afaqs!

Fiesta promises the thrill of power

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | January 30, 2008
The Ford Fiesta's new television ad might leave you breathless. The motor company is using the ad to entice customers into a five minute test drive

The latest & #BANNER1 & # television commercial (TVC) for Ford Fiesta, which promises powerful acceleration (0-100 kmph in 11.66 seconds), certainly attempts to bowl you over with its sheer derring-do. Banking heavily on converting test drives into sales, the advertisement talks about the car's features such as performance, drivability and handling to coax viewers to test drive it.

According to Scott McCormack, vice-president, marketing, sales and service, Ford India, "Test drives are an important sales tool as consumers like to get behind the wheel to make a more informed decision. All I can say is that it plays a significant role in the purchase decision and, hence, sales."

The 'Highway Star' prepares
for the drive

Shifting the stick he
takes out his 'Fast Car'

On the 'Paved Paradise'
he lights a fire

The 'King of the road'
is mocked at

The '5' minute promise
Though the TVC lacks celebrity power (Hindi film actor Abhishek Bachchan was the brand ambassador for Ford), it is loaded with the vivacity and impulsive spontaneity that was seen in earlier ads for the brand. Quite obviously, the Fiesta is at a point in its product life cycle where the focus is on performance. The TVC thus spells out the features of the car and draws a short biography of the probable consumer - impulsive and daring.

McCormack adds, "The core target audience for the TVC is mainly male in the age group of 25-35+ years, who is an achiever, an alpha driver who loves control, precision, is very confident, and drives well. He appreciates the Ford values and is keen to own a next generation car with contemporary style, technology and value. The commercial is designed to illustrate the Fiesta's performance and its fun to drive elements."

In the four-wheeler category, a lot of activity is being seen in the Rs 4-9 lakh segment. The Fiesta seems to be taking full advantage of this activity by calling consumers for test drives, hoping to convert them into sales. According to Ford India, the Fiesta has contributed largely to its sales; since the car's launch in 2005, more than 65,000 Fiestas have hit the road. At present, the Fiesta has close to 20 per cent of the total market share of the B, B+ MAV segment in India.

Shot at the Old Mumbai airport, the film is loaded with significant stunt scenes. An extension of the earlier campaign, it carries forward the '5 Minutes Mein Fida' thought. The TVC shows a young urban man who takes his Fiesta out on a wild and incredible adventure to the outskirts of the city. Setting up a slalom course of torches, the driver uses his Ford Fiesta to light them at high speed, showcasing the manoeuvrability and exact precision of the vehicle, all the while listening to his favourite old Hindi song. The manner in which the Fiesta's performance has been showcased in the TVC is what makes it stand out. (Submit your opinion on this ad.)

Ford has tried its best to break away from the clutter and create better recall for the brand without deviating from the spirit of Fiesta communication. Not surprisingly, JWT, the agency responsible for the concept, was briefed to create a commercial that stayed away from the style orientation that cars ads usually sport. The script was written by Ashwin Parthiban and developed by creative directors Senthil Kumar and Agnello Dias. The film was directed by Ram Madhvani of Equinox Films.

Equinox flew in a specialist crew for some shots that required precision driving. Madhvani says, "The challenge obviously was to showcase the performance of the car while giving the film a distinctive look. More than anything, it was all about planning. Once the planning was in place, we were able to execute it exactly the way we wanted."

Whether or not the new Fiesta's attempt at a bull run persuades you to head for the nearest Ford showroom, heed our advice, drive safe!

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