Ceat went in for a major rebranding exercise in 2008 when it changed its logo, the mascot and the famous tagline " Born Tough". I was very critical about the whole rebranding exercise especially the decision to discard the Rhino (mascot) and the tagline. The logic for the rebranding was to make the brand contemporary and relevant to the new generation consumers.
Although the company spent some money on rebranding campaign in 2008, it again went in on a silent mode for almost two years . There was virtually no campaign for Ceat in this period. Recently the brand has started making some noise in the media with a series of brand campaigns.
The current campaign for Ceat is for its bike tyres. The campaign is dubbed " Be Idiot Safe ". The campaign runs on the theme that ' Roads are full of idiots and be idiot-safe with Ceat Tyres".
Watch the ad here : Be Idiot Safe
The ads are currently focusing on the " better road grip " feature of Ceat bike tyres. Road grip is an important ,relevant feature as far as tyres are concerned and Ceat has tried to own up that feature.
Along with the 'Be Idiot Safe " television campaign, the brand has tried to take up this idea into the internet by launching the brand site " beidiotsafe.com". The brand tried to engage users by inviting interesting videos about those idiots on the road. Users can upload the videos about rash driving and careless road habits onto the sites. The brand expects that these funny videos will be viral and increase the brand's visibility on the web. I am not sure whether the site had managed to sustain interest among the netizens.
Another interesting aspect of Ceat's brand strategy is that it chose to have different theme for its different product-lines. While " Be idiot-safe " theme is for bike tyres, the brand have a different theme for its SUV product range. For the SUV range, the brand has adopted the tagline " Takes the wild out of wilderness ".
That means Ceat will have separate positioning for its various products. In branding perspective, that is not a good strategy. The multiple positioning can dilute the core brand's positioning unless there is a common thread passing through the various positioning campaigns. MRF uses multiple positioning campaigns for its various products but these product lines have sub-brands. In the case of Ceat, there is no sub-brands but only product descriptors .
It would work well if Ceat can think of a core brand positioning for the brand - CEAT. This core brand positioning will be reflect what the brand CEAT stands for. Then use sub-brands for its product-lines like SUV, bike tyres, car tyres etc .The brand can then use different positioning campaigns for the sub-brands. The sub-brand's positioning should be in line with the core brand's positioning but the sub-brands will have freedom to chose its own relevant themes.