Stretched in letters, stuffed with wit

By Shibani Gharat , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | October 13, 2011
The campaign by TBWA for Nissan Sunny promotes the automobile as a 'Caaaar', and not just a car. It also justifies the stretching of words by saying that the new offering by Nissan is 'Stretched in size, stuffed with features'.

The play school activity of stretching words to make a child read better has been employed by Nissan. The Japanese automobile manufacturer that launched the new sedan Sunny in India, is calling its new offering a 'Caaaar', not a car. Stretching the word 'car' is to help the audience read the underlined message -- a car that is 'Stretched in size, stuffed with features'.

The TVC begins with a woman enquiring about her 'Caaaar' keys as she is steps out of her house. It proceeds from a man at the restaurant to the man standing in the elevator -- both, proud owners of the 'Caaaar'. The TVC also features short snippets of the vehicle in between the three stories. It concludes with a direct communication about why the new Nissan Sunny is a 'Caaaar', and not just a car.

Dinesh Jain, chief executive officer, Hover Automotive India (Nissan sales and marketing -- India), says that the aim was to convey the message through humour, but without trivialising it. Jain tells afaqs!, "Through this campaign, we wanted to touch people's emotions without conveying the technical aspects of the car."

It is a 360 degree campaign that uses TV, print, outdoor, and below the line activities to spread awareness about the new offering by Nissan. "But, the campaign is slightly skewed towards television," confesses Jain.

The campaign has been created by TBWA India.

Nirmalya Sen, managing director, TBWA India, tells afaqs! about how the concept of stretching the word car came into being. "The brief that we got was that the car belongs to segment C, but in terms of features and its sheer size, it looks as if it belongs to C+ segment. We wanted to communicate this creatively to the audience," says Sen.

Rahul Sengupta, national creative director, TBWA India, says that the creative team first drove the car to experience features that the client spoke of. Mentioning the leg space and the boot space, Sengupta declares, "The car raises expectations, and this message is translated in the communication."

Speaking on the use of the concept of stretching the word in various media, Sengupta says that the print and the outdoor campaign is just a reminder of the TV ad. On radio, the voice over is again phonetically stretching the word car. "There are plans to extend the communication to other media, as well," says Sengupta, while talking about the 'Caaaarpark' and 'Caaaar wash' plans.

Shagun Seda is the copywriter for the campaign. The creative direction has been managed by Rahul Ghosh and Siddharth Deo. The production house is Red Ice.

A part of the lingo

Jain point outs that the stretching of the word has successfully slipped into the common man's language. He even mentions how his friends and acquaintances, while speaking to him, stretch a particular word in their sentence, drawing inference from the campaign. "The ads are emotionally appealing to consumers," he adds.

Sengupta, too, cites an interesting anecdote of prospective consumers of Nissan Sunny calling up the Nissan dealerships to find out whether the 'Caaaar' has arrived.

The communication is targeted at young couples in their 30s, as well as decision makers in households.

'Caaaar' resonates

Overall, the advertising industry believes that the concept of stretching a particular word in a sentence has struck a chord with consumers, and has been successful in creating a recall.

Prathap Suthan, chief creative officer, iYogi says "The concept of extended 'Caaaar' sticks like an aggressive barb. For an average person who would upgrade to Sunny, the 'caaaar' thought collapses the idea of a bigger, more spacious, more loaded car into a simple-to-understand expression and fertilises their minds. That's all they need to judge, and rationalise their purchase."

He believes that the campaign is targeted at a more widespread and unbiased mass, for whom creative judgment arrives from what they see around their more vibrant and perhaps louder lives.

"For them, an ad is creative when it leaves an effective parasite in their minds, and it is 'Caaaar' in this context. But, all said, an advertising that is able to resonate with its audience is what cuts. However, if one wanted to liven up the idea a little more, maybe instead of staying just 'Caaaar', the agency could have tried 'beauuuuuuuuutiful', 'spaaaaaaacious', or 'aweeeeeeeesome', and thrown the idea open to the public," adds Suthan.

On the other hand, Rajiv Agarwal, executive creative director, Percept/H, feels that the campaign is nice, but its core thought is not fresh. "When I saw the ad for the first time, it reminded me of the Tata Indica's 'More Car per Car' campaign. It is a fresh execution, but not a new concept, though he feels that the ad tells what it wants in a unique way. There is a buzz created around it. "It is a part of jokes and spoofs just like the other popular campaigns like Airtel's Har Friend Jaroori Hota Hai'. From the consumer perspective, I think the campaign works," adds Agarwal.

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