Maruti Suzuki S-Cross: Royal Treatment

While Maruti Suzuki may be hoping to elevate its brand image with the Nexa showrooms, whether the high-end customer will play along is the million-dollar question

By: | Updated: March 21, 2016 12:25 PM

Campaign: A New Destination

Brand: Nexa (Maruti Suzuki S-Cross Showroom)

Company : Maruti Suzuki

Agency: Hakuhodo Percept

The Ad

The campaign comprises three commercials for Maruti Suzuki's premium showroom Nexa showcasing a lifestyle retail experience for its premium customers. Each ad focusses on a specific experience exclusive to the new showroom – a personal relationship manager, red carpet treatment associated more with the hospitality industry rather than auto, and finally, wowing the customer with digital and technical prowess, respectively. Each ad ends with the tagline: Nexa: A New Destination. A New Experience, and the super: NEXA Exclusive Automotive Showrooms.

Our Take

Wowing the customer with fuel efficiency, a network of service centres and affordable spare parts has been Maruti Suzuki's USP all along. The fact that it also sold premium sedans was lost on most, with customers preferring to go for the Honda or the Volkswagen brand. It's now trying to change all that with its exclusive range of Nexa showrooms which will only handle cars from the Maruti Suzuki stable with a R8 lakh-plus price tag such as the Ciaz, S-Cross, YRA, etc. And it is to showcase that grandeur that Nexa showrooms possess. The target customer is the global Indian who has achieved success early in life, travelled widely, is well read and digitally savvy and is an avid user of the latest technologies. As Elvis Sequeira, COO, Hakuhodo Percept says, “Nexa is a very unique project in our partnership with Maruti Suzuki. Our role as co-creators and custodians of the brand has been a wonderful journey of collaboration, learning and discovery.”

So the ads are shot in black-and-white, highlighting the plush glass and chrome interiors, in line with the monochrome colour scheme of the actual Nexa showrooms. The TVCs work on the premise of intrigue, creating a buzz around Nexa and creating an impression of a café or a plush restaurant and trying to capture the Nexa premium experience. Explains Sequeira, “We’ve designed the entire experience for a retail channel, right from branding, the way the relationship managers interact with customers, to interiors and even signature lighting. The TVCs and the launch campaign we have created bring alive these aspects and set the expectations customers would have from Nexa.”

But does this kind of advertising work? Can shots of a plush showroom nudge a potential customer to forget about your inherent value positioning and flock towards your premium cars? The kind of customer that the ad is targetting will not necessarily get swayed by a swanky showroom. Purchasing and selling a premium car is also about striking the right balance between luxury and function. So the campaign could just end up becoming a blind spot. While Maruti Suzuki may be hoping to elevate its brand image with the Nexa showrooms, whether the high-end customer will play along is the million-dollar question.

Rating: **1/2

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