Ogilvy takes Gulabo and Paro on a ride in the new ad for Bajaj Platina ComforTec

By Ashee Sharma , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | August 29, 2016
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The ad takes the communication in the entry-level commuter bikes segment from being a mileage story to a comfort story.

Most bike ads hinge upon mileage supremacy and competitive pricing. But, the latest Bajaj Auto ad has a different story to tell. The two-wheeler manufacturer, in the ad campaign for its freshly launched two-wheeler Platina ComforTec in the entry level 100cc commuter bikes segment, promises riders 20 per cent less jerks as compared to other bikes in the 100cc segment. In short, a comfortable ride, despite the potholes and the bumps.

Conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather, the ad campaign 'Jhatka Mana Hai' tries to differentiate the Platina ComforTec from its competitors on the basis of superior riding comfort, while positioning the bike as 'the most comfortable one in the category'. And, it does so in a most endearing way, using dancing Tanjore Dolls, metaphorically, who bear the 'jhatkas' (shocks) on the bike ride.

In the TVC, the two Tanjore Dolls Gulabo and Paro are off on a bumpy ride. While Gulabo, perched on the Platina ComforTec, twirls gracefully, Paro, who is seated on some other bike, fails to survive the ordeal. The ad highlights the Platina ComforTec's promise of '20 per cent less jerks as compared to its competitors'.

Bajaj's new campaign for Platina Comfortec 'Jhatka Mana Hai'

Speaking about the campaign, Sukesh Kumar Nayak, executive creative director (ECD), Ogilvy & Mather, says, "We wanted to shift the focus of the communication from a mileage story to a comfort story. A compelling and memorable creative was therefore necessary to make the ad dramatic so that it registers in the minds of consumers."

Bajaj's new campaign for Platina Comfortec 'Jhatka Mana Hai'

Commenting on the challenges faced during the execution of the ad film, Nayak says, "This is a classic case of re-inventing a price sensitive category known for its functional benefits. Not talking about mileage in this category is a big shift."

Bajaj's new campaign for Platina Comfortec 'Jhatka Mana Hai'

The campaign targets people who travel long distances frequently, such as daily commuters, traders, and self-employed youth from small towns and rural India. The media plan has been designed in such a way that the television commercial communicates the product's benefits, the print ads amplify the message with more information on the features and availability, and on-ground activations help customers experience the comfort.

Sumeet Narang

Sukesh Kumar Nayak

According to Sumeet Narang, vice-president -- marketing, Bajaj Auto, Platina ComforTec addresses the need for comfort, which until now, has not been addressed, and which is a pain point for users. "Given the conditions of roads, particularly in rural areas, people have accepted discomfort as a part and parcel of riding a bike, and learned to live with it. Here, we saw a great opportunity for the brand," says Narang, adding, "While mileage is something a customer takes for granted while buying the Platina, it was now time to offer a second benefit, which no one is either offering or talking about."

The demonstration of the bike will be held in more than 100 towns across the country. People will be urged to take the 'Comfort Challenge', wherein they will first ride their own bikes, and then ride the Platina ComforTec, with chest-mounted cameras, on specially designed tracks. This will capture the movement of the bikes and present the comfort proposition.

Launched at a starting price of Rs 43,541, Bajaj Platina ComforTec competes with brands such as Hero Splendor Pro and HF Deluxe, Honda Dream Yuga, and TVS Sport. With a reworked suspension, seat, and foot pad, it claims to offer a smoother ride with 20 per cent less shocks and jerks as compared to other brands.

Narang informs that in the 100cc segment, Bajaj Platina, with over 65 lakh customers, is currently the No.2 brand after Hero HF Deluxe. However, with Bajaj CT 100 also operating in the entry-level category, the two-wheeler giant is giving tough competition to Hero Motocorp in terms of volume, he claims.

Smooth Ride

Saji Abraham

Saji Abraham, executive director at Lowe Lintas, finds the 'torture test' execution interesting. "It is also a clever strategy as it sidesteps the mileage debate while giving the consumer a fresh parameter to evaluate a bike," he says.

Abraham, however, thinks that if the benefit is real, a more convincing demonstration could have been carried out. He makes his point with the example of the classic Union Carbide ad (1968) for an insulation material called 'Super Insulation' where a life was at stake.

"That could have, perhaps, pushed the demonstration, which is still in the advertising space, into a far more believable territory," he remarks.

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