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Automotive : Brands
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Except for the purchase of a home, the purchase of an automobile represents the most expensive consumer transaction most people undertake. With the ever increasing competition in the auto sector, every company looks at different ways to create consumer touch points and use innovative means to engage the audience. Automotive advertising is seen on television, magazines, on the Internet and heard on radio too. The auto sector includes cars, motor bikes, scooters, commercial vehicles, ancilliary parts and retailers that provide autobile related services. Rising above the clutter is the biggest challenge faced by the manufacturers of automobiles. The key to success in this insatiable marketplace is branding. In order to be a success the product and the advert must win the admiration of the consumer.
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Cars are easily the most advertised products within the automobile sector. Motorbikes are the next in line followed by SUV's and other vehicles. Some of the top advertisers of the automotive sector are Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Hero Honda, Hyundai, Bajaj, TVS Motor, Toyota, General Motors and Fiat. The key players of the commercial vehicle market are Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland. Advertising for automobiles are released on television and in the print media. Celebrity endorsement is commonly used for advertising cars and bikes. Film stars as well as sports celebrities are roped in for endorsing automotive brands. In print adverts the emphasis is on the product and its key features but in television commercials, celebrities grab the limelight with entertainment value.
Shahrukh Khan played an important role in establishing Hyundai Santro as a leading car brand. He helped Santro in becoming a household name. Toyota has signed Aamir Khan for endorsing Innova. Chevrolet relied on Rani Mukherjee and Saif Ali Khan to promote Aveo as well as Uva. The dipping sales of Fiat Palio were controlled and came back on track once the company chose the master blaster Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador. Motor bike companies usually rope in stars who symbolize youth and strength. Rajdoot had Dharmendra rooting for their product way back in the '80s. Today Hero Honda has Hrithik Roshan endorsing Karizma, a bike that targets the youth.
Bajaj with its famous tagline 'Hamara Bajaj' was able to win the admiration of the consumer during the late '80s and early '90s. Bajaj Auto managed to capture the heart of young India yet again with its "Aage nikal rahe hain hum" tagline for Pulsar motorbike. Bajaj is one of the key players of the two-wheeler segment, the others are Hero Honda, TVS Motor Company, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter Ltd and Majestic Auto Ltd. Maruti Suzuki, the largest car company in India advertises its small car Alto extensively. Maruti Suzuki's advertising for its Esteem brand featuring a father and his little daughter was very popular.
The car and SUV brands are usually advertised on general entertainment channels. Two wheelers are advertised on Hindi-language mass channels while commercial vehicle advertisers prefer regional channels to advertise their products. In the print medium, the preferred choices are newspapers and general-interest magazines. Automobile, business and travel magazines are other mediums that feature automobile adverting. Prime time is the preferred time slot of all the advertisers of this category. Most of the advertising for automobiles is done using sales promotion followed by brand promotion. Sales promotions include "multiple promotions", "price promotions" and "add-on promotions".