Digital-only ads by Cruze


Chevrolet is going digital with a vengeance. It’s the first time that an automaker in India will launch an advertising campaign exclusively for the online medium.

Six more such campaigns will follow suit. The first one for Chevrolet Cruz is slated to be launched this month-end, Ankush Arora, GM India’s vice president, marketing, sales and after-sales, says.

It’s not that India’s fifth largest car maker, General Motors, which owns the Chevrolet brand, will abandon the conventional media — print and television initiatives — but the content would be separate.

The initiative follows the huge response Chevrolet Cruz has got from its substantial online presence. The company’s experience shows that most of its customers buying a GM vehicle already have the crucial details of the products from the websites.

The company wants to exploit the space further as the online medium is the most cost-efficient advertising option compared to print and television. GM India had previously launched internet advertising for its premium product range such as the Captiva and Optra Magnum.

As the volumes of such products are not huge (less than 1,000 units per month each), the online initiative equates the marketing spend on promoting the products. Besides, on an average, promotion through the internet constitutes less than five percent of the total budget of a company on advertising.

Arora says the Cruze was launched months after General Motors was declared bankrupt in the US. “We could not afford to pay consultants, so we went out to the customers ourselves to find out what their concerns were.”

Based on the feedback, two points of action were identified: One was to launch a campaign to tell people that GM is in India for the long haul, and the other was to launch new products.

Thus was born the Cruze, which was bigger and bolder, and came with features like cruise control. “The Cruze was the new face of Chevrolet in India,” says Arora.

The company with its new compact car Beat is robustly promoting the car among the youth which is also their primary customer. The density of internet usage is the highest in the age group of 16-28, which is also the target group for most compact car makers.

For GM, the Spark is the entry level model while the Beat is a notch above that. The company is looking to launch at least three more variants before the end of this year.

GM presently has a market share of 5 per cent with eight models (and multiple variants) ranging from compact cars to premium sedans to sports utility vehicle.