September 2022 | 1905 words | 7-minute read
From specially curated teas to suites inspired by luxury vehicles and cinema, to colour-themed products, to livery paying homage to the Tata patriarch, the limited edition range from Tata companies not just breaks away from the norm but also imparts brand impetus through connect, recall, and value, besides gaining traction for the products.
For consumers, limited-time products build curiosity, excitement, and aspiration through their promise of exclusivity, becoming the collector’s delight and a way to live out their dreams. When proceeds from limited edition products are ploughed back for the disadvantaged and deprived in society, consumers feel gratified at acting responsibly for the greater good.
The collaborative effort in creating limited-time products brings together not only the core team working on them, but also brilliant minds comprising artists, designers, researchers, and scientists who collectively push the boundaries on possibilities and imagination. Often drawing from local or popular cultural contexts or riding on current trends, the products address larger causes at hand, aligning with the consumer at an individual level and as a member of society at large.
The Pioneer: AirAsia India
In 2015, when AirAsia India was expanding its operations in India, the airline decided to celebrate its growth — the addition of a fourth aircraft to its fleet — by dedicating the new aircraft to Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy (JRD) Tata, the pioneer and father of civil aviation in India. This special themed aircraft christened ‘The Pioneer’ is painted with an image of JRD Tata standing beside the Puss Moth, the aircraft on which he operated solo India’s first commercial flight on October 15, 1932, leading to the birth of India’s first airline, Tata Airlines (now Air India).
The livery aircraft, designed by AirAsia India’s team, was readied in 18 days, involving 15,000 person-hours. While the design’s vinyl was printed in the US, technical experts were flown in from France to implement the design on the aircraft. Registered as VT-JRT, the aircraft, to date, ferries guests and is a living tribute to the visionary who paved the way for civil aviation in India for the benefit of his country and its people.
#Dark theme: Tata Motors
Riding on the global uptick on black being singled out as the body colour for a car, Tata Motors built an all-encompassing theme around the colour, branding it as #Dark.
It all began with the company’s flagship SUV, the Harrier. To enhance the Harrier’s product appeal in a competitive marketplace ahead of the 2019 festive season, the company introduced the all-new Harrier #Dark as a limited edition. Brainstorming questions like “How dark can it get?” to “Will it be too black?”, Tata Motors’ design team dwelled on what all they could convert to black in the car beyond just the body colour.
The result: With a powerful Oberon black body paint, sophisticated and stylish dark themed exteriors and interiors along with an overall distinctive dark finish, the Harrier #Dark made a bold statement of driving in style and a promise of exclusivity for its customers. This limited edition became so popular with the customers that Tata Motors not only made it an integral part of the Harrier portfolio but also decided to extend the #Dark theme to its other cars, namely the Altroz, Nexon, Nexon EV, and the Safari.
Untamed Kaziranga Edition of SUVs: Tata Motors
On being acknowledged as the country’s No1 SUV brand, Tata Motors launched a special-themed range, the ‘Untamed Kaziranga Edition of SUVs’. Built for the outdoors, this range — including the Nexon, Punch, Harrier, and the Safari — is inspired by India’s rich biological diversity and pays humble homage to the country’s national parks. Collaborating with the Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam, Tata Motors equated the sanctuary’s symbol of pride, the great Indian one-horned rhino, to the majestic power and ‘Go-Anywhere’ DNA of its SUVs.
Grassland beige, inspired by the majestic grasslands of Kaziranga, was chosen as the body paint colour — the range’s key USP. The tropical wood dashboard and the earthy beige leatherette upholstery and inserts make the interiors of the vehicles truly thematic. The embossed outlined torso of two rhinoceroses facing each other on the front headrests and the addition of a new satin black rhino mascot on the front fender, symbolise the rugged toughness of the SUVs.
This untamed limited edition is clearly for customers who take pride in their Indianness and have a penchant for the outdoors. If 100 bookings a day is something to go by, this range has struck the right chords!
Cinema suite: Indian Hotels Company Ltd
The 1,800 square foot Cinema Suite at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences, London, as its name suggests, is inspired by world cinema as also by diverse global cultures, thus offering a home-like feel to the well-heeled traveller. The brainchild of Indian designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, the suite was unveiled in late 2012, just before Indian cinema completed 100 years in 2013.
The gilded frames of oil and tempera paintings of movie stars like Madhubala, Nargis, Judy Garland and Marlene Dietrich adorn the walls of this suite, while the Chesterfield pieces in the living rooms celebrate the iconic British furniture. Even as the Kilim rugs and Indian handicrafts boast of heritage and history, the 85-inch plasma screen — the biggest in any London hotel suite with a Steinway & Sons sound system — allows the guest to revel in style.
The Bollywood and Hollywood bedrooms exude a distinctive appearance. The former borrowing from the rich, ornate luxury of Indian maharajas and celebrating masters like Satyajit Ray, Bimal Roy and Merchant Ivory, while Hollywood, with its red walls inspired by Marilyn Monroe’s lipstick and its baroque mirrors, lending a glamorous boudoir touch. Works ranging from Hitchcock to Almodóvar and a curated collection of DVDs and Blu-rays of both blockbusters and classics, make the Cinema Suite a haven for the true-blue movie buff.
