R Madhawan is the new face of WagonR

By Rohit Nautiyal , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | September 17, 2009
The actor will feature in the brand's new campaign, to be kicked off next week

Maruti Suzuki has appointed actor R Madhavan as the new face for its hatchback WagonR.

Its last campaign in 2007, with the tagline 'For the smarter race', was based on the premise of smartness and leadership. The campaign broke with a TV commercial and was backed by other media later. The new campaign is scheduled to kick off next week with a TVC.

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Shashank Srivastava, chief general manager, marketing, Maruti Suzuki, tells afaqs!, "Madhavan is a very geographically neutral face as he is well known across the country. WagonR's contemporary, pragmatic and balanced brand value resonates well in his personality."

He reveals that in the hatchback segment, the car's sales figures in the south are not as impressive as it is in the other parts of the country. It seems that with Madhavan on board, the brand is all set to build a good rapport with the markets in south India. With this campaign Maruti Suzuki will be taking a new regional approach to market WagonR. There will be more focus on building a regional communication strategy by incorporating local language dialogues to reach out to the masses.

"At this juncture, we seek our TG (target group) in middle or upper middle class families, who look for space and sound engineering. Also, we will continue to reach out to male buyers who are looking for a rational and performance oriented vehicle," Srivastava adds.

The new TVC will be followed by a 360 degree campaign with a focus on on-ground activations.

So what values will be explored in the new campaign of WagonR?

Amitabh Lahiri, chief operating officer, Hakuhodo Percept (WagonR's creative agency) feels that earlier, it was about "smarter race with smarter virtues". "Now, we intend to establish the leadership of the car in its segment by delving deeper into the notion of smarter leadership," he adds. Lahiri agrees with Srivastava on the potential of Madhavan as the brand endorser and believes that the actor comes without a superstar baggage and will be very appealing to the TG of the brand.

According to sources, WagonR is one of the top selling Maruti Suzuki brands, with average monthly sales of 12,000 units.

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