So, what would qualify as a great ad? One, which is a seamless narrative through a mix of a visually-appealing product along with a good script, talented actors, background music and a picturesque location.
Now, consider this. How about simply letting the sounds derived from the product itself be the hero of the ad even as the brand proposition gets conveyed across to the intended target audience (TG)? Well, this is precisely what Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) has done in its latest digital-only campaign 'Drive Mein Junoon', in order to celebrate the success of its premium hatchback, the Elite i20, which entered the Indian market two years ago.
The aim of the experiment, which targets the 25-32 years age group, is to bring forth the company's effort at having combined the power of music to showcase the various features of the Elite i20 car in a truly 'Indianised' avatar.
Commenting on the challenges encountered while executing the activity, Puneet Anand, general manager and Group head, marketing, Hyundai Motor India, says, "Our first challenge was to do something different and to decide which platform to use for the initiative. Bringing Singh and Cerejo together for the activity involved making them understand the theme and concept behind this. The second challenge was how to generate unique sounds from the car and create a song without using any other instrument except car sounds and voices."
Anand says that music has been used as a relatability factor to attract the youth across all segments including non-metro cities. "Establishing an emotional connect with our target group was important for us. And, that is how we have tried to differentiate ourselves through this music video, not just endorse the product-centric features of the Elite i20," he says.
The video, launched on the company's YouTube channel on April 5, claims to have clocked more than 4.5 million views within 72 hours of its launch. Its current YouTube views stand at over seven million. It has garnered until now, a Facebook reach of 3,901,492, with an engagement of 2,58,491, as well as 12,900 Tweets and a reach of 5,223,096 on Twitter.
The Drive Mein Junoon' video was promoted on social media and Hyundai utilised radio as a platform as well in the media mix to further enhance the reach and engagement.
The company has taken to promoting the video through radio spots across the eight cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Chennai. As part of the on-ground activation, Radio Jockeys (RJs) also visited the high footfall venues in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad in the specially designed Elite i20. The video has also tried to capture the interest of its TG across Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities like Chandigarh within the socio-economic classification (SEC) A and B.
According to Anand, the company chose a digital-only video launch since the digital medium allows powerful targetting with viral effect, is interactive, and enhances the emotional connect with the target audience. As for the idea of creating music from 118 car sounds, Anand says, "Video content consumption is at an all-time high in India, hence the idea was to create branded digital content like never before which would have high shareability. We, therefore, chose music as a medium to connect with the audience because it creates an emotional connectivity with the brand through positive association."
According to him, music acts as a personal identifier for an individual and can create a 'halo effect' for a brand which makes music a potent marketing tool.
Rajeev Raja, founder, BrandMusiq, a sonic branding agency, feels that as an idea, the concept of creating music through car sounds isn't new, though he finds the execution to be "pretty classy" which highlighted the car "beautifully".
Speaking about the digital launch, he says, "I think the whole idea of this is to create a digital connect. First of all, you wouldn't be able to do justice to the music track or the film in a TV spot due to the high cost per second; so, you end up creating a 30-second track which can't grow and build up to a crescendo as well as its longer digital version can. Secondly, you get a quicker feel of viewer response to the film idea on digital than on television."
Raja says that if you look at music as a strategic brand asset and identify the sound of your brand, then giving that brief to a composer makes sense. "This helps brands create an enduring sonic identity and not just a hit piece of music," he says.
Aneesh Jaisinghani, group creative director, Cheil India, is unimpressed with the execution though. "When Singh and Cerejo have created something together, you expect a lot more than what we have here," he says, though he gives a thumbs-up to the media plan. He, too, finds long-format films to be best suited for the digital medium.
According to him, automotive brands have harped on endorsing the beauty and performance of the vehicle for long as cars carry a touch-and-feel-it value with them in terms of advertising unlike some other categories like insurance and telecom where there is no physical product to be shown. He feels that if a great story helps in showing the car beautifully then the job is done irrespective of the fact that it's done through a long-format film or a traditional 30-seconder.
Divyapratap Mehta, founder and chief twiner, InterTwined, feels that the mobile phone is an unnecessary intervention in the video. Moreover, Mehta also thinks that such efforts should have an integrated approach which ought to go beyond YouTube.
Comparing the Nissan film with the Hyundai one, he says, "The Nissan film was in sync with the car proposition while the Elite i20 film doesn't say much about the car and only helps build salience without a message."
Noticing a change in how auto advertising has evolved over the years, Mehta states, "Digital today has become a very important medium for auto promotion. The medium demands long-format, content-driven solutions that have a higher potential of organic reach. Hence, there is a shift in the style of communication."