Skoda Yeti sets off to an adventurous start

By Poojya Trivedi , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | January 12, 2011
SkodaAuto embarks on The Right of Way Expedition campaign to introduce its latest SUV model to the Indian roads.

The Indian division of the Czech car maker SkodaAuto recently launched an expedition campaign for its SUV, Skoda Yeti. Called the Right of Way Expedition, this month-long tour was flagged off by wildlife enthusiast and photographer Nayan Khanolkar at Torque Automotives, the Skoda showroom in Ahmedabad.

The expedition, which will cover five different trails, has completed four, while the fifth one is underway. It is to travel through the Gir Forests (Gujarat), Siana National Park (Rajasthan), Desert National Park (Rajasthan), Kanha National Park (Madhya Pradesh) and the Jim Corbett National Park (Uttarakhand).

The 15 participants who were selected to go on the expedition traversed through 3,000 kms of picturesque territory with 17 rivers, four majestic mountain ranges, five dense forests and endless miles of sandy desert. The National Geographic Channel (NGC), a partner in this expedition, will have its renowned photographer, Steve Winter arrive in Delhi during the final leg of the expedition. An expert NGC crew will cover the entire expedition, travelling to all the destinations, shooting the Yeti in its element. Vignettes will then be created for various TV channels, including NGC.

On choosing NGC as its partner, Tarun Jha, head of marketing, SkodaAuto India says, "The channel enjoys tremendous respect and credibility amongst the evolved and aware audience. Its viewer profile wonderfully overlaps our target group. Most of the registrations that we have received so far are from this group because of the NGC association. Enthusiasts will get a chance to interact with Steve Winter as well".

Concept planning and on-ground execution is being handled by Dialect, while Mediacom will handle media strategy and alliances. Says Soumik Sarkar, business director, "Our task was to bring out the exclusivity for Yeti during the launch and showcase a campaign which is unique in the current SUV segment."

With the Right of Way Expedition, the company hopes to reach out to a significant number of people, enforcing the brand imagery through varied content generated by NGC and other publications, including editorials. Says Jha, "Through these editorials we are trying to showcase the Skoda Yeti as a SUV that will help you on your way as you pursue passions such as photography, wildlife adventures, culture, art and meeting new people."

Through this campaign, the company plans to highlight Skoda Yeti's unique features such as intelligent 4x4 Haldex system, off-road assistant with hill descent control, drive-off assistant, the off-road traction control, VarioFlex seating arrangement and fog lamps with corner function. These features will be highlighted in the editorials and the NGC vignettes. Jha further adds, "The positioning statement of Skoda Yeti is 'The Right of Way' as it showcases Yeti as a true SUV that will help you make your way, come what may. The imagery is fantastical, showing the car cutting through volcanoes, glaciers and oceans parting."

Says Jha, "We targeted customers who didn't possess a herd mentality, had a strong individualistic streak and appreciated nature, wanting to get away from the corporate jungle every once in a while. These were the people who symbolised the values that the Yeti stood for."

In order to promote active participation in the expedition, the company adopted a 360 degree approach to reach out to the intended audience. In order to inform its target audience, the expedition is being promoted on television through vignettes which will run on NGC and other TV channels (mostly, business news). It was also publicised through print ads in the dailies, with Yeti ads carrying information on the entry, which is through the expedition website

There were also online ads and announcements on Facebook and Twitter, official accounts for the contest. Promotion was also done through dealer outlets where POS material and entry forms were available for customers.

The company's other partner Radio Mirchi, too, promoted the expedition through radio jockeys. Calls enquiring about entries were redirected to the website. SkodaAuto also conducted road-shows at various corporate offices in big cities across India.

The company received over 5,000 entries. "We were spoilt for choice because we had received some really amazing entries," exclaims Jha. The company chose participants who were interested in nature, environment, photography, travel and writing.

The best photographs from the expedition will be shortlisted by Winter and be a part of The Right of Way Expedition Calendar 2011.

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