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Are you dumb enough to miss it?

By , agencyfaqs! | In Advertising | March 20, 2006
And we're not just talking about the 'You have to be dumb not to grab this car' communication route adopted by the new Tata Indica Xeta. What is also striking is the ad's uncanny resemblance to the climax of the Hollywood comedy, 'Dumb and Dumber'


Picture this. Two & #BANNER1 & # guys are walking on a deserted highway in broad daylight, when a bus full of blonde babes in skimpy outfits stops short in front of them. The door opens and a blonde leans out provocatively, telling the men that they are lost and looking for two guys who can come on board and help them find their way to a particular place.

Guy #1 promptly points to a place a few miles down the road, where he says they'll find someone to help them. The shocked girls drive away. Yes, you guessed right - that was a scene from the 1994 Hollywood comedy, 'Dumb and Dumber'. And the scene has quite a bit to do with the launch ad for Tata Motors' latest petrol car variant, the Indica Xeta.

For those of you who are wondering where the connection is, here goes. The commercial for the Xeta, conceived by FCB Ulka, opens on a shot of four young, attractive girls in an Indica Xeta, on their way to a picnic, humming a peppy number: "It's the right kind of day to soak up the sun. To get out there and have some fun!"

On their way, they spot a shirtless hunk. The girls pull over and openly ogle at him. They ask the guy suggestively if he knows any man who can rub suntan lotion on them. The dude looks at them blankly and, after thinking for a while, points in a direction and says, "Maybe you should try the beach café."

The four girls collectively exclaim, "Dumb!" and speed away in their car, leaving the 'dumb' dude staring after them. The voiceover says, "Fortunately, life gives you a second chance. So, here's the new Indica Xeta." It then rattles off the three benefits of the car (70 PS power, an average of 14 kilometres per litre and priced at Rs 2.78 lakh). The voiceover concludes, "If you still don't get it…" after which the girls appear next to the car and complete the line, "…you gotta be dumb!" The VO adds, "Got it?"

Yeah, we got it all right. But why did the agency choose to do a spoof on the Hollywood movie?

MG 'Ambi' Parameswaran, executive director, FCB Ulka, explains, "All ads are inspired from somewhere, be it real life, cinema or television. This ad has been inspired from the movie."

However, Ambi insists that the idea came first and then the execution route. "The brief from the client was to portray the fact that the Xeta is an entry level car with a powerful engine at an attractive price," he says. "One would have to be a fool to go for another brand in the small car segment."

Once the concept was clear, the agency thought of taking the route that not going in for the Indica Xeta was as stupid as not taking a lift from an attractive bunch of girls. "We just used the movie as a reference point, nothing else," says Ambi.

S Krishnan, head, car product group, Tata Motors, says that the Indica Xeta is targeted at first-time car buyers within the age group of 25-30 years. The aim was to make the communication zesty and youthful. "College goers and even teenagers hugely influence our TG when it comes to car purchases," he explains. "So, in a way, we have tried to appeal to the senses of our influencers as well with the youthful communication."

The objective, he says, is getting the youth to be excited about the product offering, which gives the luxury and mileage of an expensive car at an affordable price. This variant will compete with the likes of the Hyundai Santro and the Maruti Alto. "Our strategy was to highlight the fact that even a layman will understand the kind of deal he is getting in the car. If you still don't get it, you have to be a fool of the highest order," he says.

The film was shot in Goa over three days by ad filmmaker Rajesh Saathi of Keroscene Films. The four girls have deliberately been given a 1960s look. "The foursome resembles the girls from the classic movie, 'Grease', who are out to have fun," Saathi explains. To bring alive the youthfulness of the message, the song element was introduced. The lyrics have been composed by musician Rupert, and the song has been sung by the members of the girl band, Caliche.

Saathi is of the opinion that it is particularly difficult to shoot in a moving car. "I had to make sure that the sun was hitting the car in the right direction and that the models could move around freely within the confines of the car," he says.

Ambi goes on to say that the clueless dude in the ad represents all those who are 'dumb enough' to overlook the benefits offered by the Indica Xeta. "When opportunity stares a man in the face, such as the invitation by the girls, he has to have the common sense to grab it," he states. "That is the parallel between the product offering and the creative idea."

Tata Motors is hoping that the Indica Xeta will contribute a 30 per cent increase in the sales of its petrol car models.

If it doesn't achieve that, it gotta be dumb, right?

© 2006 agencyfaqs!

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