Andy meets Leela through Tata Indica Vista

By Kapil Ohri , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | December 05, 2008
Anand Sharma and Leela Banerjee meet in a Tata Indica showroom in Delhi and start dating - the story of how a car changes their lives

Tata & #BANNER1 & # Motors is running a website called to promote a new version of the Indica called Tata Indica Vista among young executives.

Ironically, the website is not loaded with information and statistics about the car. Instead, it carries an episodic graphic novel, which tells the story of two virtual characters called Andy and Leela, who meet at an Indica Vista showroom and gradually fall in love with each other.

The car brand plays a supporting role in the story, stepping in at key times to solve Andy and Leela's problems.

So, what's the story and how is Indica Vista a part of it? Andy or Anand Sharma is a 28-year-old bachelor and an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai. He runs a digital marketing agency in Mumbai and uses his father's car to commute. When he is sent to Delhi to set up a branch of his agency, he plans to buy his own car.

Leela Banerjee is 26 years old and has studied at the National Institute of Fashion Technology. She works with a leading fashion designer in Delhi and dreams of setting up her own boutique. She is planning to buy a car with her own money.

Speaking to afaqs!, Satish Ramachandran, vice-president, DraftFCB Ulka, says, "Both Andy and Leela are represented as free spirited and ambitious individuals aspiring for the better things in life. They are proud of what they have achieved and unafraid of taking the less-travelled path to success. They are down to earth and fun-loving and value relationships. We think that these are the character traits that the Indica Vista target audience identifies with, thus making the characters more real and identifiable."

The first two episodes build the background of the story and show the lives of Andy and Leela independently. They highlight the traffic and other problems both of them face while using public transport. Fed up with the commute problems, both decide to buy an Indica Vista.

In the third episode, Andy and Leela arrive separately at a Tata Motors showroom for a test drive of the Indica Vista. But only one car is available for the test drive, so both of them agree to take the test drive together. The fourth episode shows that during the long ride, the two get to know each other, and eventually start dating.

Ramachandran explains why they opted for virtual characters: "The character-based approach is an interesting way to tell the brand story and it also has the potential to involve the prospects and generate consumer dialogue."

He adds, "The primary objective behind is not to push the brand or generate test drives. The idea is to create an interesting story that the prospect can identify with and to weave the Indica Vista features subtly around it. While the plot revolves around Andy and Leela's love story, the brand plays the role of a facilitator at key stages. This will lead to a positive buzz and awareness about the brand."

Saurabh Gupta, chief executive officer, Phonethics, the agency which developed the characters and story, tells afaqs!, "The story does not end here. In fact, it will now move into the consumers' hands and they will decide where they want to take the story. For this, we will launch a Facebook application which will provide specific tools to its members to create a comic strip around Andy and Leela and decide their fate."

He adds, "The automobile company will incorporate the best comic strip in the story as the fifth episode and also reward the person who takes the story forward."

DraftFCB Ulka manages the Tata Motors account.