Lowe has won the advertising account of Bajaj Auto's soon-to-be-launched 125-cc, four-stroke motorcycle - code named '612 World Bike' - following a pitch that was held roughly six to eight weeks ago. According to unconfirmed reports, the three-way pitch was limited to Bajaj Auto's lead agencies Lowe, Leo Burnett India and O&M India. agencyfaqs! has learnt that the decision to go with Lowe was taken some 10 days ago, but the agency received an official communication to this effect on Friday last.
This is the second motorcycle brand from the Bajaj stable that Lowe has acquired over the past five months. It may be recalled that in the last week of December 2002, Bajaj Auto had moved the Caliber account from Burnett to Lowe (Lowe had subsequently conceived the much-discussed 'Hoodibaba' campaign for the brand). With the decision on the Kawasaki 612 World Bike taken, here's the constitution of Bajaj Auto's motorcycle portfolio: While Burnett is in charge of Boxer and Eliminator, O&M handles Pulsar and Byk. Lowe has Caliber - and now the 612 World Bike.
Speaking to agencyfaqs! about the new win, Balki (R Balakrishnan), executive creative director, Lowe, said, "I think we are doing some very focused advertising for bikes, which explains why Bajaj has awarded us this account as well. Bajaj Auto wants to be the number one in two-wheelers, and is pursuing its goal aggressively. Naturally, it is looking at agencies and ideas that can help it get there quicker."
The Kawasaki 612 World Bike, scheduled for launch in July, is Bajaj Auto's second offering in the 'executive' segment (the largest and most rapidly-growing segment in the domestic motorcycle market), after the Caliber. Hero Honda (Splendour, Passion and Ambition) dominates this segment, with TVS (Victor) being the third significant player. While Bajaj has a sizeable presence in the economy/entry-level and premium segments - with the Boxer and Byk, and the Pulsar, respectively - it hasn't fared too well in the executive segment (although Lowe informs that sales of the new Caliber are looking up). Needless to say, with the 612 World Bike, the two-wheeler giant is aiming to consolidate itself in the executive segment.
Sharing information on the planned advertising for the 612 World Bike, Balki says, "We have taken a simple idea which will have wide consumer appeal. Even in the case of the Caliber, we used a simple phrase like 'Hoodibaba' to communicate the fact that this is a 'wow' bike, and it worked. In the case of the 612, while it is not a phrase or something, we have an idea which is very basic advertising with wide appeal… not something complicated to confuse the consumer." What that idea is, Balki will not tell, though he reveals that the campaign will break "around the time of the bike's launch".
Balki does not talk about spends on the account either. "I really can't say, as that depends on a lot of market factors prevalent during the launch phase," he says. However, an agency executive connected with the business reveals that account would be "quite large, especially considering the executive segment sees some of the largest spends in the motorcycle market". Â© 2003 agencyfaqs!