Tata Nano vs. Tata Indica Vista : Free Publicity vs. Paid Advertising

14 09 2008


Courtesy the Singur land acquisition dispute, Tata Motors has been occupying the headlines for the last few weeks. Every report on Singur invariably features the brand name – Tata Nano.Notwithstanding the fact that not a single car bearing that name has been rolled out yet, Tata Nano is already a humongous brand. 


When Ratan Tata, unveiled Nano during the Auto expo in January this year, the who’s who of the world media covered it. Except for one-full page newspaper advertisement, Tata Motors hardly spend anything on advertising for Nano. Yet, Nano is a household name today, thanks to the extensive coverage for all the reasons, right and wrong. Analysts estimate that the buzz created by the free publicity for Nano is worth over Rs. 5000 million


Right in the middle of this raging Singur controversy, Tata Motors has launched a new model – Tata Indica Vista which by many accounts is a major upgrade of Indica. Auto analysts have rated the car highly. Tata Motors has launched a high octane advertising campaign. Unfortunately, the response to the campaign can at best be termed as tepid.  


Tata Motors now have a piquant problem on their hand. Thanks to the brouhaha over Nano, for which the production facility is not yet ready, once the booking starts, the waiting list is going to be too long, even if they meet the October 2008 launch deadline.


On the other hand, Indica Vista, despite its large advertising budget, is unlikely to keep the Tata Motors’ factory busy.


On both counts, Tata Motors seems to have some disappointment in store, unless, of course, true to the Indica Vista tagline, they manage to “Change everything”.


– G. Mohan     




One response

29 10 2008

While the take of the author is unique and does provide food for thought along a line not thought of earlier ( atleast by the layman!!), I believe that the two of them are two different products for two different categories. In Management jargon, the segments they are looking to target are different and hence there is no clash. What happened probably is that in the Nano brouhaha, EVERY other automobile news ( from the launch of the Fabia to the Bajaj plans for a 1.3 lakhs car) has been sidelined and the same has happened to the Indica Vista. Either ways, the Tata cars have rarely sold on great media ( though the “Must be true” ad was an exception which was good!). They’ve sold on values every miserly indian holds to heart. The two words – ” Paisa Vasool”. Word of mouth is what has predominantly driven their sales. And for a new model, word of mouth is always slow to generate. So i’d say, let’s wait and watch.

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