If for LG it is 'Cricket First', for Samsung it is 'India First'. And while Samsung is not the official sponsor of the World Cup, that does not stop it from leveraging the occasion to augment its brand image.
The Korea-based consumer durables company has earmarked an advertising budget of Rs 20-25 crore on cricket promotions for the first quarter of the calendar year 2003. Samsung is also the media sponsor on ESPN for the India-New Zealand series starting December 12, 2002.
The process of building hype around the World Cup began with the 'Team Samsung' campaign, created by the best talents from its roster agencies Mudra Communications and Triton Communications. The Team Samsung - a group of seven celebrity cricketers - is endorsing the entire array of Samsung products. And this 'Team' includes Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Javagal Srinath, Dinesh Mongia and Ajay Ratra. Samsung aired its first ad in the 'Team Samsung' series on August 19, 2002.
Already, three commercials of the 'Team Samsung' series are on air and four more are in the pipeline. The fourth, to be launched on December 12, will coincide with the start of the India-New Zealand series. Talking about the 'Team Samsung' campaign, Ravinder Zutshi, vice-president, sales, Samsung Electronics, says, "The idea is to link the game of cricket with India through symbolic associations. Our stand of 'India First', putting India above all controversies, reinforces our commitment to the Indian consumer. What's more, 'Team Samsung' signals the strengthening of Samsung's association with cricket, which till now has been confined to the ESPN STAR Sports Cricket Ratings and instadia ground panel advertising during cricket matches. We plan to take our association with cricket much beyond the World Cup."
Alongside, the company is also reviewing its advertising budget for the next calendar year (2003). This year (2002), Samsung has spent a total of Rs 85 crore on advertising. This includes the two big promotions - 'Daba Ke Dekho', unveiled around the Soccer World Cup, and the more recent 'Phod Ke Dekho' - and all above-the-line and below-the-line activities.
While company officials are reluctant to disclose the likely spends in the year 2003, the hike in advertising budget is surely going to be significant. The advertising account of the CDMA handsets (with Mudra) alone, is around Rs 25 crore and another Rs 20-25 crore is going to be spent on cricket promotions in the first three months (January-March 2003). That alone is more than 50 per cent of the current year's budget.
Samsung has made some fresh announcements on the product front as well. By end-January 2002, the company will launch five new models of colour televisions. The pricing is yet to be decided. The company also plans to launch new models of microwave ovens and audio systems in the first quarter of 2003. It plans to set up a refrigerator manufacturing facility in Noida (Uttar Pradesh) at an estimated investment of Rs 120 crore.
Zutshi is confident the company will be able to achieve its targeted turnover of Rs 1,520 crore this year. "We have already recorded a turnover of Rs 1,510 crore from January to November, 2002. We are pretty close to achieving our target," he concludes optimistically. © 2002 agencyfaqs!