Bajaj Pulsar commercials are never out of awe-inspiring stunts. And, Bajaj Auto's latest campaign that introduces its new variant, Pulsar 200 NS (Naked Sport), lives up to the tradition in a fresh setting.
The intention is to emphasise the 'precision performance' of the bike. Besides touting it as the country's first sports bike, the model also boasts a triple spark feature. According to the brand, it has been choreographed to highlight 'precision performance' through excessive usage of accelerator and brakes, not to mention the intense drifting and wheelie.
While the bike was launched in the market in June, 2012, this is its first television commercial (TVC). The film is directed by Alberto Blanco and Malgenio Films of Barcelona, Spain, is the production house.
Sanjay Saraswat, vice-president, marketing, Bajaj Auto, says that Pulsar 200NS is the newest variant in the Pulsar family and the first bike in the "new platform of Pulsars". He informs that the bike's technology, performance and design make it stand out from the rest of the Pulsar range. "We wanted to create an ad for the Pulsar 200NS that would showcase the power and dexterity of the bike. If you remember, in 2008, we created the PulsarMania commercial featuring the all new Pulsar 220. Now, after five years, as we bring the next generation Pulsar to the market, we thought we will take PulsarMania to a whole new level," he says.
Saraswat adds that Ogilvy was given a single line brief, which stated that the Pulsar 200 NS was the 'Best Pulsar yet', and to display its triple spark, 4-valve engine features. "We needed to communicate this in the typical Pulsar adrenaline style, and precision stunting nature of the bike in the communication/promotion, which we believe we have managed to do pretty well," he states.
They reveal that Blanco was the obvious choice as the director for the film considering that he has a lot of experience in shooting of adventure and performance related films for Red Bull. Also, since the amusement park was empty, it added an eerie quality to the film and served as an interesting backdrop to the new Pulsar 200NS, they add.
The campaign is targeted at men in the age group of 18-24 years in SEC A and B. The campaign was launched on April 19 on SET Max, where IPL is being featured, and will carry on till the end of May. Besides television, the brand is also using social media. Apparently, a day before it was launched on television, the film was put up on Pulsar's Facebook page for exclusive viewing of its 1 million fans. The brand's digital duties are handled by WebChutney.
Amit Akali, national creative director, Grey, says that while the TVC has been shot well and the location is great, the ad was overshadowed by the brand's earlier campaigns. "I saw the ad on television and my first thought was 'Pulsar's done nicer films in the past.' And I stick to that thought."
Akali adds that right from 'definitely male' to 'fastest Indian', Pulsar's done some great work. "While I like the way this ad is shot and the location, even when it comes to showcasing it as a stunt bike, the PulsarMania commercial had stunt artists doing beautifully choreographed bike aerobics to some great music. That one had a more real feel to it and stuck in your memory. Maybe it's not fair to compare, but I guess past Pulsar commercials have spoilt me!" he concludes.
Swati Bhattacharya, national creative director, JWT India, too feels something amiss in the current campaign. "I have always liked Pulsar ads but this is so 'not Pulsar'. Pulsar stunts have always had that special quality, of seeming, feeling and looking real. This one looks like something done in a hurry. Hence, the soul is missing. I was pretty disappointed," she opines.