What are the three universal laws of bike advertising? Speed, power and drop-dead looks. So what if that ends up making one bike look just like the other, as powerful as the nearest competitor and no faster than the one your neighbour owns! In fact, after Hero Honda's highly memorable "Fill it, shut it, forget it" campaign (by Ulka Advertising), bike advertising has more or less treaded the same path - with the occasional diversion in the form of chest-thumping patriotism, which again has become more a rule these days rather than an exception.
Which is why the latest television commercial of Yamaha's Enticer (conceived by Mudra Communications, Delhi) deserves mention. Its message is captivating in its simplicity: If you want to fly, ride the Enticer. Interestingly, it reverses all the conventions of bike advertising (speed, power and looks), and yet, successfully brings all these aspects of Yamaha's new offering in sharp focus.
Before we proceed any further, here's a brief look at the ad. The Enticer film, shot in slow motion, opens with a misty blue shot of three airhostesses chatting merrily when a deep, satin voice says, 'Welcome aboard our flight' - in much the same way as an airhostess begins an in-flight announcement. As the bike gathers pace, the airhostess' voice, as if to direct the passengers through the initial instructions on the flight, takes us through the Enticer's features - like its wider seats and extra leg-room, the shock absorbers that ensure a smooth ride, its fuel efficiency et al. The film closes with the background voice informing that "the flight is powered by Yamaha's latest 125-cc smart engine," and a close-up of the Enticer.
As is evident, the experience of riding the Enticer has been likened to first-class flying experience. Without resorting to story-telling or building a plot around the bike, the ad depicts the sheer experience of riding Enticer through a dreamlike sequence. Adopting such an unconventional strategy was important since the brand was to enter the virgin category of 125-cc bikes. As a Mudra executive (who doesn't wish to be identified in the story, saying the credit goes to the entire team on the account) explains, "The task was to establish Enticer as one of the most stylish and comfortable bikes on the Indian roads."
Once the agency arrived at the positioning idea of style and comfort, the analogy of an aircraft just fell in place. "The bike has been styled on Yamaha's international cruiser bikes and it offers a luxurious riding experience. The most obvious way of describing it was to compare it with a first-class flying experience," explains the Mudra executive.
The treatment of the film is significant for its experimental value. Instead of fast-cut biking/action shots, instead of power and vroom and the screeching of wheels, the ad unravels the features of the bike in slow motion. Explaining the reason for this, the Mudra executive says, "While evaluating competition, we saw very run-of-mill executions by them - everyone was fighting on similar features and trying to entice consumers with in-your-face messages. Research showed that viewers remembered these commercials but could not associate with the brands. What all of them missed was the opportunity to see the product in full glory, which, according to us, is a very important need for consumers. We needed to break this monotony."
Which also explains the relaxed pace of the Enticer film. "This enabled us to show the gleaming chrome body of the Enticer, which comes in a unique champagne-gold colour. And Ram Sampat's wonderful and just-perfect music for the film worked like a masterstroke to a wonderful painting," sums up the Mudra executive.
With an enticing launch film, the first hurdle seems to have been cleared by Yamaha. Whether the bike will set the roads on fire, only time will tell.
Creative Team: Team Mudra
Film Maker: Sunjae Sharma, Radical Film Company
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