This isn't the run-of-the-mill motorcycle commercial.
No unabashed demonstration of muscle power. No stoking nationalistic sentiments with images of one India. No techno speak. No dhak dhak.
The latest television commercial of LML Energy FX is, in fact, a radical shift from category advertising where power, speed and a more stylish lifestyle are the generics. Created by Capital Advertising, Delhi, the ad banks on the potential of self-expression to connect with the consumer.
The ad opens with the shot of the bike, followed by the rider, and then a young woman looking in a certain direction. The biker is quick to spot the man in dark glasses and a dark suit who our lady is trying to draw attention to. The biker kickstarts his bike and zooms wildly through the market place. The man in dark glasses takes out something from the inside pocket of his coat. By now the woman is in real panic. The biker wheels desperately towards the man in the dark suit.
Cut to the man in black. It is only when he draws out a folded cane, unfolds it slowly and starts crossing the road that we realise he is blind. The biker speeds towards the blind man and as he is about to take his first step, the biker swerves the bike and with the rear wheel of his LML Energy FX slides the lid back on top of an open manhole… right in front of the blind man. Unaware of the high voltage drama, the blind man coolly steps on the lid and walks off.
The crowd in market place breaks into an applause. The young guy has just saved a blind man from falling into an open manhole. The ad ends with the message "LML Energy FX. Zara hat ke." (It's different).
Pinaki Nandi, account group manager, Capital Advertising, explains the idea behind the creative execution. "The central idea of the ad is 'Zara Hat Ke'. Which means, the kind of man who would buy this bike - which is substantially hunkier and more powerful than other offerings in the 100-cc category - would find the other bikes underpowered and run-of-the-mill."
To drive home the message that the Energy FX is a superior bike, the ad dramatises a very real life situation. Deepak Sethi, executive director, marketing and sales, LML, explains the theme. "The ad draws upon a normal, everyday situation that seeks a 'Zara hat ke' response both from the bike as well as the rider. In the process, it showcases the performance of the bike, its pick up (highest in the segment with 9 bhp), stability, pinpoint braking, road grip and the great styling of the bike. What better way to capture all that than to say 'Zara hat ke'?"
In a way, the ad also marks a distinct shift from the earlier advertising of LML Energy FX. The first set of ads launched last year underscored the strength and benefits of the product. "It is imperative for any new product to highlight its strengths. Which is exactly what LML did," explains Sethi. "Research had indicated that consumers liked the styling and looks of Energy FX but wanted to verify the performance parameters of the bike. Our advertising addressed this and gave them the reasons to follow their heart. So the advertising sign-off line was, "Now there is reason to follow your heart". With the product features having been established, the next logical step was to develop the personality of the brand by giving it a human face. This is what the current advertising is doing."
To give it a 'human face', as Sethi puts it, the agency decided to steer clear of 'manufacturer speak', something which the majority of bike advertisers was doing. "The Energy FX is meant for the upwardly mobile, discerning commuter who is looking for superior road performance and distinctive looks in his bike (a la "yeh dil mange more"). He has the intrinsic desire to stand apart - just that little bit! A large section of them want to do things that would be more 'feel good within'. Thus the Energy protagonist is depicted as a biker who has confidence in himself and his machine," points out Sethi.
By evoking a very human situation, the LML ad gives a new direction to bike advertising, believes Radharani Mitra, executive creative director, Bates, Delhi. "It is an anti-macho ad. It is about people who believe in action more than words. Just like the Raymond's brand strategy. From a guy thing, the fabric industry saw a change when Raymond's was positioned as a fabric for 'the complete man'," she says.
In the same vein, Pranvir Singh Mann, creative director, Mudra, Delhi, says, "It's about the kind of person that you are. It is very individualistic like the Red & White ad. It is a not the typical teenager rebellion kind of story; but a rebellion against a screwed-up system. Like the Bajaj ad where the biker stopped at a traffic signal while the politicians jumped the red light. Here the protagonist feels inherently responsible and saves the blind man, while civic bodies continue to be negligent."
Creative: Rishab Kaul, Parshu Narayanan and Nitin Beri
Account Management : Pinaki Nandi, Hina Gulati and Samir Dixit
Filmmaker: Nomita and Shubir
Production House: Whitelight
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