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Mahindra introduces the 'Verito Man'

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | June 09, 2011
The Verito is positioned as the 'mature man's sedan', driven by the insight that the virtue of maturity is the need of the hour on Indian roads today.

In its first communication after adopting the Rise position, Mahindra has released a campaign for its new entry level sedan Verito (the erstwhile Logan).

The Verito is positioned as the 'mature man's sedan', and the television commercial introduces viewers to a character called the 'Verito Man' -- a cool, sensible, straightforward and mature man behind the Verito wheel.

Robby Mathew, national creative director, Interface Communications, the brand's creative AoR (agency of record), explains the 'Grow Up to Verito' tagline. "The creative idea sprung from consumer insights about road rage, irresponsible driving, and sheer lack of road etiquette in the country. Maturity was something that was lacking on our roads and it seemed like a good area for a car brand to address," says Mathew.

"At another level," explains Vivek Nayer, senior vice-president, marketing, automotive division, Mahindra & Mahindra, "We want hatchback owners to upgrade ('Grow Up') to Verito and are looking to wean this section away from small cars or other entry level sedans."

It may be recalled here that the Logan was positioned as a value-for-money sedan, keeping the mileage-hungry Indian consumer in mind. The styling of the Verito is distinctly more masculine than that of the Logan; it evidently targets the mature male.

The name 'Verito' has been derived from the Latin word 'Veritas', which means 'truth'. The name was selected as it complements the overall image of an honest, sensible and dependable car. afaqs! learns that Mahindra conducted extensive research on consumers' perception of the brand Logan, and took the data into account while launching Verito. While the Verito retains the inherent strengths of the Logan, several bold and sporty styling elements -- that extend the brand's appeal to a much younger audience -- have been added.

The Verito bears some cosmetic changes that were made to the Logan, such as new bold fog lamps, side claddings, roof rails, rear chrome appliqué, new upholstery, and an additional colour (twilight blue).

The Verito logo has been crafted by an in-house design team at Mahindra. The media agency on the account is Lodestar.

While television is the lead medium of communication, print advertising will serve as a reminder medium. Social media will also be utilised for the brand's customer engagement programmes.

Is the Verito Man a popular guy?

Brijesh Jacob, managing partner, White Canvas, appreciates the proposition. He says, "After Bajaj Pulsar's 'It's a Boy' ad (part of the larger 'Definitely Male' proposition), and Maruti Suzuki SX4's 'Men Are Back' tagline, this 'grown up man' image is a good take on machismo."

Insisting that the VO (voiceover) is ineffective, he, however, adds that Jimmy Shergill (the Verito Man in the TVC) appears more like a "smart-alec than a sensible man".

For Ambareesh Chakraborty, partner and senior creative director, R K Swamy BBDO, Verito's positioning works better than Logan's, as "it gives character to a brand that lacked a distinct one. The old position was too practical and boring."

He feels that the masculine card works great. Chakraborty elaborates, "The Verito Man did very well (in the ad) till he laughed almost hysterically at his own joke! Handled well, this could be made into an interesting series."

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