There is no doubt that that the coronavirus dealt a hard blow to most sectors in India, especially the auto sector. All their major revenue streams i.e. sales and service practically stopped overnight. This meant that automakers had to strategize how the marketing atmosphere has to be changed to keep the customers engaged in their products. As it was the best time to be advertising through social media, many automakers invested heavily into all the major platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, etc. KIA Motors India, a subsidiary of KIA Motor Corporation, a fairly new face to the Indian automotive sector, was having a positive growth until the lockdowns hit. So they had to strategize how to keep the potential customers engaged so that once the industry does pick up they can capitalize on their investment.
During this corona period, KIA had launched multiple online campaigns to promote their vehicles. They had recently partnered with Bollywood actor, Tiger Shroff to announce the anniversary editions of the KIA Seltos. The company also associated with Aakash Gupta, a stand-up comedian, and influencer, for a unique car unboxing video called Aakash versus Wild. Shakti Upadhyay, Head of Marketing and PR, Kia Motors India, said that they have seen a positive impact with the ad campaign.
The biggest challenge that KIA faced as a new player is that they were not able to demonstrate their product due to the restrictions set during the coronavirus lockdowns. so they used digital media to spearhead their marketing efforts and keep the product line in the customer’s mind. Talking about Gupta, Upadhyay said that they wanted to be relevant in the eyes of the consumer. The strategy was to create an initial interest in the consumer’s mind and then talk about the specific features with an interested customer via a digital medium. He said that people were ready to buy their brand after the ‘unlock’ and that entry-level cars were in demand. Upadhyay stressed the importance of maintaining good customer relationships so that the customers would stay engaged with the product and not lose interest.