How News Corp Introduced a Car Brand to the Australian Market

AWARD WINNER: News Corp Australia succeeded in introducing Indian car brand Mahindra Rise to Australia using native advertising.

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By telling three different storylines closely related to the Mahindra brand and highly relevant to an Australian audience in an engaging and entertaining way, NewsCorp Studios Queensland managed to exceed all targets and secure a renewal for the next launch. The campaign launched in 2016.

Introducing Mahindra to Australia. Mahindra is a powerhouse brand in India. Their annual revenue is around $16.9 billion. They are a household name on the subcontinent but that’s not the case in Australia. The goal was to sell 1500 units of a new SUV model in the first 12 months.

Creative idea:
Introducing Mahindra to Australia through a three-fold content strategy involving the brand’s local sports ambassador, the brand’s CSR efforts in India and by showcasing the car in a new way.

In 2016 Mahindra launched XUV 5OO (an SUV) to the Australian market. Their short-term ambition was to sell 1500 units in the first 12 months. Their long-term (10 years) goal is to rival Hyundai as the country leading car manufacturing brand.

Mahindra engaged News Corp Studios Queensland to tell their story. First, they introduced the brand to Australia through their local ambassador Matthew Hayden. Hayden, in cricket (the national sport) terms, is a household name. They took Hayden back to his home — the family farm — in the country Queensland town of Kingaroy.

Hayden, pictured driving his Mahindra around the family property, told us about how his background helped shape his future. He showed the family lounge room where he would practice his cricket shots. And he shared how his career blossomed in India while explaining why he has had a love affair with India ever since. His explanation of Indian culture and customs helped convince him to put his name to the Mahindra brand.

The video produced was 12 minutes in duration. More than 30% of viewers watched it until the end.

They got Robert “Crash” Craddock — Australia’s best-known cricket media authority — to do the interview with Hayden. Craddock and Hayden helped introduce the brand to the Australian market. The video produced was 12 minutes in duration. More than 30% of viewers watched it until the end. That represents a significant investment in time for online video.

They then went to India to show how Mahindra is heavily involved in the education of young girls. India is not known for its good treatment of young girls. They told Australians how Mahindra’s corporate social responsibility was putting 10,000 girls a year through school and build 4000 toilets each year so girls don’t have to go to the bathroom in the street.

They filmed the girls in the classroom and captured the company’s chairman, Anand Mahindra, emotionally explaining how the education of young girls was his vision and that he saw it as the way to creating an enlightened society in India. This story was designed to show that Mahindra was more than a corporation – it had a sense of being. The story was also designed to bring women closer to the brand.

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Why? Because women influence 80 percent of the purchase decisions when it comes to buying SUVs. This concept became the third story. All the vehicle writers (men) had reviewed the car in the traditional “vehicle writer” way. They arranged for three women to drive and the car. Women want different things and look at cars differently. Many brands ignore this.

The third story showcased the car to a new audience in a new way. They distributed the content throughout Australia on the News Corp network. They changed the conversation to the point where Mahindra now has a vibrant social media following. Significant portions of the marketing budget were moved to this campaign because they loved the idea so much.

Size of team involved: 3

Platforms: Online, social media and video produced by the News Corp Studios team.

They exceeded all the targets. Mahindra is on track to sell the 1500 cars and NewCorp Studios is getting ready to take on their next launch.

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