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Bajaj gets into the Spirit 

Lalitha Srinivasan  
Mumbai, Sept 23: On October 10, 1999, Bajaj Auto is all set to launch a nationwide multi-media campaign for its recent launch--Bajaj Spirit--a 60 cc scooterette, with a two-stroke engine, and two-speed automatic transmission. The ad-blitz includes a series of press advertisements, a 60-sec television commercial and an outdoor media campaign. Prior to the launch of the new campaigns, the company has put up back-lit hoardings in major metros across the country. In addition, in an effort to profile the brand, the company will sponsor television programmes, events and contest in major cities in India.

The company has earmarked Rs 5 crore for as-spend in the current fiscal. ``The objective of the campaign is to create awareness for the product. With effective advertising, we want to promote Spirit in a crowded segment. We hope to sell 60,000 Spirits within a year,'' says RL Ravichandran, vice-president, business & product development, Bajaj.

`Incredibly attractive' reads the tagline of the multi-media campaign that positions the Rs 24,000 Spirit as a stylish, futuristic scooterette. ``Targeted at the youth segment, Spirit is ideal for college students. As it is light in weight, girls can also ride on it. The USP, of course, is its two-speed automatic transmission,'' explains Ravichandran.

Bajaj Auto's core strategy is to highlight the `attractive factor' of the scooter in all its communications. Created by Contract Advertising, the print and television campaign tries to woo the youth: a humourous storyline is used to drive home the benefits of the new product. The TVC was shot in New Zealand and the post-production was done in Australia, claims a spokesperson from Contract. ``There's a surprise element in the story board. In our press ads, the same theme continues,'' adds the spokesperson.

The `train commercial' opens with a train racing with Bajaj Spirit. In an effort to discern the name of the scooter, the engine driver halts the train at a level crossing. The ad-film was conceptualised by Ravi Deshpande, who has bagged the maximum awards this year for creative excellence.

Do humourous commercials succeed in pushing the brand? Says Ravichandran: ``I agree, great commercials do not guarantee great sales. But in our communications, we have blended the benefits of the product with humour. Spirit is nice to look at and great to ride on-which is what we have shown in our ads.''

With a growth rate 34 per cent, the Indian scooterette market is today witnessing a pitched battle with players like TVS Scooty and Kinetic Pride. So gaining marketshare, despite the humourous advertising, is no laughing matter.

Bajaj to launch Saffire in December

Come December 1999 and Bajaj Auto Limited will be rolling out yet another new model in the Indian scooter market. The stylish 100 cc scooter is being christened `Saffire'. According to RL Ravichandran, vice-president, business & product development, Bajaj, the scooter is at the product-testing stage. ``With the launch of Saffire, we will be able to take on our rivals like Kinetic Honda,'' adds Ravichandran.

Copyright © 1999 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.

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