Pepsi: The game changer

Pepsi’s cricket World Cup campaign, which displays experiments and surprises on the field, is fun and highly watchable. It also embellishes Pepsi’s core value, which is about irreverence and breaking rules

Pepsi's campaign for the ICC World Cup, which has just broken, looks pretty promising; at least going by the first ad, which should serve as a taste of things to come.  

Readers will recall that a few Cups ago, Coke was the official sponsor for the World Cup, which prompted Pepsi to run that tongue-in-cheek but very effective campaign, 'Nothing official about it'. Well, this time Pepsi is the official global partner of the ICC World Cup 2011. The bad boy is now the class monitor. But instead of going all serious and official about it, they have tried to 'change the game', and this strategy makes the campaign fun and highly watchable.

Apparently, they have signed up a number of cricket stars for the campaign and the names include MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen and Harbhajan Singh. Each ad will feature a peculiar technique perfected by each player… and how that quirky act has helped change the game of cricket.

While the full campaign will break in time, the Dhoni ad is now on air. And this one features the Indian captain's famed and unique 'helicopter shot'. The ad is about how and where (much like in the Bollywood film Lagaan), he picked up this strange stroke. The setting is the rural hinterland, and we discover that Dhoni learnt the helicopter shot on a hay-cutting machine. The action of which is quite similar to the cricket stroke. Later, of course, the scene shifts to the stadium where Dhoni is see blasting runs with his trademark helicopter shot.

Reportedly, the other ads will feature Kevin Pietersen's 'switch hit', Virender Sehwag's 'upper cut' and Harbhajan Singh's 'doosra'. Naturally, with a story provided in each.

I like this approach. Not just because it's entertaining, but because it keeps in step with the changing times. For the one-dayers and the 20/20 matches, the audiences basically come to have some quick fun, and have no time or patience for pure cricket. They look forward to experiments and surprises, so they will connect with this idea.

On another front, the campaign also embellishes Pepsi's core value, which is about irreverence and breaking rules. (Unlike Coke.) And 'change the game' falls nicely in line with that brand personality. So, despite being the official sponsor, Pepsi has managed to hold on to its attitude.Net net: Good insight; sound strategic thinking; unique creative renditions. All that good advertising must possess.


Indirect tax kitty grows 43% at Rs2.37 lakh cr in Apr-Dec

New Delhi: Indirect tax collections rose by 42.8% to Rs2.37 lakh crore during April-December this year compared to corresponding period last fiscal, indicating uptick in economic activities, reports PTI.

During the corresponding nine-month period last fiscal, the indirect tax collections were over Rs1.66 lakh crore, the finance ministry said in a statement.

In the current year, indirect tax collections during April-December constitute 75.7% of the overall target of Rs3.13 lakh crore fixed for 2010-11. Indirect tax mainly constitutes customs, central excise and service tax.

The Indian economy is already on a recovery path, registering a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 8.9% in the first half of the current fiscal.

The revenue collections from customs have increased to Rs99,830 crore during April-December 2010, 68% higher than the previous year's mop-up of Rs59,402 crore.

This constitutes 86.8% of the budgeted target of Rs1.15 lakh crore revenue collection from customs for the whole year 2010-11, the statement said.

The mop-up from central excise rose to Rs93,281 crore during the period April-December 2010, an increase of 33.7% over the previous year's collection of Rs69,747 crore.

Service tax collections registered a growth of 19.2% during the nine-month ended December 2010, to Rs44,081 crore, the statement added.


Honda, Bajaj mere spectators, as sales of new-gen scooters soar

TVS Motors, Hero Honda enjoy over 100% sales growth in December, but market leader Honda manages just 9%. Mahindra, Suzuki also achieve over 70% rise

Scooter manufacturers, especially those who have introduced new-generation gearless scooters, are enjoying the fruits of their labour, as sales have continued in top gear in December.

Surprisingly, December sales have made current market leader Honda Motorcycle & Scooter and Bajaj Auto, the erstwhile leader in the scooter segment, mere spectators, as other manufacturers enjoyed bumper sales, that too in the last month of 2010. Auto sales in December are often lower compared with previous months.

In December, TVS Motor and Hero Honda Motors witnessed sales growth of over 100%, while sales for current market leader Honda grew by just 9%. Others, like Mahindra Two Wheelers and Suzuki Motorcycle India saw their scooter sales increase by 72% and 71%, respectively. However, looking at these bumper sales figures, one cannot but help feel bad for Hamara Bajaj, which last year decided to exit the scooter market.

Honda remained the market leader with sales of 76,307 units, taking its nine-month sales (April to December 2010) to 6,65,051 units from 5,22,399 units in the previous corresponding period. However, despite finding favour with customers, the company is still finding it difficult to deliver scooters in time. According to sources, Honda Activa has a waiting period of six to eight months.

This waiting period for an Activa is proving to be beneficial for others like Hero Honda and TVS Motors. Especially TVS, which has seen demand soar for its newly-launched Wego scooter, on easy availability and a loyal customer base built around its Scooty brand. Hero Honda, on the other hand, has benefitted from its brand image and large dealer network. Increased demand and non-availability of Activa may have played an important role in people trying out the models of other manufacturers.

While, TVS's Wego, Mahindra's Rodeo and Duro and Suzuki's Access do have features similar to Activa, people did not think much about these products previously. But since the delivery time for an Activa has increased, those not prepared to wait long are turning to other models, and this is propelling sales of Wego, Access, Rodeo and Duro.

