Sumita Vaid

O&M, Capital, Hakuhodo Percept in final round for Maruti's Swift

The review process started two months ago where Lowe, Capital, Contract, Hakuhodo Percept and O&M were in the running

After a two-month long review process for the much-awaited Maruti hatchback Swift, the list has been brought down not just to two names, as reported in the morning, but three. Besides two of Maruti's club agencies- Capital Advertising and Hakuhodo Percept, O&M is in the final round too.

When the pitch process began Lowe and Contract, the other two in Maruti's roster, were also in the fray, but have failed to make it.

While executives at Maruti are not available for comments, industry sources indicate that the final decision-making process will take time. The agencies too are keeping mum, apparently bound by a non-disclosure clause.

Thus, with very little to go with, much is unclear at this stage. Except for the fact that Swift will surely be an exciting project. Swift is Maruti's answer to Hyundai's Getz and the Fiat Palio. So the least that can be expected is a fancy launch. And, that means fat ad budgets.

That's not all. For the would-be agency, working on Swift would be a chance to flex that creative muscle. After all, Getz, with its catchy tune and glitzy campaign, has managed a decent recall.

For those not in the know, the current agency-brand alignment at Maruti is as follows. Hakuhodo Percept handles Maruti 800 and Zen, while Lowe has Alto, Baleno, Esteem, Omni and Versa, Contract Advertising services WagonR and Grand Vitara, and Capital has Maruti's corporate account.

Now, till the time Maruti makes up its mind, let's get familiar with Swift. The car, slated for launch in the next fiscal 2005-06, has a 1.3 litre engine. It will come with petrol and diesel variants.

Suzuki Swift was launched this September at the Paris Show. The car is being manufactured at the Magyar Suzuki plant in Hungary. Eventually, it will also be manufactured in India, China and Japan. In terms of price and size, Swift will be comparable with Getz, industry sources said.

© 2004 agencyfaqs!

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