Playing the Desi card: Mahindra Logan

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising
Last updated : July 09, 2010
Mahindra Logan taps into the Indian cultural space to launch its latest 'Logan loves India' campaign

In an effort to strike a chord with Indian consumers, Mahindra Renault launched the second campaign for its mid-sized sedan, Logan, last month. The campaign, titled 'Logan loves India', plays on the 'Indian-ness' of the brand. The first ad campaign for the brand, which was launched in India in April 2007, was carried out a year ago.

Logan operates in the entry C segment category and currently has a market share of 2.5 per cent in the category.

While the 'Logan loves India' campaign retains the target group of the Logan, which is the value-seeking, mature buyer aged 30 years and above, it has markedly repositioned the product. The marketing team has exploited the characteristic Indian uniqueness, which is easy to relate to, by positioning itself as a car that best caters to the Indian quirks. Thus, it has used people from its existing customer base as brand advocates.

"Based on consumer insights, we have now found a new way to communicate the brand to the rational Indian consumer," shares Vivek Nayer, senior vice-president, marketing, M&M. He adds that earlier, the price value equation of the car was slightly unfavourable - which is why the pricing of the car has been redefined. The new campaign was called for as an initiative towards improving brand visibility.

The creative duties for the account are with Saatchi & Saatchi. The two TVCs that are being aired currently interweave the core features of the car and those of typical Indians. The first film shows how, in India, dropping off someone at the airport is made into a huge family excursion. While tapping into this collectivist approach, the feature of ample rear and boot space in the Logan is stressed.

The second film shows an indecisive woman on a 'saree shopping' mission, who goes from shop to shop looking for the right saree, while her husband aids her mission by driving her around in a Logan, thus emphasising its mileage feature (21.03 km/l in its diesel variant).

The TVCs aim to stir the sedan buyer who looks for space and fuel economy in a modern car, while pulling the very chord that makes them Indian. "Both scenarios depicted in the films are quintessentially Indian; something that buyers will instinctively identify with," says Ramanuj Shastry, chief creative officer, Saatchi & Saatchi India.

Nayer adds, "Logan loves India will be a very visible 360 degree multimedia marketing initiative, including television, digital, print as well as on-ground activities. It will have a 25-30 per cent reach and an OTS of about 8 plus."

The Mahindra Logan is priced in the range of Rs 4.61lakh -4.86 lakh (petrol model) and Rs 5.35 lakh-6.21 lakh (diesel model).

Experts love Logan?

While industry experts are unanimous on the opinion that the 'desi' card is a hit as Indians can easily identify with the behaviour portrayed in the TVCs, they express varied views beyond this point.

Sujay Nanavati, chief strategy officer, Percept H, says, "It's a huge improvement over the previous Logan commercials. I love the simplicity and the no nonsense approach that the TVCs display. There is nothing dramatically new or different that the campaign tries to say, which is what is really working for it."

He adds that though several brands have tried to adopt the 'made for India' angle, this campaign has managed to incorporate relevant consumer insights into the features in a memorable manner.

Concurs Saji Abraham, vice-president, planning, Lowe, "The campaign has successfully enmeshed Indian insights with the features of the car. The TVCs are well produced, slick and watchable."

However, he adds, "The campaign shies away from tackling the biggest problems facing the car - lack of badge value and being seen as a cheap car. A desirability quotient needs to be added to the brand. Rational messaging like fuel efficiency and space will fall on deaf ears if the car is not desirable as, despite all rationality, cars, especially for men, are a 'heart decision' first - and then come the spreadsheets."

Expressing a different viewpoint, Mythili Chandrasekar, senior vice-president and executive planning director, JWT, says, "Indian idiosyncrasies have been played on by many categories, yet it must be said by different brands in different ways. 'We love India' has been said, yet if this car and this company needed to turn Indian-ness into an advantage, then I suppose this works. Making a car's features relevant through life situations is always useful."

First Published : July 09, 2010

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