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Mahindra Two Wheelers: Cars on two wheels

By Sohini Sen , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | July 08, 2015
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Mahindra Two Wheeler's new campaign showcases the 'car-like' features of its two lead products Gusto and Centuro, with the help of popular Bollywood songs.

Mahindra Two Wheelers has launched a Bollywood-esque campaign to portray the joys of riding a two-wheeler. The 'Kisi Se Kam Nahi' TVC is a multi-product campaign by the 16.5 billion dollar Mahindra Group, with a special focus on the Mahindra Gusto scooter and the Mahindra Centuro motorcycle. The campaign strings together popular Bollywood songs, as proud Mahindra Two Wheeler owners zip around the city, much to the chagrin of car drivers.

"We were handling a pretty heavy loaded category and this is a challenger brand. So, we needed to find a position that matched the innovative nature of the company's thinking and yet separate it from the older players in the category. We created an umbrella thought that engulfs both the scooter and motorcycle segment," explains Agnello Dias, chairman and co-founder, Taproot India - the creative agency behind the film.

Mahindra's Kisi Se Kam Nahi TVC

Agnello Dias

Dias further adds, "The step-motherly treatment of two-wheeler rides and riders are what we are trying to talk about. We could be in a car one day and a two-wheeler the next day. That seemed to match what the company had already done in terms of creating features and innovations."

The film shows different slice-of-life moments, each of which focusses on how car drivers tend to look at riders. However, in true Taproot-style, the two-wheeler rider always has the last laugh, thanks to innovative features like the height adjustable seats, remote flip key, find-me lamps and LED pilot lamps. The idea is to let people know that, with features like these, a Mahindra Two Wheeler is no less than a car. The film will be followed by several shorter films - not edits - each of which will be focussed on either the Gusto or Centuro's features. The campaign will run for several months.

"We are going to invest in making sure that this campaign and, more importantly, this philosophy of Mahindra Two Wheelers being a full range of innovative, differentiated products gets established. Gusto and Centuro, being our ground-up products, reflect the philosophy of being a full range of two-wheelers that have all the innovations. So, we decided to keep them as our lead products," says Sarosh Shetty, VP - marketing, Mahindra Two Wheelers.

Sarosh Shetty

According to Shetty, the products and features have come out of a lot of consumer immersions and meet their unmet needs. "We are a challenger brand and thus we can keep challenging and evaluating the established category. Two wheelers are rational buys and not impulse purchases; touch and feel is important in this segment. Thus, we will continuously strive to build innovation at a great value to consumers," he adds.

The company is also conducting large scale activations where consumers can touch and feel the products and experience the differentiation of the products themselves. Another insight for Mahindra came from the fact that, while two-wheeler is the biggest segment in automobiles, most of the innovation happens in the four-wheeler segment.

By positioning it in this light, the brand is also trying to up its aspirational quotient. According to Shetty, the two-wheeler category is not just for the urban or the rural, or for the young or the old. While a bulk of the consumers for the scooter category comes from metros and upper SECs, with women and families opting to buy it, the motorcycle is a favourite with mostly men, in rural, urban and small towns. Roughly, the TG is the youth between 18- 40 years, across SECs.

To make sure that no region is left out, the film has also been created with songs from regional languages such as Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Bengali. The campaign has also been extended across touch points and mediums such as digital, cinema, radio and on-ground.

Prathap Suthan

Does the creative execution impress? According to Prathap Suthan, managing partner, Bang in the Middle, the strategy itself is wrong.

"We never compare a car to a truck, or a boat to a plane. Then, why should we compare a bike to a car? It would be a lie to say this is just like a car - even if it is the worst kind of car! The TG for both categories would be different. Scooters and bikes have completely different reasons to exist from a car. While it is an interesting commercial, it is a lie and portrays very shallow thinking," Suthan asserts.

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