100 Minutes of NonStop Marketing-Mere Dad ki Maruti

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on September 17, 2013

A normal advertiser pays for the production or the making cost of an advertisement and also pays for its end consumer or the potential to be consumers to watch the advertisement. What if there exits an options wherein the advertiser just pays for the production cost and the consumers pay to watch the advertisement? Impossible, marvellous, tempting, every advertiser dream come true right! But as they say "Anything and Everything can happen with mankind." it's possible.

100 minutes of non-stop advertisement, reaching 100 million pair of eyeballs and that too at the cost of mere 10 crore rupees, Maruti Suzuki was able to achieve all of the above in one of the biggest marketing stint in "Mere Dad Ki Maruti".

image:bplanet, freedigitalphotos.net

In-film advertisement is not a new concept. It’s as old as the film fraternity. Even Bond, James Bond took up Heineken instead of his famous shaken not stirred, Martini. Closer home Bollywood is not left far behind. Coca-Cola in "Chalti Ka Naam Gadi", Mahindra Flyte in "3 Idiots", Hyundai Santro "Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani". Who can forget Hritik Roshan asking for Bournvita in "Koi Mil Gaya" or Salman Khan's date replying she'll have a Goldspot in Saajan. But Maruti took it to a whole new level with "Mere Dad Ki Maruti". A 100 min long movie the protagonist of which was the latest Maruti offering ERTIGA.

Ertiga is positioned as a MUV, Multi Utility Vehicle. Its main competitors being Toyota's Innova, Mahindra's Xylo and Chevorlet Travera. Pricing is one area where Ertiga has a definite edge over its competitors. Its mid-variant costs 7.89 lakhs, whereas for Innova it is 11.60 lakhs and for Xylo and Tavera it is 8.5 and 9.89 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi) respectively. Ertiga delivers a very impressive mileage of 20.77 kmpl (as per company's claims), while its competitors including Tavera Neo, Xylo and Toyota Innova generate much less. It has the best in class turning circle radius of 5.2 m and a very good ground clearance. Though when it comes to engine power, suspension and leg space it lags a bit behind its competitors.

It was a mix between SUVs, MUVs and sedans. Maruti created a clustered preferences by bringing in a lot of features from all the segments and created a new segment, in Maruti's words, LUV or Life Utility Vehicle.

Getting back to the topic. From a consumer's point of view, the film proved to be the best test drive. They could see how their potential car to be would look on road. The interiors, the exteriors, the top, the bottom, the front, the back every angle of the car was captured. Like a true Hindi film heroine she was at her best. The grand welcome complete, with drums and garlands, when it first arrived on the big screen was no less than what SRK receives when he comes on screen. Last but not the least, the setting. A car in an Indian family is a status symbol and the biggest display of their status is their daughter's wedding. Gifting an Ertiga to the groom put Ertiga far ahead of its competitors.

Youngsters are the decision makers in every household and a lot of marketing is targeted towards this young audience. From TVs to cars, which brand of clothes one’s parent wears to what house one buys, the young have an increasing and a prominent role when it comes to decision making. Keeping the film plain and simple (no adult content), the makers ensured that the biggest decision maker of the Indian family was not left out of the picture.

It wasn't just a showcase of the Ertiga, it was a big step towards brand marketing where Maruti struck the right cord projecting itself as the Indian's car. It was the first time that the name of an advertiser was part of the title. By indicating a special cultural reference Maruti increased the customer's willingness to pay and not just for Ertiga but for Maruti. It was a reinvention of the brand Maruti. By showcasing the scheme "Test Drive and win an Ertiga", personnel interactions with the showroom sales man, etc. Maruti designed a holistic marketing activity in the form of a film.

As every finance grad would say, all the above was just mumbo-jumbo, let's talk numbers.

"Mere Dad Ki Maruti" produced by Y Films (Yash Raj films), had a total cost of production including marketing cost of around 10 crore rupees. 80% of which was recovered by in film advertising and selling of television rights. The rest of the costs were recovered by music licensing and digital rights. Maruti bought over 50,000 CDs to distribute to its customers. Y Films backed it up with a six week marketing campaign which comprised of 24000 TV spots delivering 1200 GRPs and 5 music videos featuring the car across 20 music channels. The total air time of which was 1 million seconds. Y Films spent another 10 crore on press ads, bill boards and PR mileage. In all 125 videos were posted on YouTube which got over 5.5 million hits.  The films first week revenue collection where 8.12 crore domestic and 66 lakh international. The television rights have been sold to Sony TV to be aired multiple times. In all telecom, radio, editorials, award shows, DTH, home video, in-flight, VOD and other digital platforms ensured that it reached 100 million eyeballs. All this costing Maruti a mere 10 crore rupees.

A marketing strategy is not successful until and unless the product sells.

Maruti Suzuki managed to grab over 5-6% market share in an intensely competitive market of Mumbai and another 2% in NCR. These two markets make up for 20% of India's auto sales. Mayank Pareek, COO (Marketing and Sales) at Maruti Suzuki said, "Swift created an all new segment in India 7 years ago and so did Ertiga last fiscal." Maruti Suzuki snared 2.5% market share in passenger car space FY13 (April to Feb.), growing in a market that declined 4.64%. Buoyed by its newly launched utility vehicle Ertiga, Maruti outpaced the market growing volumes by 5.5% when others struggled.

One who shouts the most in a market, sells the most. With "Mere Dad Ki Maruti", Maruti Suzuki shouted the loudest and sold the most.

The article has been authored by authored by Manan Saxena and Arnab Bassi.


  1. http://www.business-standard.com/article/management/maruti-takes-in-film-branding-to-next-level-113032800534_1.html
  2. http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-04-03/news/38248346_1_market-share-mayank-pareek-ford-india
  3. http://www.zigwheels.com/reviews-advice/shootouts/maruti-suzuki-ertiga-competition-check/13838/1

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