AutoExpo 2012: Creating the magic of experience

By Anushree Bhattacharyya , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Marketing
Last updated : January 09, 2012
Experiential Marketing is the buzzword at this year's 11th Auto Expo, as automakers create various zones and applications to get the consumer involved.

For any brand, it is the consumer who is at the helm of all affairs, and to ensure that the consumer pays enough attention to the brand, marketers have to cough up ideas that are engaging enough. The 11th Auto Expo, flagged off on January 5 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, is witness to automakers creating interactive zones such as gaming zones, Twitter and Facebook zones, to ensure brand recall with the consumer.

The exhibition, which will continue until January 11, has Korean auto-brand Hyundai Motors build its zone around the positioning 'New thinking, new possibilities'. The automotive company introduced an initiative called 'Catch the Buzz'. As part of the initiative, Hyundai Motors India created a Facebook page, where consumers need to login through their email address. Once logged on, the consumers are then provided with a buzz card (swipe card), that can be swiped through pillars installed next to all cars that being displayed. As soon as one swipes the card, the details including videos of that particular automobile gets uploaded on one's Facebook page.

Interestingly, Hyundai has divided its zone into various sub-zones such Don2, Eco-zone, and ICC World Trophy zone. In the Don2 zone, the automaker has put on display its SUV Santa Fe, which was used in the movie. The windscreen of the car shows the trailer of the movie. In the ICC World Cup Trophy zone, the company has put on display the trophy won by the Indian cricket team at the 2011 Cricket World Cup held in India.

Arvind Saxena, director, sales and marketing, Hyundai Motors India, says, "The idea was to make the Hyundai zone as interactive as possible to create ample buzz. The design is based on the international format that the company uses at every international exhibition, with a bit of twist here and there to make it look like we are in India."

Next in line are the iconic two-wheeler brand Harley Davidson. For a brand which requires no introduction to bike lovers, Harley Davidson has created the zone reflecting the values that the brand stands for. The two-wheeler brand has not used any plastic and has created the entire zone from metal and iron, reflecting its value of being rock-solid. Additionally, it has put on display apparel such as leather jackets, belts, and various accessories to bring out the 'grunge' effect. Interestingly, Harley Davidson also created a stage with live rock performance to entertain the crowd.

The bike brand brought avid lovers and riders of the American mean-machines -- a group by the name of Born 2 Rider -- to inaugurate its pavilion. The entire pavilion has been designed by its event management company 70 EMG.

According to Sanjay Tripathi, director, marketing, Harley Davidson India, the pavilion was created to reflect the feeling of metal, music, and bike -- three elements that Harley Davidson stands for -- and to create a stronger connect with the consumer.

The next two pavilions which have played with 'interactivity' are Tata Motors and Ford Motors India. Designed and executed by Imagination Design and Communications India, both pavilions have been created keeping in mind the brand's positioning. The Ford Motors' pavilion has many attractions for visitors, ranging from a gaming zone to press a button next to the seat, strapped with a new type of seat belt. The moment one presses the button, the belt pops up with a resounding sound which catches visitors by surprise. The look of alarm on the face is captured and shown on a screen nearby. The picture is then put up on the Auto Expo page of Ford India on Facebook.

The pavilion also had a magician to communicate the 'blink of an eye' concept, which talked about the safety angle of Ford cars. Mark Berrett, CEO, Asia-Pacific, Imagination, remarks, "In both stalls, the idea was to showcase what the brand stands for through interactivity, as it provides a better understanding about the nuances of the brand."

Imagination has been executing such experiences for Ford Motors for more than decades now; Berrett believes in the last three-four years, experiential marketing which has been making a steady progress in India, will soon turn out to be one of the key elements in marketing strategy.

Automobile companies like Chevrolet, Hero MotoCorp, Renault and Skoda India also created various interactive zones to cast an impression on the consumer's mind.

First Published : January 09, 2012
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