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Big retail gets ad savvy

business Updated: Aug 08, 2007 03:59 IST
Saurabh Turakhia
Saurabh Turakhia
Hindustan Times
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The big, organised retail names are not only highly visible in their physical malls and stores across cities today, they are also far more visible on media through high-decibel advertising. Though organised retail may just be three or four per cent of the total retail market, the big players are spending more money on advertising through television and other media.

According to an AdEx (a division of TAM Media Research) report, advertising by the retail industry registered a rise of 12 per cent on television during January-May 2007 over January - May 2006. It also says that retail industry saw nearly 250 new advertisers on TV in January - May 2007.

Apart from names such as Big Bazaar and Subhiksha, new entrants such as Vishal Retail, which also came up with its IPO recently, are joining the retail advertising rush. It roped in comic host Raju Srivastava for its television commercials. <b1>

According to Mohit Khattar, president - marketing, Subhiksha, “Our mass media advertising began in November when we went national. The idea was to convey our presence and arrival in places where we were lesser known—Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.”

The Subhiksha TVC, with its “friendly neighbourhood store” line, played on the benefit of lowest prices. Close to 60 per cent of the Rs 30 crore Subhiksha spent on advertising between November 2006 and June 2007, was on television. It has 750-plus stores across India and is targeting 1,000 stores by December 2007.

Pantaloon, the retail brand, spent close to Rs 100 crore on advertising, of which Rs 15-18 crore was spent on television. The balance went into print advertising.

According to Atul Takle, head of corporate communications, Pantaloon Retail, “Local print is a major media for retail advertising.” He estimates that the Pantaloon spend may well go up to Rs 170 crore this year.

Café Coffee Day’s (CCD) ad strategy is different. It gets into ad spaces through alliances. Simran Sablok, general manager - marketing, Café Coffee Day, says, “We got into in-film placements through movies such as Main Hoon Na, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Main Aisa Hi Hoon, Yuva and Salaam-e-Ishq as well as in-serial placements through programmes such as Remix.”

The coffee chain also struck deals with Pepsodent and Yamaha. The new Yamaha Alba was promoted at Café Coffee Day outlets through various collaterals such as wall displays and tent cards. Pepsodent conveyed a message to consumers drinking more coffee that it might lead to yellowing of teeth. The promotion offered CCD gift vouchers with Pepsodent packs. The TVC for the toothpaste also featured CCD.

There are also cases of seasonal or festival advertising. Khattar of Subhiksha says, “In summer, we introduced the Aam ki Barsaat campaign to induce offtake of mangoes from our stores.” Now, since Subhiksha’s brand awareness is fairly high, advertising will talk more about the benefits.

There are major local players, across India, who go for local advertising. Going forward, with majors such as Reliance, Bharti, the Aditya Birla Group and Dabur also turning to the retailing opportunity, retail-based advertising is bound to go up.

With retail chains also talking of specialised in-store advertising, could the current growth in retail advertising on the regular media be re-channelled? The likely pattern would be the continuation of general media advertising for retail brand awareness and promotion, while in-store advertising would mean literally that—ads of what’s in-store.