itself to the interpretation of the brand as smart, hi-tech and intelligent. So, I would try and pitch it from a perspective that tackles both—imagery, as well as the benefit of the car as an intelligent machine. The aim would be to focus largely on the smart shape and design, the power, speed, pricing and mileage. All the advantages of being smart, and of having knowledge beforehand, which also comes from the Tata name. Tata is one company that knows the country and the Indian consumer more than anyone else.
How not to sell it: I wouldn’t position it on the basis of price, as that would only be a short-term advantage that is likely to be detrimental to the brand in the long run.
Tagline: The Smart Car.
Leo Burnett India
Positioning: People’s Car.
KV Sridhar, Leo Burnett India
Pitch: My advice to them would be to do what Bajaj Chetak did to personal mobility, what Air Deccan did to flying, and what Airtel and Reliance did to personal communication. I would pitch it as a second freedom movement, as it would change the way family mobility is seen in India. The reason Ratan Tata thought of launch of a small car it is the fact that entire families, sometimes four people would ride on a bike together. Suddenly from that state, we are now going to one where people can afford a car and spend time together. It virtually frees them from a world of overcrowded trains, precarious rickshaws, from taxis they can’t afford, and the absence of buses, problems that many countries face across the world. It took an Indian company to recognize this problem and address it.
How not to sell it: I wouldn’t pitch it on factors such as style or value for money, as it is very clichéd. You are connecting to the masses and not the guy who can afford other cars. The communication needs to be honest in what it offers and what it can do it for the Indian family.
Tagline: Azadi Ki Dusri Lehar (second wave of freedom).
Positioning: The car would be positioned using the living philosophy of “Less is More”. Minimal use of resources for maximum living.
Josy Paul, BBDO India
Pitch: We could have gone down the emotional route that Air Deccan and Maruti 800 went, many years ago. The Rs1 lakh car speaks for itself so we wouldn’t pitch it as an entry-level car. We would, however, give it a contemporary appeal that starts a new philosophy for the country, an activist for new India that says “Less is more” It isn’t just about a car, but about a way of life, a greater friendliness with the environment around us, less emission, more space, clean, simple design, even a child can draw it. A paradigm shift in the way we look at cars and at life. And the communication for this product would also go by those values – no fancy large sized ads, no 60 second commercial. Just a simple, small and low-cost ad using minimal production. Below the ad we will run a line, which says: “We want to keep this minimal, so as to keep the Rs 1lakh cost as long as possible.” Nano, is contemporary and instantly likeable name which represents a new consciousness and has label value. It has a sing-song quality that also makes it memorable.
How not to sell it: I would steer clear of anything that resembles other big budget, glossy and extravagant car ads. Or anything that harps on as an entry-level car.
Tagline: Less is More.