Mumbai: For one of the most talked about cars of recent times, Tata Motors Ltd’s Nano has maintained a remarkably low profile since its commercial launch in March last year.
But with the company’s Sanand plant in Gujarat now cranking out one Nano every minute, and prior delivery commitments close to being met, Tata Motors is set to launch the first television commercial plugging the world’s cheapest car.
The television campaign will invite consumers to experience the Nano and attempt to alleviate concerns about features such as safety, speed, mileage and space, among other things, says Nisha Singhania, executive vice-president for Rediffusion Dentsu Young and Rubicam Pvt. Ltd, which is handling the creative advertising account for the Nano.
“We did do a lot of research and spoke to consumers. That’s when we realized that the people the car had been made for, had not had a chance to experience it…they were just going by hearsay. So, the objective of the campaign is to urge people to go out there and experience the car and decide for themselves,” she says.
The Tata Nano was perhaps, says Singhania, the very first car that consumers booked without a test drive. The only interaction that consumers had with the car was to see it parked in malls and showrooms.
The television commercial will have the same positioning as the print campaign that was launched early this month with the tag line “Now You Can.”
“The idea is that it breaks through any barrier,” said a person familiar with the campaign, who did not want to be identified.
The commercial is expected to start airing on television this September in time for the festive season. It was shot around the Nashik countryside in Maharashtra by advertising film-maker Kunal Kapoor of Adfilm Valas.
Kapoor is known for his work in the automobile segment and has shot campaigns for companies such as Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd and General Motors India Pvt. Ltd, among others.
The television commercial is likely to be launched across major general entertainment channels to ensure that it is seen and accessed by consumers across India.
“The campaign which will run across all mass media such as print, television, radio and online will be aimed at urban and semi-urban areas across India. The campaign will be launched in different regional languages to address different markets,” said the person quoted above.
The company will also reach out to consumers through road shows—an approach adopted by the personal product industry, he added. “The print campaign talks about space, safety and mileage and the television commercial would also take cognizance of this fact,” said Singhania.
Unlike most ads in the category, the television commercial for the Nano is not likely to be extravagant or have a celebrity endorser. “Whatever we do, we would like to stick to the concept of affordability,” he said.
The agency will also have the challenge of countering concerns surrounding the brand about its safety and technology, among other things.
Three incidents of brand new Nanos bursting into flames have been reported in the media in the past.
“The Nano is not a regular car. It is almost like the pride of India. However, the perception is that there is only that much you can get in Rs1 lakh. The campaign will need to bust that myth and set the record straight,” said Singhania.
Following its launch in March 2009, Tata Motors received bookings for 260,000 Nanos.
However, production constraints meant that the company would accept bookings and make deliveries of the cars in two phases.
The first 100,000 customers for the Nano were chosen through a computerized draw and received the car at an ex-showroom price of Rs1 lakh. The rest were given the choice of retaining or cancelling their bookings.
Between July 2009 and July 2010, the auto maker delivered at least 54,000 cars and is now contacting consumers who had retained their bookings about impending deliveries before it opens for new orders. According to the company, there were 55,000 customers who had retained bookings at the end of 2009.
In a 17 June statement, Tata Motors said with its factory in Sanand, which has the capacity to make 250,000 cars per annum, starting production, it would commence the second phase of deliveries to customers.
It also raised the price of the Nano’s Rs1 lakh base model by 3-4%.