Exclusive | Strengthening the brand trust, Meru Cabs', Rathin Lahiri

Meru Cabs that gave the radio-taxi industry a new outlook pioneered the concept of GPS/GPRS enabled cab service in India. Since its launch, Meru Cabs has continued to receive an exceptional response from the customers and is consistently distinguishing itself as a provider of superior quality transport. Very recently, Meru Cabs, launched its first thematic marketing campaign with the tagline ‘Ab Haath Na Hilao, Bas App Dabao’.

The new ad campaign is based on the universal insight that the most common way commuter’s find a cab is by wildly flailing one’s hands which tends to be very stressful experience. The campaign brings to the fore how travelling by Meru Cabs reduces the physical and mental stress by giving commuters a comfortable ride and peace-of-mind. The new TVC has gone on air on February 9, 2015 and is seen across general entertainment and news channels.

Conceptualized, created and executed by Apostrophe Films Pvt. Ltd, the new ATL campaign will be supported with a radio, social media and outdoor campaign with ad creatives on 1300 Meru cabs across Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai & Jaipur.

To know more about the campaign, Adgully caught up with Rathin Lahiri CMO, Meru Cabs who shared his thoughts about the new campaign, consumer responses, the way forward and much more.

Meru Cabs was one of the earliest players in this business however they lost substantial market share over the years. In a bid to revive their image and to get a better foothold in the industry Meru Cabs launched a campaign. On asking about the campaign, he said, “In the last one year we have very aggressively digitized our business by re-launching our app, driving app acquisition and activation and launching across new markets. The new app now contributes to over 50% of our business and is our largest channel and we are already in 17 cities. We feel it is the right time to run a national campaign to drive awareness and usage of our app and take our growth to the next level.”

As told by Lahiri, the one line brief to the agency was to create an ad which brings out the sheer convenience of the app v/s trying to get a cab the normal way and have a communication which connects with the youth.

“‘Enormous’ our creative agency  has done a superb job in leveraging the universal insight of how painful it is to wave your hands to get a cab when you can get a cab at the touch of a button and present it in an entertaining manner,” he added further.

As the Digital medium seems to be becoming one of the preferred destinations for the brands, Meru Cabs too launched their campaign by showcasing their communications to the online users. “We are very active on social (FB, twitter) and consumers are loving our ad and striking up great conversations on social. We are also active on youtube, mobile ad networks, and other online mediums. Digital is core to our business and drives both brand campaign awareness and trials,” Lahiri added.

When asked about the company’s performance, he proudly said, “Every quarter in-fact every month is our biggest month as this market is in a hyper competitive and a hyper growth mode.” When Meru Cabs was launched, they gave a new outlook to the entire industry but today we have quite few more players in the space who give a tough competition to already existing players. On asking about how does a Meru Cabs stand ahead of the curve, Lahiri said, “The cab industry is a highly under-penetrated market with only 5% of the market being organized. So the opportunity is huge. Infact this year we are growing faster than we ever have.”

In the last one year they have revamped their app, forayed in 12 new cities , launched a hatchback brand called Meru Genie to upgrade auto and black and yellow users and have got over a million app downloads in the last six months.

According to him, the market is set to grow due to competition and they are upping their marketing investments and their team is well positioned to maximize on the opportunities. “Our core value proposition of ‘Rely on us ‘ is core to the category and the combination of our digital initiatives and brand refresh positions us well for 2015,” he added.

Lahiri while explaining the way forward said, “We have used the last year to become a digital business, launch our app, launch a hatchback version and increase our presence across the top 20 cities. We have a strong equity and have laid a strong foundation for growth in 2015. 2015 promises to be a high growth year in the cabs category and there will be innovations in product, pricing and technology and marketing. We are very excited about capturing the growth opportunity in 2015.”

With an aim to acquire more market share, recently, Meru Cabs had also launched a special promotional offer on the Meru mobile app wherein commuters can avail 25% discount on their current booking.  The offer is applicable on Meru and Meru Flexi brands across the 14 cities namely Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Vadodara, Pune, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Vizag and Bhubneshwar. |By Aanchal Kohli |Twitter: @aanchalkohli 


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