YoBykes puts an end to all wars

By Chhavi Tyagi , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | March 05, 2009
YoBykes launches an integrated campaign, No Fuel - No War, in a bid to make its target group look at the electric two-wheeler

While the world debates whether the Iraq war was just an excuse for the USA to get its hands on the country's rich oil reserves, YoBykes has come out with its own mandate.

Ahmedabad based Electrotherm, which launched its electric two wheeler YoBykes in February 2006, came out with an integrated campaign to stress its no-petrol proposition. The campaign, titled No Fuel - No War, was launched in February and is a funny and exaggerated take on the world when it does not require petrol any more. The concept has been worked out and is being implemented by Mudra Communications, Electrotherm's creative agency.

Arun Pratap Singh, vice-president and strategic business unit head, auto, Electrotherm, says, "The fact is that 95 per cent of our transport industry depends on oil and the situation is just getting from bad to worse. What will happen if all of the oil is consumed? Why not put this scarce resource to other more important uses? Through this campaign, we wanted to stress the need for a switch over from petrol to electric through some fun ideas."

YoByke operates on rechargeable batteries and does not require petrol, which was the basis of the No Fuel - No War campaign, which in turn gave birth to the unique idea of a world which does not require petrol.

Joono Simon, executive creative director, South, Mudra Communications, says, "Yo electric bikes' integrated campaign is an outrageously whacky take on what is considered the oil war in Iraq. The idea is quite lateral and ridiculously funny in driving home the no-fuel aspect of the bike in a single minded way."

Singh shares some interesting statistics and says that one electric vehicle saves about 200 litres of petrol per annum, and with the company selling 60,000 two wheelers since its launch, it is really contributing to conservation.

The campaign features a print ad, three virals, an ambient effort and some merchandise. The print ad showcases the funny side of the no-fuel benefit, featuring unemployed American soldiers, usually perennially involved in wars, suddenly without a job - with no reason left to fight. The ads show the unemployed soldiers lounging in the combat zone with face packs - some trying knitting while others are just killing time.

The virals which are available on YouTube amplify the joblessness of these soldiers. For instance, one video shows American soldiers using their binoculars to play football with their Iraqi counterparts. The videos are shot with a hand held camera for a real life effect.

The ambient initiative takes this idea further with life-size bronze sculptures of war heroes put in parks and other places such as Big Bazaar outlets in Bengaluru. The idea is that when there are no wars, how will the war heroes be adjudged?

Carrying on the fun quotient, it is proposed that these heroes will stand out on the basis of other activities such as getting honoured for growing the largest pumpkin in the regiment and killing the most flies.

The sculptures are erected with pumpkins and fly swatters in their hands. Mudra also came out with some handcrafted material purported to be made by soldiers' accessories. For instance, the camouflage uniforms were used to make pillow covers with special 'remote holders', the target practice boards became ironing boards, combat helmets were used as pots holding Feng Shui plants, and medals and bullets became cool accessories such as pendants and earrings.

The merchandise was displayed in retail outlets in Bengaluru, with people getting so excited about the accessories that many actually offered to buy them. While the ambient and the merchandise effort have been released in select outlets in Bengaluru, Mudra will soon take the campaign to other cities as well, depending on the response received.

Asked on the reason for breaking the campaign in Bengaluru, Singh says that the city is a very important market for two-wheelers and it made great sense to break the campaign there. The brand visibility is being ensured with YoBykes' posters and banners being put up at all the locations where the campaign is being carried out.

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