Tempted as I am to offer my opinion about the Nano, all I can proffer is that while it might be great PR for a prototype to get such turgid hype, I'd much rather reserve my comment when hype translates into sales as and when the rubber hits the road, one lakh or not.
What I am not going to do is plug for the automobile manufacturers and their new models as that has been done to death but instead talk about the hype surrounding the automobile industry and the mechanics of its construct.
The role of PR Firms in influencing the emotional decision that is the trigger for writing that fat cheque by a consumer seems a bit suspect to me, yes even now!
Having said that, the Automobile media have played to the gallery too, and one rarely sees an inconvenient story. This crony game is bad for the consumer at the end of the day as it allows for the machinations of the marketeer to succeed regardless of the quality of their product and the veracity of their claims. There are no rules for accepting largesse or junkets and the results are all around us to see in print, TV and online.
There is a rush of magazines some with foreign labels, from a couple of television shows the canvas has exploded with every channel now offering mandatory Auto programming. This has gone one step further with the hype of live Auto Industry Awards: CNBC AutoCar, NDTV Car& Bike, Overdive, Business Standard Motoring, everyone and their mum now has an award. While the awards have been there for sometime but their use to buttress claims in full page advertisements are something new to this game. The dawn of the age of automobile consumerism has finally hit India.
So back to my point on what PR Firms are not doing to get their place on the gravy train. Garbage in; garbage out is a favourite saying and someone, somewhere needs to make an effort to learn more about the Automobile domain, schlep with the domain experts and make that investment of time, money and effort so that they can make sense of what is going on around them. Taking the time to research a brief is what the advertising boys have done right and now they are tasting that sweet billing. If you do your math right, a quick comparison between a full page advertisement or a 30 second commercial on prime time TV to what a PR Firm will average as a retainer billing for a month, the writing is on the wall. Right now domain expertise in PR Firms is confined to reeling off relationships with key Automobile media!