During the nine months do December, scooter sales rose 49.2% to 14,92,342 units, while motorcycle sales increased 24.6% to 66,54,280 units. This makes one wonder about the decision by Bajaj to 'sacrifice' scooters to push its motorcycle business.

One of the problems has been that while all scooter makers launched products based on fresh R&D and improved features (such as auto gears), performance and mileage, Bajaj did not make much of an effort on this front. The company continued with its iconic (now defunct) geared scooters.

In effect, Bajaj's scooter segment appears to have died an unnatural and untimely death, mainly due to the lack of support from the family. Last heard, managing director Rajiv Bajaj has said that the company would drop the name 'Bajaj' from its products, showrooms and service centres and re-brand them as 'Pulsar' or 'Discover', after the names of two of the company's best-selling motorcycle variants.

Come 2014, Hero will have to drop 'Honda' from its name. Bajaj seems to have gone one step further to drop the family name from its products. Whether this move will succeed or not only time will tell. Nevertheless, Bajaj's presence in scooters would have been a different game altogether.




6 years ago

Bajaj has surely committed a mistake by eliminating itself from the scooter market. However, it may also jump in again to recapture this treasure hunt game. Keeping in mind this alongwith other hidden benefits, it is trying hard with all the tactics to acquuire 27% from WMDC from the joint venture in Maharashtra Scooters Ltd.

Unfortunately, the matter is dragged to the court, for the greedy mentality of BAJAJ. Had it offered the intrinsic value for the above stake, it would have got the treasure at the peanuts price. Even now, BAL is tryign hard to usurp WMDC's stake at throw away price under all the options available. After all evey greed has its limit BUT Bajaj is not ready to accept this. MSL has all the necessary infra through which scooter manufacturing can be started immediately.


6 years ago

Really sorry to inform that if Mahindra scooter has touched 72% increase in sales, but the scooter is just a garbage scooter. Ask one who is having the scooter? Ask who is driving the scooter? Ask those who have complaint against the said scooter? I am having one Mahindra Flyte it is just a shit? Purchased in 2010 Feb. thrice the new battery was replaced it means there was problem with the new battery? Now after one year even the mileage of the scooter is 35 and promise was of 45 I do not want 45 but at least the mileage should be 40. Let the big guns say what they like about Mahindra but the truth is this that Mahindra scooter is just a garbage a total wasteage of your hard earned money. My advice is not to go for Mahindra, never ever dream of Mahindra I am the sufferer. If any top shot reads my mail I want to speak to him on mobile. My e-mail id is [email protected]. Nobody is helping me to get rid of my complaint. I want that my scooter be changed with a new one or else my hard earned money be refunded.
Chander Bhushan.


6 years ago

I guess the new management is the reason for such a situation today. One thing which is really bad and dangerous about new management is "dictating the market"..

History has shown no one is emperor in market. Customer is the king. If customers like it, customer takes it.

Mistake 1: New management said there is no future in 100cc bikes. As such they even phased out best selling 100cc bike, CT100, Boxer etc.. Also, dictated the market that future is 150cc or more..

Result: Lost valuable market share/business opportunity in 100cc segment..

But after three year, came back again with 100cc discover and now what we hear, Boxer brand is going to be back..


Scooter segment: Most sorry show:..
New management said, scooter market is going to die and hence there is no future in scooter segment..

Honda making tons of profit..Suzuki making tons of profit..

At Bangalore a fully loaded access costs nothing short of 60,000Rs..

Now, which fool in the world tells me that a product costing 55 to 60K Rs, with over 1million units per year as an insignificant market, which is going to die.. (800K from Honda activa, 300K from access 125.. forget TVS, Mahindra....)

Hell with the new management. I simply pity this company for making so much mistakes in direction (and also surprised to see this company being alive, if not for two lucky products pulsar, discover 100cc...

Roopsingh Solanki

6 years ago

The article hurt me deeply as i always admired the easy designing of bajaj scooters(former vespa,italy design) which is one of most easily repairable and very cost effective,and having worked as bajaj auto service engineer in their akurdi ,pune plant when Rajiv bajaj just joined the R & D team as new team leader after completing engineering,(which is closed now),i really felt sorry for the decision last year when bajaj auto quit for scooter mfg,
that is sheer mistake on part of bajaj family which in 90's was market leader and rahul bajaj was called as King of scooters-
and having worked in the Bajaj campus enviorment i never doubted their expertise on cost effectiveness and quantitative approach to reduce costs,
i am not aware about the mindset of present management(new gen),but i really admired and liked the simplicity of the bajaj family (one of cousin of rahul bajaj never used a private car(only company bus to commute) and always had Khadi shirt -
I really feel sorry for bajaj group which could be another honda in global scenario.


6 years ago

The article aims at some bias attitude in favour of BAJAJ. Like the BOSS, the subordinates are too dancing at the signs of 2 wheeler market leader!!!!

"A black sheep in the jounalist world"- would be absolutely wrong to say. A star amongst the group. This will be OK.


Aakash Parekh

In Reply to SMSheth 6 years ago

SMS...get your basics right. The article speaks about Bajaj's sorry decision to leave scooter segment. And how? Look at the bumper sales of others, excluding Honda.

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