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Will spend more on advertising as strong vaccination drives will keep consumer sentiment high, says Fastrack's Ajay Maurya

In a conversation with BestMediainfo.com, the Marketing Head of Fastrack says the brand is in a much better shape to handle the impact of the pandemic’s second wave. He believes the opening up of vaccination for everyone above 18 years of age will ensure that the consumer spirit is not dampened

Ajay Maurya

Fastrack has planned to increase its marketing budget for the current year across all mediums with a special focus on digital. Despite the lockdown-like restrictions imposed across the country and retail operations coming to almost a standstill, the brand will keep the advertising momentum high as it believes that the revamped vaccination programme of the government would keep the consumer’s spirit high in the long run. 

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“The second wave of Covid has struck us again. However, as a country and business, we have learned a lot about the pandemic in the last one year, and we are in a much better shape to control it compared to last year. And I think lockdown definitely affects us, but with the strong vaccination drives coming, we strongly believe that we can avoid situations like we had last year,” said Ajay Maurya, Marketing Head, Fastrack. 

Maurya said it will continue with the high-decibel advertising campaign, especially on digital, as it allows it to have topical conversation with the Gen Z audience. 

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“This year, our ad spends will be heavily lopsided towards digital compared to the previous year. But given the nature of the business that we handle, compared to the previous year, our conventional media spend would still be slightly higher. Digital in its own will at least be seeing some kinds of very disproportionate growth this year as compared to the last few years,” he said.

In terms of conventional media, the brand spends on both TV and print. While most of the other advertisers are apprehensive of spending on print specifically, Maurya said despite the Covid-19 impact, the medium still reaps greater benefits for the brand.

“Print is definitely affected in the big towns. But having said that, as the things are recovering, and especially since last Diwali, we realised that the medium is back in action again and we launched our print campaign in the month of January, which was very successful for us. If we identify the pocket wisely, I think this will work even during these tough times. TV and print campaigns still give us business leverage as it is very important for us, considering that we have a lot of on-ground channels, which are quite strong for us,” he said.

In terms of other investments that the brand will do this year, he said that it has a robust investment plan even at the point of sale, right from the time a consumer gets aware about the product till he finds a seamless experience with the brand. It will be investing not only in smart products, but for its analogue business as well.

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“We have to invest both in our smart wearables and in our analogue business, which will give us growth and we're seeing prospects of that growth coming in this year as well,” he said.

As a business, Fastrack has reached its pre-Covid levels to the extent of 90 to 95% in the last quarter itself (December-March).

“The way technology space is really booming, especially after the pandemic, the need of using wearable products has gone up. Similarly the need to have audio devices has heightened. So, these are the opportunities that we have actually started working on. We are also exploring certain opportunities with the ongoing IPL,” he said.

With a high focus towards fitness and fashion, the brand has also recently released an offbeat multimedia campaign, #StartAnywhere, in line with the recent launch announcement of Reflex 3.0, its latest smart band offering under fash-tech segment. Conceptualised by Lowe Lintas Bangalore, the campaign brings the GenZ spirit of fluidity to fitness. Backed by the conventional media, Maurya said the campaign will have a lot of digital legs as well.

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