Bates, Delhi, has lapped up the Rs 6-crore Sonata account. The revamped version of Hyundai Motors' luxury car is slated for launch in the Indian market in June.
The upgraded Sonata is likely to be priced between Rs 13 lakh and Rs 15 lakh. This will be the third product from the Hyundai stable to hit Indian roads, after Santro and Accent. Minor modifications will be made to the Sonata XG —which was relaunched in South Korea on January 2 — to suit Indian conditions. "We detected an obvious gap in the market after mid-sized cars like the Opel and the Lancer, which bear a price tag of Rs 9.5 to Rs 10 lakh. In any case, these models are about six to seven years old. So, the market for super premium cars is absolutely open, as there is just one player now - the Merc," said a top official of Hyundai Motors India (HMI).
He also told agencyfaqs!, "The decision to hire Bates was taken internally; there was no pitch. Actually, the company has taken a decision in December 2000 that the advertising accounts for its brands in the sub-premium category (the company now has the Santro in this category) would be handled by SSC&B and those in the premium and super premium category (the Accent and above) would go to Bates." Following that decision, the Sonata account was entrusted with Bates in January this year.
The HMI executive indicated that the advertising for Sonata, which will break out in June, will focus mainly on print. HMI is looking at niche publications like Free & Easy (a British Airways in-flight journal), Upper Crust (a Mumbai-based food magazine published by the Afternoon group), Marwar (a magazine printed in Singapore and catering to the Marwari community) and some business journals "with high readership" to promote the new car.
"We are not looking at TV in a big way because it is too mass in its approach - there would be a lot of spill over. However, we will advertise on the front running news channels like STAR News, Zee News or Aaj Tak. We already have a deal with STAR to brand the STAR News Hour, which is aired 10 pm onwards. It used to be branded by the Accent earlier, but eventually we plan to leverage the show to promote the Sonata," the HMI executive said.
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