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Will Kaun Banega Crorepati bring a windfall to Bajaj Auto? 

Lalitha Srinivasan  
Mumbai, July 17: The Rs 4,215-crore Bajaj Auto Ltd is planning to hike itsadspend in the current fiscal by 38 per cent. The two-wheeler major hasearmarked Rs 125 crore as advertising budget for 2000-2001.The popular quiz show `Kaun Banega Crorepati' on Star TV, where Bajaj Autois one of the associate sponsors, is said to be consuming a major chunk ofthe expenditure on advertising earmarked by the company.

``With this effective advertising strategy, the company expects to registera volume growth of 15-20 per cent over last year,''says Bajaj Autovice-president (business and product development) RL Ravichandran.As for the rationale behind the co-sponsorsing Kaun Banega Crorepati,explains Ravichandran: ``As the programme is primarily targeted at families,we did not want to miss this great opportunity. To attain high visibilityfor our range, we chose to co-sponsor the programme for 13 weeks (56episodes).''

In the next three months, Bajaj will be beaming numerous TVCs for itsproducts which include, Bajaj Legend, Bajaj Chetak, Bajaj Spirit, SunnySpice (relaunched avatar of the Bajaj Sunny) and Bajaj Calibreamongst others. The ad is designed by Contract Advertising. Says ContractAdvertising executive vice-president and national creative director, RaviDeshpande: ``The new TVC for the Bajaj Spirit is a tactical campaign.Recently, the Bajaj Spirit bagged the `Scooter of the year' award for itsdesign and style.''

Veering from its traditional communication routes, the agency has now ropedin celebrity model Lisa Ray to promote the Bajaj Spirit. Reasons Deshpande:``Our strategy was to reinforce the positioning of the product as`incredibly attractive'. So, we chose an attractive model to star in ourTVC.''

In December 1999, Bajaj had launched a major promo billed `Bajaj CrorepatiHangama'. And now with the rising popularity of `Kaun Banega Crorepati',will the company opt for a co-branding exercise with Star Plus? Says Bajajmarketing manager Nitin Kocher: ``Star Plus's project is huge. As of now, wehave no plans to initiate any co-branding exercise with Star Plus.''Bajaj Auto is all set to launch a slew of new products in the next threemonths.

Come October 1999, the company will be rolling out a 175 CC Chopper StyleMobike called `Bajaj Eliminator'. This product is expected to be positionedfor the rough-n-tough rider.According to Ravichandran: ``We will belaunching Bajaj M 80, a 4-stroke mobike in August 2000.'' The company isalso in the process of rolling out `Bajaj Saffire' and `Sunny Spice' acrossthe nation.

Copyright © 2000 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.

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