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By Satrajit Sen , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | January 02, 2015
Honda has roped in author Chetan Bhagat for a branded content campaign for its compact sedan, Amaze.

The Discover India Campaign

Honda Cars India has released the first episode of "Discover Amazing India in Honda Amaze" - a web series with author Chetan Bhagat. The series features exploring some of the beautiful and amazing places in India.

The first episode features Chetan Bhagat visiting the unexplored Holy Rosary Church at Shettihalli village in Hassan district of Karnataka. The church remains submerged underwater in the Hemavathy River for most of the year ever since the construction of the Hemavathy Reservoir at Gorur, Karnataka 20 years ago. The church emerges every summer when the spot becomes accessible. Despite being submerged for so long, parts of the church are still intact and tourists flock to it.

Chetan Bhagat

The campaign website

Locals celebrate the re-emergence of church with a feast in the month of April every year. The web series will try to identify some similar unexplored locations in the country while travelling in the Honda Amaze.

The next three episodes will be developed after identifying 'amazing' locations in India through a contest inviting participation from the viewers. The latter can nominate an amazing place of their choice, which they would like to visit and the reason for their selection. They can submit their entries on the official website of Honda Cars India and its Facebook page. The contest for submission of entries is open till January 10, 2015 on amazelongestdrive.com.

The three most amazing entries will be selected for the remaining webisodes, which will feature the winning participant travelling to their selected locations in the Honda Amaze. Speaking about the initiative, Jnaneswar Sen, senior vice president, marketing and sales, Honda Cars India, says that the campaign is a part of the celebrations after the brand crossed the 100,000 sales figure in India.

"From a business perspective, 70 per cent of our consumers are online and hence, launching a web series was the best fit for us. Digital as a medium has gained significantly in the recent past. Smartphones have given a new dimension to digital browsing as so many users have moved from a 'no internet' to 'mobile internet' straightaway," Sen adds.

The present campaign is part of HCIL's "Amazingly Indian" campaign which includes a TVC, the Guinness World Record winning, 'Longest drive through Amazing India' and a host of other ATL and BTL activations.

On the brand's association with Bhagat, Sen states that since the author is popular across a cross-section of the society and since the stories were about all parts of the country the match was the best one they could have thought of. MashUp, a video-led brand solutions agency from GroupM ESP India, executed the campaign.

Honda has been a very active brand in the digital space. In July 2014, the brand had executed a web campaign with stand-up comedian Kapil Sharma for its Mobilio utility vehicle. Blazar and MashUp executed the digital campaign, comprising four online videos. Honda Amaze is HCIL's sedan version of its hatchback Brio. Honda launched the Amaze in India in April 2013. It is available in petrol and diesel engine.

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