October 21, 2010

Creating differentiation for Car brands

Open any paper, you will see the adverts of almost all the major car makers in India. Could you notice the difference? Hardly, all the adverts have a visual of the product, against a color background and some description about what is featured. Does that make a compelling ad? Agreed that print has its limitations but what happens to the sacred objective of achieving the differentiation?

If you have decided that a car is a commodity put together using exactly same technology covered with a differently contoured steel panels, then well lets us not waste time on looking for a differentiation. A wise man told me once that cars are sold on the basis of market leadership, market entry timing, Salvage value, price, service, spares and the mood of the buyer during the purchase month strictly in the same order. Could you guess how much time does a person/family takes in finalizing the purchase?

I wonder why all the car ads look & feel the same? Why do we show the same profile angle in every advt? Its time to make this interesting. How could we expect the reader spend a second on an already digested visual? Unless each brand creates a special look about it in the print its impossible to cut through the clutter during this festival season even with an atomic ad spend.

Fiat Linea could have ruled the market if they had targeted the indian middle class family by wresting the positioning from smaller 5 door hatches. It is possible entirely in the current economic growth period. Only if Fiat could create an Italian aura for sometime in its communication strategy it could do wonders. An ad is meant to tell  story & create drama, lets bring it back in print medium.

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