afaqs!

PCRA promises 20 per cent cash back

By Savia Jane Pinto , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | March 20, 2009
The latest campaign from the Petroleum Conservation Research Association shows how to save money by using resources wisely

The recent Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) campaign is aptly timed. With the economy taking a ski trip downwards, saving is high on everyone's mind.

The Petroleum Conservation Research Association is a government body set up in 1978 to conserve hydrocarbons and promote the protection of the environment. Over the years, the organisation has created many campaigns that provided helpful hints to consumers on how to save fuel.

& #BANNER1 & #Earlier campaigns, however, were not as large in scale as the present campaign. A PCRA spokesperson tells afaqs!, " Energy efficiency is one of the most significant measures to address the issue of energy security in the country. And since we have a larger budget this year, we could carry out a nationwide campaign."

Previously, television stars such as Jaspal Bhatti lent their support to PCRA by being part of the educative campaigns.

PCRA had called for a pitch in November 2007, where it communicated the brief for the fuel conservation campaign.

The campaign, titled Save Fuel Yaani Save Money consists of three television commercials, six print ads and five radio spots. The creative agency responsible is JWT, Mumbai. Alyque Padamsee, CEO, AP Advertising, who is the advertising consultant to PCRA since June 2007, has given crucial inputs.

Save, Save, Save

The television spots are educational and informative. 'Home' starts when an LPG delivery man is taking payment for delivering a cylinder. He tells the lady of the house, that from now, she can avail a 20 per cent discount on the bills. The mother-in-law, who overhears this, and the housewife extend their hand for the discounted amount. The delivery man tells them that it's in their hands to earn the discount, by optimally utilising LPG.

The ad titled 'Pump' uses the same concept, with a petrol pump as the backdrop.

This campaign was kicked off with the 'Traffic' ad, which takes the emotional route. A father and son are sitting in their car at a traffic signal. The young boy turns to his father and tells him that when he grows up, he will have his own cycle repair shop. His father turns to him in surprise. The kid explains that going by the way everyone misuses fuel, there wouldn't be any left for his generation to use. So evidently, people will use cycles to travel. The father then turns off the ignition, so he can save valuable fuel. The VO reiterates that the ignition should be turned off at signals to save of fuel and thus save money.

The radio spots too are on the same lines.

Through research conducted with CRRI (Central Road Research Institute) in the past few years, PCRA has learned that when vehicles are driven at 45 kilometres per hour as against 65 kilometres per hour, one can save up to 20 per cent of the normal fuel consumption.

What's in it for me?

According to Padamsee, when trying to change consumer behaviour, it is very important to understand the psychology of the target audience.

"The idea was to get the point across, without sounding too preachy," says Steven Mathias, senior creative director, JWT, who, along with another senior creative director, Priya Pardiwalla, worked on this campaign.

Dhunji S Wadia, managing partner, JWT states, "While the overall message is to generate savings for the country and promote judicious use of resources, we've done it in a manner that is user-friendly."

The target audience in this case is large. PCRA wanted to communicate the message of conservation to car owners, households, truck owners, farmers and business owners, who account for almost 90 per cent of the fuel consumed in India. The print campaign addresses each of these target segment separately.

Two strategies were applied to the campaign, says Kishore Tadepalli, business head and vice-president, JWT, who was also involved in arriving at the strategy. The first part of the strategy was communicating personal benefit for the consumer. "If you want to create a behavioural change, then there has to be something in it for the consumer, which would, resultantly, lead to conservation of fuel," he says.

"Also, it is seen that in most cases, children are the best motivators for adults to change their behaviour pattern," says Padamsee.

Pardiwalla of JWT explains that as against speaking about the negative effect of fuel wastage on the ecology and the ecosystem, they chose to take the route of personal relevance.

"Secondly," says Tadepalli of JWT, "Whatever the change is, it needed to be simple and easy to understand." Hence, handy hints, such as cooking in a pressure cooker and driving at 45 kilometres per hour are communicated through the campaign.

Piggybank Yaani saving

The slogan 'Save Fuel Yaani Save Money' uses Hinglish to make it memorable, explains Padamsee. Later, Yaani was developed as a piggybank, which PCRA will use as its mascot.

Keeping in mind the varied audience group, the communication has been released in 12 Indian languages.

The current campaign is the first leg. Plans are to organise a PCRA Mileage Marathon at a later stage. PCRA will also train teachers to request their pupils' parents to save fuel. Other such initiatives are also planned.

Papa don't preach

Ankur Khurana, brand partner, planning, Orchard Advertising, is of the opinion that in a category such as this, preaching does not work. Hence, he is glad that the creative took a refreshing route, by moving away from being preachy and using the 'personal benefit' angle. However, he isn't sure if that is the best change.

Brijesh Jacob, managing partner, White Canvas, thinks that the radio spots fare exceedingly well, as compared to the TVCs. "It's nice," he says of the ads, "but somewhere, the punch is missing."

Khurana too, isn't very thrilled about the execution. "There is a good insight, good belief but somewhere, the execution falls short," he says. Of the three ad films, Jacob feels that the one where the father turns off the ignition is well interpreted. "I don't know if that's because of the kid in the film, but I think it's done better," he says.

In order to understand whether or not the campaign was fruitful, PCRA will conduct a survey mid-term, as well as after the campaign.