Jaguar suite: Indian Hotels Company Ltd
The signature Jaguar Suite — completed in October 2011 and located at the Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences, London — represents a fine example of synergy between two Tata companies, namely the Indian Hotels Company Ltd, and Jaguar Land Rover. The project was overseen by the then Jaguar design director Ian Callum as well as Chairman Emeritus Mr Ratan Tata who took personal interest in the project, attending meetings at the Jaguar headquarters in Coventry, UK.
The 1,884 square foot two-bedroom space boasts a sleek design with specially commissioned original artwork and displays, including illuminated car badges, photographs of major racing achievements and a custom-made Jaguar wallpaper. Replete with modern furniture, aligning with Jaguar’s contemporary ergonomic and aesthetic design features, and textured leather reminiscent of classic 1960s E-type cars and state-of-the-art C-X75, the suite reflects the evolution of luxury vehicles by Jaguar Land Rover. Elements like the teardrop shaped–clean-fuel fireplace resembling Jaguar’s hallmark rear window, an iconic Charles Eames lounge chair for the study, blueprint drawing of the E-type and a chauffeur driven Jaguar XJ as a service offering, all combine to bring alive the spirit of stately Jaguar luxury.
Summer drinks: Tata Starbucks
On Tata Starbucks’ summer menu, the Mango Baked Yoghurt, a delicate French-style baked yoghurt with a topping of seasonal alphonso mangoes; and Mango on the Beach Frappuccino®️ with alphonso mango puree and mango jelly chunks, topped with a swirl of fresh cream, are perfect drinks for these sweltering months.
The nostalgia-inducing S’more Latte and S’more Frappuccino — a creamy blend of vanilla, milk, whipped marshmallow cream and Graham cracker crumble — bring back fond memories of childhood vacation treats. Giving a twist to the regular iced tea, the Iced Vanilla Poached Pear Hibiscus tea delights with its subtly sweet and refreshing flavour.
Sabyasachi + Starbucks®: Tata Starbucks
Launched this April, the Sabyasachi + Starbucks® limited edition, designed by leading Indian fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, is a collection of lifestyle drinkware, available exclusively in India and priced in the Rs 1,600-Rs 2,500 range. Exploring Indian art in a cross-cultural context, the digitally printed ceramic mugs and stainless-steel tumblers showcase Sabyasachi’s signature interpretation of the French toile de Jouy pattern, with flora and fauna native to India. The collaboration supports the non-profit organisation ‘Educate Girls’ that works towards women’s education in rural India with a focus on skill development and career guidance.
Durga puja special: Tata Consumer Products
Tata Tea Gold’s special festive edition, inspired by the Durga Puja in West Bengal, comprises beautifully illustrated packs with artwork reminiscent of the local, tribal and folk-art forms, featuring the five days of festivities with all its symbolic elements — drums, conch, vermillion and all the rituals.
Marking Tata Tea Gold’s market leader position in the state by honouring local traditions, Tata Consumer Products sold about 16 lakh family packs of 250gm within 4 weeks of the campaign launch in September 2021, indicating the initiative’s positive impact on internal and external brand performance with market share gain and strengthening of brand value.
Holi special: Tata Consumer Products
The limited edition packs of Tata Tea Premium, launched specifically for the Delhi and Uttar Pradesh markets for Holi this March, depicted popular cultural trends associated with the festival like gulal, the brightly coloured powder thrown in the air as part of the festivities, and Holi sweets. To celebrate this launch, the brand also hosted the world’s first Holi party in Metaverse, wherein consumers could sign up with digital avatars to partake in this virtual event.
1868: Tata Consumer Products
A specially curated range of teas, 1868 by Tata Tea was launched to celebrate and cherish the 150th year milestone of the Tata group. First unveiled in January 2018, at the World Economic Forum’s Tata kiosk in Davos, Switzerland, 1868 by Tata Tea offers a wide range of flavours inspired by India.
Batman and Wonderwoman: Fastrack, Titan Company Ltd
In February, Fastrack, inspired by Batman and Wonderwoman, popular characters of the DC Universe, launched themed watches for Gen Z, its core target audience. The collection has 15 watches for both superheroes, with design elements like ‘the bat’ and ‘W’ logo, easily identifiable with the fans. The launch, timed with the release of The Batman (2022), helped to promote the fashion accessory brand’s image and connect with its young consumers, with differentiated watch designs featuring varied functionality and looks.
Solidarity: Titan Company Ltd
The Solidarity collection, launched in August 2021 by Titan Company Ltd, is a tribute to the solidarity and courage of strangers and friends who stood with each other in the pandemic. The collection is crafted using recycled brass cases and vegan straps (made from cactus and coconut plants). The signature element is the ‘Circle of Solidarity’, depicting a beautiful motif of people coming together. Proceeds from the sale of these watches have been extended to the Taj Public Service Welfare Trust for their Covid relief work.
Parichay, a collection of 150 exquisite khadi sarees, was specially curated by Taneira to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The collection, launched in September 2019 at the Delhi Craft Museum, reintroduced khadi as the ‘fabric of diversity’. For the range, 35 craft clusters and 3,000+ artisans worked with silks, muslin, linen, tussar and other fabrics to weave sarees fit for special occasions as well as work wear. Traditional weaves like tanchoi, ajrakh, kalamkari, kantha and Parsi garas, celebrating nationwide artist communities, were part of the Parichay ensemble that won the Tata Innovista Semi Final Award (August 2019), the Images Fashion Award (December 2019) and the most recent Design Honour (May 2022).
—Arushi Agrawal & Tejal Pandey