Global Economics

Nano to Ride on Innovative Marketing


Tata will sell its ultracheap new car through its own retail and electronics megastore outlets as well as auto dealerships

The Tata Nano will ride on a clutch of innovative marketing ideas when it rolls into showrooms across the country. The Rs 1 lakh car, which broke new ground in design, engineering and production processes, will opt for "cost-effective and innovative use of media," say people with knowledge of the Nano marketing strategy.

To make the car more easily accessible to people, the Tata Motors team will sell the Nano not just through Tata car dealerships across the country, but also through conventional retail outlets like Westside and Croma.

Westside is a lifestyle retail brand and Croma is an electronic megastore. Both are owned by the Tata group. Westside and Croma outlets will display the Nano and also take bookings. Also available will be a whole range of Nano merchandise like baseball caps, T-shirts and key chains, among others.

Carrying forward its vendor partnership production strategy, Tata Motors will share promotion of the Nano brand with its multiple PSU bank partners. These PSU financiers will promote the Nano brand during booking jointly with Tata Motors and on their own.

The Nano's overall marketing strategy will use conventional media in an unconventional manner. Unlike most small cars, Nano won't be big on advertising. There will be no TV campaign, only innovative use of print, radio and other media, particularly the web. The Tata team is working on Nano news in papers, Nano breaks on radio, Nano appearing in the form of messages or ticker news on TV, online Nano games, Nano chatrooms on the Net, Nano pop-ups on major websites and Nano conversation on Facebook, Orkut and blogspaces.

According to people in the ad industry with direct knowledge of the Nano's marketing strategy, the campaign will be cost-effective and innovative so that Nano becomes synonymous with anything "small, cute and brief." "The idea is to make the Nano part of our everyday lingo like 'see you after a nano,' it's a totally word-of-mouth campaign," said a person familiar with the Nano marketing strategy.

Tata Motors has appointed Rediffusion for creative content in the Nano campaign. Lodestar will handle media buying for the Rs 1 lakh car. "The Nano is a huge brand and one of the most interesting accounts in the automobile business," said the COO of a top ad agency based in Delhi. "However, it is still not clear just how big the account will be."


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