BBC TopGear scores a ton

By Devesh Gupta , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | December 13, 2013
The automobile magazine has recently rolled out its 100th issue which includes special features on some living legends among automobiles.

WorldWide Media-owned BBC TopGear has recently rolled out its 100th issue. The special issue is based around the theme of living legends; it features some of the automobiles that are extremely old but continue to be sold and driven across India.

BBC TopGear

Girish Karkera

The special issue comes soon after it celebrated its eighth anniversary. The 100th issue is the flag bearer of BBC TopGear India's ethos to entertain, inform and provide a feel of machines that bring out the best of human engineering ability and technology. The magazine aims to make the act of driving and riding, the most fun and the most engaging human activity.

The 100th issue includes nine features on cars such as the HM Ambassador BSIV, BMW M3, Aston Martin Rapide S, Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo Stradale, Jeep Wranglers, Kawasaki ZX10R, Ferrari 458 Italia, Audi R8, and others. The feature on Aston Martin Rapide S is done in Mumbai film city as both the car and Bollywood turned 100 this year.

The story on Ambassador is done in Kolkata at the Hindustan Motors plant. Another feature includes the legendary BMW M3 that is due to be replaced soon.

Girish Karkera, editor, BBC TopGear, says, "We have selected the cars that continue to be living legends in India and are sold across the country. Our stories look at that their present situation and what the future holds for them. We test everything from budget hatches to physics-defying supercars and evaluate them with a proper perspective and give you an honest verdict without allowing ourselves to be overawed by the economy, the brilliance or the stature of the machines we drive. That can only come with 100 issues worth of knowledge, experience and expertise."

To generate interest and create buzz around the special issue, the magazine rolled out a social media campaign titled 'Safety Begins with Me' in November, in association with Nissan. The two month campaign was divided into two phases. The first phase included spreading awareness on safe driving using hashtags #Don'tnag and #BeProud. While #Don'tnag meant to spread awareness without teasing the drivers, #BeProud aimed at making them feel proud through their partners' appreciation.

In the second phase, all the responses to these hashtags will be collected and a safety anthem will be created from it.

The special issue contains 216 pages with nearly 30 per cent ad ratio and is priced at Rs 150.

BBC TopGear has a strong market in urban centres such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai. It targets people in the age group of 22-28 years, who are aspirational and like to own a car and read more about it.

The magazine claims to have a circulation figure of 95,000-1,05,000 copies. It currently records more than a million online page views. The magazine began operations in India in 2005.

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