Marketing forms the core of any firm's strategy for a particular product, irrespective of the industry in which it is working. The car market, too, is driven by a number of promotional campaigns and initiatives taken by manufacturers to popularise their vehicles. Of all the methods adopted by car makers, television commercials top the list. In most cases, auto makers sign up celebrities like cricketers or film stars to endorse their cars. This strategy is widely accepted and has benefited many upcoming and existing car makers to launch their products in the market. Apart from advertisements, there are certain small scale events organised by top car makers to promote a particular car.
Drives or rallies conducted by automobile manufacturers are targeted towards automobile enthusiasts. Companies usually do this for a specific model, wherein they invite potential customers or car lovers to these events. Among the people who attend such activities are selected customers, representatives of car magazines and a small section of media. Mostly, drives or rallies like these involve the company travelling across the country through different cities in its new model. The beginning of such campaigns usually features a show wherein the manufacturer displays a particular upcoming car. Displays are followed by company officials addressing the media to talk about the new car, its scope, targeted customer and what the event aims at.
Industry experts feel that such activities, although not hardcore sales oriented, by way of fun and adventure, help the company to get word-of-mouth publicity. Examples of famous events include Drive to Discover by Honda, Heart in Mouth by Mitsubishi Pajero and the Monsoon Rally by Mahindra & Mahindra. The Drive to Discover was a relay drive organised to promote the Honda City. This event saw the participation of top automobile magazines and auto shows. The relay drive covered a total distance of around 6500 km, spanning over a month. Participants drove the Honda City from Jammu to Coimbatore via Kanyakumari. Incredibly, this relay drive covered around 70 Indian cities, which included the likes of Chandigarh, Agra, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Pune, Mysore, Ooty and Coimbatore.
Mitsubishi organised the Pajero – Heart to Mouth adventure event recently in Hyderabad. This event was held at GMR Off-track Road Rental, which is located in close proximity to Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. Featuring the Pajero Sports, a car that won the Intercontinental Dakar Rally, this adventure extravaganza was a huge success. The Pajero Sports travelled across a track that featured rumbles, side inclines, steep ascents and descents, slush and ruts. In addition, there was a service camp present at the event, which offered free check-ups for vehicles.
Mahindra & Mahindra, in partnership with Apollo Tyres, has conducted three editions of the Monsoon Challenge, which have been highly successful. A part of the Challenge series, it involves a motorsport competition that has a top prize of Rs. 13 lakh (3rd Edition). The 2013 edition of the Monsoon Challenge saw participants travel over a 1000 km in just 3 days.