CEAT Tyres Marketing Strategy: Cracking consumer challenges on road with a grip on humor

CEAT Tyres

Communicating core propositions in a humorous tone & establishing the significance of safety is the core path that CEAT Tyres marketing strategy follows. Here, we deconstruct this approach and understand the rules of attracting traffic.

Since its inception in 1924, the Indian brand with Italian roots CEAT has merged the cultural nuances of the region into a humorous tone and has driven itself to be one of the leading manufacturers in a ‘boring’ industry from the advertising standpoint.

Lakshmi Narayanan B, CMO, CEAT Tyres, shares insights on the brand’s marketing strategy, the key to balancing creative and commercial elements, and the auto marketing trends.

Objective – The Road Safety Narrative

The core objective of the brand’s marketing strategy has predominantly been understanding the road safety issues faced by its consumers and presenting them with a dash of humor, with product integration being portrayed as the solution to the issues.

We use humor in a light-hearted manner to draw attention to the importance of adhering to safety while on road. 

Lakshmi Narayanan B

He believes comprehending these concerns enables the brand to empathize with the consumers and the products deliver value propositions under such situations. Humor is the common path that most campaigns by the brand take, and their recent campaign ‘Buckle Up India’ is themed around the recent addition to road safety laws that require all passengers in the car including ones in the backseat to wear seatbelts while in commute by obligation.

Buckle Up India

‘Stars On The Road’ is another such campaign that taps a common consumer misbehavior insight. The narrative is based on a common Indian practice of showing a hand gesture to any approaching vehicle and crossing the road while being oblivious to the speed and consequences. 

Sharing what the brand intends to achieve with its marketing, Lakshmi says, “We used a humorous tone to portray the same and depict how CEAT products are built in a robust manner allowing the driver to be in control.”

Stars On The Road

The road safety narrative is omnipresent across all communications by the brand and is also extended to campaigns featuring celebrity endorsements, along with the social media amplification of the brand. The campaign features Aamir Khan, which integrates the product certification by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency.

5 Star Performance Ft. Aamir Khan

Balancing The Two Wheels Of Creative & Commercial In Socioverse

CEAT Tyres has surrounded their communication around road travel, safety, and the cultural context of Indian human behavior on the roads, habits, and inclinations. This strategy has kept the communication relevant for the brand, but the brand has also managed to integrate social media trends and popular formats and fuel the commercial and promotional aspects with creative energy. As a preferred brand for online purchases, it is also important for the brand to tie this strategy to conversion.

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Online surveys show that millennials and younger generations of consumers prefer online purchases of tires. A survey by CarDekho mentions that consumers are increasingly researching and booking tires online. 20% of consumers complete their online journey, and 60% of consumers are ready to pay more for convenience and doorstep delivery.

Lakshmi mentions both creative and commercial factors are important and serve different purposes, the priority is to engage the customers with content that matches their needs. 

“Our intention is to deliver the right message to our customers with the right promotional strategy. The value proposition is the core promise and when we create such opportunities in our products, our intent is to showcase the same for the customer to make the right choice,” Lakshmi told Social Samosa. 

He adds that learnings from retail formats like CEAT Shoppe, enable the brand to create cohesiveness and consistency in social media communication. “Our brand has a very recognizable visual style and allows for creative freedom and variation by incorporating different formats in delivering our messages.”

Since the product is also highly dependent on the safety concern of consumers, the brand also focuses on the informational aspect of the products and services. He reckons, “Functional aspects of a tyre and the delivery of the same is a strong element in the purchase decision and hence simplifying the same in a manner that is relevant for the customer works well for us.”

Community-building, and sustaining it is significant for digital-first brands, and Lakshmi says, “This is also a rich opportunity for content and a key focus area for the brand. Partnering with consumers on their journey and investing in educational content commits the brand to directly work with consumers and build a community of enthusiasts.” 

The brand also collaborates with automobile influencers frequently to bring across relevant features of product usage in a purposeful mode. “Authentic conversations are more of cultural drive and brands which are more customer-centric can succeed better.”

Lakshmi mentions that the brand would remain focused on curating and creating meaningful content. The objective is to act as a springboard to showcase real-life inspirational stories of regular everyday heroes. “There will be a strong focus on co-creating content. We will continue running cross-channel campaigns and regularly post content on stories and reels along with our main feed.”

Automobile Marketing Trends

Here are a few marketing trends in the Automobile sector shared by Lakshmi:

  • There is an increasing inclination among customers to switch to private transport post the pandemic
  • The sale of both new and used cars have gone up significantly in the past two years
  • The Indian auto industry recorded its highest-ever annual domestic passenger sales last year
  • A total of 3.793 million units were sold in the country in 2022, which is 23.1% higher than the preceding year
  • EV is a great opportunity since tyres for electric vehicles are different
  • The more customer-centric brands will be, the greater the shelf life of any campaign
  • Any campaign focused on flash in the pan does not create long-term assets and brands need to be wary of the same