Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Toyota Innova: Classic case of celebrity endorsement

Brand : Innova
Company : Toyota
Agency: Densucomm
Brand Analysis Count: 2


Toyota Innova is an interesting brand. Interesting because it redefined the MUV segment in India and also it replaced the famous Toyota Qualis . Innova was launched in 2005. It replaced the successful Qualis when the sales of Qualis was at its peak.

Toyota decided to replace Qualis because of two reasons. Qualis was a major success among the tour operator segment but was not popular at the individual/home segment. Second reason was the increased competition from Chevrelot Tavera which was perceived to be a more refined upmarket SUV.
Toyota also wanted to bring in the latest products in the Indian market. Qualis was only a test product. Further, Toyota wanted to appeal to the individual/home users rather than the commercial segment.

Innova is positioned as a luxury MPV. The brand has the latest technology and is refined to perfection. The brand has roped in Aamir Khan as the brand ambassador. Innova is positioned as a vehicle for all purposes . The brand uses the tagline " All you desire " and the ads are also catchy. The brand is priced at a premium and is targeting families which are SEC A A+ and large in size.

It is already a well debated issue whether celebrities should be used for endorsements. I am of the opinion that the brand should be the center of attraction and celebrity should support the brand and they should not steal the limelight.

Innova has effectively used the charisma of Aamir Khan to promote itself. Recent newspaper reports suggest that the advertisement has clicked.

Let us see why Toyota has used Aamir for its product. The latest advertisement of Corolla with Rahul Khanna suggests that Toyota is bugged by celebrity paranoia.

The basic positioning of Innova is as a getaway vehicle that is spacious, trendy and upmarket. Innova has tried to distance itself from the Qualis ,its successful predecessor which was popular as a Taxi .
So it was necessary that Innova be promoted as an upmarket car that can be associated with the successful. So Aamir make sense. The execution was perfect so was Aamir.

The pricing of Innova was also inline with the positioning with over 7+ variants and priced at a premium.
Toyota would like to see less Innova Taxis and more families owning Innova.The current ad will help them in realizing that objective.

Key words : Brand, Positioning, Marketing strategy, Indian Brands.

Revised on 26/5/08