Creative Communications in the Indian Automobile Industry – Print Advertising for the Tata Indica



Case Code : CLMC-042
Publication date : 2005
Subject : Marketing Communications
Industry : -
Length : 05 Pages
Price : Rs. 100

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Key words:

Tata Motors, B-segment, Lodestar, Teaser campaigns, Print campaigns, Hyundai Santro, Indica V2, Fact-based Advertising, Santro Xing, J.D Power, CRM and Customer loyalty program.


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The caselet presents an overview of the creative strategy followed by Tata Motors for its flagship car brand Tata Indica. The caselet gives a detailed description of the feature-specific marketing communications campaign adopted by the company during the launch of the Indica in 1998. The caselet also outlines the emotional appeal used by the company during the re-launch of the car in 2001, based on a customer feedback survey. Finally, the caselet discusses the change initiated by the company in its marketing communications strategy in 2003, to keep up with changing market conditions and customer preferences.


  » Creative strategy in the Indian automobile industry
  » Efficacy of mass media advertising
  » Significance of fact-based advertising
  » Use of emotional appeal in marketing communications
  » Customer feedback survey and communications strategy


Tata Indica (Indica), India’s first indigenously developed car (B-segment) was launched by Tata Motors (Tata) on December 30, 1998. The launch took the Indian car market by storm, with 115,000 fully paid bookings being registered within the first seven days.

This still remains a record in the Indian car industry. Though the success of the car model can be attributed to its product features, right value-price equation, and Tata’s brand image, a large part must be attributed to the well-planned marketing communication strategy. Tata Motors entered the Indian car market in a highly competitive environment. The Indian car market had already witnessed the entry of several multinational companies like Ford Motors, General Motors, Hyundai, and Daewoo, after liberalization in the early 1990s.

Questions for Discussion:

1. Tata Motors’ marketing communication strategy has evolved over the years from the “More car per car” campaign in 1998 to the “It’s only human to want more” campaign in 2003. Critically analyze the creative strategy followed over the years by Tata Motors for its flagship car brand ‘Indica’.

2. Tata Motors emphasized the print medium when it wanted to go in for informative advertising, and television ads when it wanted to build an emotional connect with consumers. Discuss, in terms of the characteristics of these media, the reasons that might have prompted Tata Motors to emphasize different media vehicles at different times.