Maruti Estilo brings alive its 'Robots' on ground

By Poojya Trivedi , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | January 19, 2011
The company has rolled out an extensive below-the-line campaign to create celebrity status for its two robot-like characters.

Estilo, the A2 offering from the Maruti Suzuki stable, has launched an on-ground activity to connect with its consumer base. The activity is the last leg of the three-phase 'Come Alive' campaign.

The first and second phase of the campaign, primarily television-led, had three commercials in which characters resembling robots came alive with the Estilo. The third phase of this campaign consists of below-the-line and digital activities, where the users are asked to name these characters and then get to meet them.

In its first phase, the company launched a television commercial with robot-like objects coming to life with the enlivening features of the new Estilo. This was the teaser phase, accompanied with visual cues to create a hype and buzz and pique the curiosity of potential buyers, with the line 'Guess Who's Coming Alive?' The message was spread through the ATL media, primarily television, supported by web and social media.

The teaser campaign was followed with the launch campaign through television commercials (TVC)s. The second phase of the campaign was also driven through the ATL media, both television and print, supported by online activities.

The third phase consisted of BTL activities which was again rolled out in three parts. Says Rajesh Nagarajan, brand manager, Estilo, Maruti Suzuki, "The role of BTL activities is to convert promises into reality. To render this effectively, there are various phases of the same."

The first part of the third phase was rolled out through scrollers on TV, banners on the web and the radio. There was a contest in which participants had to name the characters associated with the Estilo. The company received about 70, 000 entries. The characters were eventually christened Hottie and Nottie.

The second part of the campaign focussed on building celebrity status for these characters. "This activity was rolled out to increase the awareness around Hottie and Nottie and give them a celebrity status. This helped the audience associate these characters with the Estilo and vice-versa," says Nagarajan. The lead characters or brand icons of the campaign went missing with an Estilo from the Maruti R&D centre. This activity in the form of a contest required people to find, spot and meet the characters who moved around in the city in the Estilo.

In this phase, the characters directly interacted with the public at select locations, like Cafe Coffee Day, Big Bazaar, McDonald's and Pantaloons as well as at other public places like Metro stations, malls and market places. "This phase accentuated the 'coming alive' aspect of the characters. The characters would come across as celebrities," explains Nagarajan. This activity, which is still on, is being supported by the radio as well. The instances and the audience reactions would be uploaded on YouTube as virals, giving it exponential visibility.

The on-ground activity, which was carried out across Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Ludhiana, was handled by ESP Active Marketing, while the online activities for the brand were handled by the New Delhi-based digital agency Markigence, which recently bagged the account for the brand.

Come Alive is the third campaign in line which aims at taking the baseline - Take a fresh view of life - to a whole new level, enhancing the potency of the positioning. While the earlier campaigns for 'Take a fresh view of life' were subtle, showcasing different aspects of life, the new campaign has been designed keeping in mind the need to accentuate the core positioning and showcase it in a bolder, crispier and assertive manner.

Talking about the target audience (TG), Nagarajan says, "The TG comprises of young couples, who are on the hunt for an affordable car, but one which comes with a host of features and a great form. They are looking for a package that will cater to most of their needs. The TG has evolved over time, with changes in their outlook, tastes and preferences. They are getting more assertive and expressive. They feel they are entitled to better products and refinement is not just meant for the elite."

So, the Estilo is the right car for this young and bold target audience. That is the message conveyed through the 'Come Alive' campaign and the story of Hottie and Nottie.

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