Maruti Suzuki has gone about marketing SX4 (all variants) with a strategy which stands out from others in the market. For a change, a sedan has been marketed on the basis of being masculine and manly. It is a welcome change because right now most market players are using classiness and quality as their USP, which, frankly, is a case of marketing clutter – How many times would I really like to see a car swooshing by? If I am spending 7-8 lakhs plus for a sedan, I know that the product quality would anyhow be good and don’t need further reiterations.
Hence, at the moment, there is no much differentiation amongst the players. These ‘classy’ ads don’t create a different image in my mind about any particular brand of car.
SX4 is different because it tries to weave in a message in the ad, and tells a story. It has always covered masculinity as the base USP of the car, while taking the class and quality aspects as granted. It did so in the initial petrol and CNG variants with the following campaign:
There were some other ads too such as this one.
Recently, they have launched 4 ads for their newly launched SX4 Diesel. Watch one of the ads here:
Some points to note about the campaign:
1. Clutter-breaking : As already discussed above, instead of the quality factor (which is taken for granted in sedans), SX4 is standing out with the ‘men are back‘ concept, projecting itself as the ‘men among cars‘
2. The role of ladies: Again, different from other players who have used women in their campaigns, it portrays women as accepting that SX4 will always be a priority for the men in their lives. That’s an interesting thing to do, because in general, cars are not what excites women. So it is showcased that they are mildly irritated but still okay with the priority order.
Maruti Suzuki has done one part of the launch well – the campaigns would generate sufficient interest and awareness. Notice that at the end of the ad, the one thing you will definitely recall is the resigned way in which the ladies say SX4 Diesel – yes, its here. The name lingers on in your mind – voila! the marketer’s job is done! You are bound to enquire about ‘that’ car at least once, and from there on, the product quality takes over as the pull factor.
Hopefully, the production quality and distribution efficiencies will pitch in to contribute to the success of the car (I have been told that the price points as well as the maintenance costs/mileage etc are very competitive)