traffic on India's roads means that you need a car that will get you to your destination without going dry. Lowe cashed in on this fact to root for the Maruti Suzuki Alto at the case study presentation round at the Effies 2007.
Other cars in the small light car segment were available in the same price range as the Alto and made 'taller' claims. This was reason for worry. Dropping prices wasn't the answer, Lowe had to know what the consumer actually needed. The agency studied the consumer and learned that the cost of a car was the sum of buying the car and running it (cost of car = buying of car + running of car) as in the mileage offered. Greater fuel efficiency gathered brownie points for the Alto.
The Alto is by far the largest selling car in India. It enjoys sales far greater than any other automobile company's products put together. Lowe used this information to reach many more consumers.
In the TVC that was launched, a couple goes out in their Alto to watch a movie. The fuel gauge is showing near empty and the wife asks the husband whether they need to fill the tank. He tells her not to worry. The trip to the movie hall takes them to a road block from where they have to divert; further ahead, they are stuck in a marriage procession, and they get out through a lane. Their entire trip consists of turns around the same block. The wife is panicking because they are low on fuel, but the husband is untroubled. On reaching the movie hall, he realises he hasn't got the tickets with him. The commercial ends with him asking his wife if they should go back home to get the tickets.
Lowe's research highlighted an important fact that short journeys end up being really long in India. Marriage processions, public gatherings, road repairs and potholes are a regular feature as is the huge volume of traffic on Indian roads. So, there was a very real need for a fuel efficient car. The Alto with an average mileage of 17.6km/litre is the most fuel efficient car in the category of small cars.
The positioning was 'Ghoont bhar mile jo, nikal jaiyo re (Even with a drop of petrol, we'll get ahead).' This indicated very well the fuel efficiency that the car boasts about.
The results were more than satisfactory. After the campaign was launched, mindshare and sales rocketed. Lowe faced another hurdle in protecting first-time cars buyers. This hurdle too was crossed when the Alto recorded a 52 per cent growth in sales.