Sumita Vaid

Ford launches Ikon NXT supported by multimedia campaign

While the print campaign broke on January 9, the TV commercial is slated to break around January 15

The Ford India brass is on an all-India tour, unveiling the next generation ‘Josh Machine' - Ikon NXT. The Ford Ikon NXT was formally unveiled in Delhi yesterday in two variants - the CLXi model, with a 1.3 litre (petrol) engine, and the ZXi model, in the two engine variants of 1.6 litres (petrol) and 1.8 litres (diesel). While the Ford Ikon1.3 CLXi is priced at Rs 5.5 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the 1.6 ZXi (petrol) sports a price tag of Rs 6.5 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), and the 1.8 ZXi is priced at Rs 7.1 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

Supporting the nationwide launch is a multimedia ad campaign. While the print campaign broke yesterday (January 9), the TV commercial is slated to break around January 15. All Josh Machine advertising till now has harped on the performance and the styling enhancements of the vehicle. This time, Ford and its agency JWT, Chennai, plan to toe a different line.

Talking about the communication strategy of Ikon NXT, Tarun Khanna, brand manager, Ford, says, "The theme of the campaign is ‘Begin your NXT life'. The concept emanated from the product's performance and styling. The Ford Ikon NXT is a significantly upgraded version from its predecessor. So acquiring the Ikon NXT is like starting a new life." To take this idea forward, the new commercial shows the Ford Ikon NXT putting other cars on the roads to shame.

All said, what might finally determine the brand's performance in India is its price. As automotive expert Murad Ali Baig points out, "In the Indian market, pricing is an entry barrier. And the Ikon NXT is priced reasonably higher than its competitor." In fact, the Ikon NXT is a cool Rs 15,000 more than its ancestor. But Randy Shockley, vice-president, sales, marketing and service, Ford India, has a different point of view. "For the discerning customer, Ford Ikon NXT would be a hard thing to resist," he says.

The company is in the process of expanding its dealer network across the nation to over 80 outlets from the current 68 in more than 70 cities. With the introduction of the NXT the company hopes to increase the domestic sales of the Ikon by 50 per cent in 2003. In 2002, the company had sold 14,682 units. It has set a target of 22,000 Ikons for 2003. © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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