Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan will be seen driving the Versa, the new multi-purpose vehicle from Maruti Udyog Ltd (MUL), on the roads of Khandala, very soon. The Versa TV commercial, featuring the father-son duo would hit the small screen on November 10. The TV campaign is a two-part series of 40-seconds each and will target all "prime" TV channels. Meanwhile, the print campaign will continue its course.
Conceived and executed by Lowe Lintas & Partners, MUL has a lot of expectation from the campaign. "Maruti has created a new segment, the multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), with the Versa. The prime objective of the campaign is to educate the potential buyer about the existence of such a category by talking about the features of the Versa, thereby differentiating it from the existing players such as the Qualis (Toyota) or Bolero (Mahindra)," explains Ravi G Bhatia, general manger, marketing, MUL. "Taking on the theme of two luxury cars in one, the script weaves in repartees, witty banter on the features the car," adds Jayshree Sundar, senior associate director, Lowe Lintas.
The idea of signing on the Bachchans came up while the Lintas team on Versa was brainstorming on the possible creative route. The idea was to convey that the Versa could offer the benefits and luxury of two cars. So the conversation between the two Bachchans revolves around the features - that is, two air conditioners, eight seats (double that of a standard car) and the fact that the car could offer a comfortable ride to tall people. Which is reason for bringing the two Bachchans together.
The first ad begins with the son (Abhiskek) inviting his father (Amitabh) for a ride in his new car, the Versa. While driving it, the son goes on talking about the features of the car not letting the father speak. The only word the father is able to utter is 'two'. Frustrated, he asks the son to stop the car by saying, "I am coming in the second car." The son pulls over, confused. Amitabh (father) gets out and sits at the back. And quips, "Yaani tumhari gaadi mein driver ki awaaz bahut aati hai, yaar!"
The second ad shows the duo betting that their respective cars (which is actually the front and the back of the same car) is better. To meet the challenge the two step out of the car to swap places, and much to their surprise, while they are outside the car, it is driven off by a third person. Baffled, they ask eack other, "You think she (referring to Jaya Bachchan) has a license?"
"They just fit the bill. Their coming together signifies the merging of two worlds. While Amitabh symbolises stature and premiumness, Abhishek represents youthfulness and vitality. We are targeting both the generations by showing the versatility of the car. Also by endorsing the car, they lend credibility and inspirational value to the Versa," emphasises Pavan Varshnei, vice-president, Lowe Lintas & Partners.
The duo have been signed for a two-year contract. More ads with the two would appear during the course of their contract. But neither the company nor the agency was willing to talk about the money the two have been signed on for or the spends that would go into the car during the launch phase.
The ad was shot in Khandala for two days. Mansoor Khan, who has movies such as Josh and Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak to his credit, directed it. The director of photography is Richard Pinder, who was flown in from Australia.
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