Everything you need to know about the Tata-Messi pact

Tata Motors has shocked the entire industry with its new brand ambassador, Lionel Messi. Everyone knows and is excited about the new Tata Zica (Kite) Thanks, to the company’s first campaign with the Argentinian footballer that teased the car. This is the kind of impact marketing creates on the mind. Tata Motors is planning the same. It wants to change the mindset of people. But, have you ever wondered what it took the Indian manufacturer to get the knot tied. Well, we are here with everything you need to know.

ET Auto talked to Delna Avari, head, marketing communication and services, passenger vehicle business unit, Tata Motors to know about the chain of happenings that led  them to the great success. Avari was the one who approached Messi and is one of the three persons that knew that the world’s most gifted footballer is on their side. She told ET that it took 16 months to sign the deal.

The goings started when Avari reached out to Pablo Negre Abello, Messi’s Manager via a common friend. Messi at that time was also looking to enter India. After some time, the contract was signed but they were to keep the deal a secret. Only three people Avari, Cyrus Mistry, the Group Chairman and Mayank Pareek, President, Passenger Vehicle Business unit knew about it.

Avari also told ET that they used to refer Messi as Him or LM during internal talks. The team met Messi directly on the shoot day itself. “He was practising in the morning, he came from there wearing denim shorts and a white T-shirt. He got a friend along, who thankfully spoke some English and had seen a Bollywood movie. It was a great way to break the ice. The friend asked me if I spoke Spanish. In the little bit Spanish that I speak, I said ‘Yes of course’, and Leo smiled.” she said.

Messi did not know much about the company but he owned a Range Rove, said Avari. “In fact, he drove himself to the shoot location (in Barcelona) in his Range Rover,” says Avari, who was very strict that no one else but she talked to him on the sets.

The company got two days to shoot with the footballer. The first day featured four hours of shoot. The second was to be given in March or April. Shooting was not an easy task either. A specific drill had to be followed.

“People he shot the TVC with were the same people he had shot with before. The grass had to be a certain type so that he didn’t hurt himself.” she said.

At the end of the shoot the core team was allowed to take pictures with Messi but only on the official camera. This rule was standard with just one exception for Mayank Pareek who was allowed to take selfies on his phone.

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