Kinetic Zing Rockin: Blowing up a 'deflating' proposition

By , agencyfaqs! | In | July 14, 2003
The new commercial for scooterette brand Kinetic Zing Rockin attempts to reposition the competition by playing upon the brand's unique add-ons

If the brand being advertised promises, among other things, to knock the wind out of the competition, what better way to advertise than by implying the effect the brand will have on the competition, that too in as literal a sense as possible?

This, precisely, is the thought that Contract Advertising appears to have gone with in the course of creating the new television commercial for Kinetic Engineering's 65-cc scooterette, Kinetic Zing. Kinetic Zing Rockin, to be more precise. For, in this case, a lot (if not everything) has to do with the 'Rockin' extension. We'll come to that anon, but first, here's a brief look at the commercial.

The ad opens on this leather-jacketed dude astride a cruiser, preening himself and ogling at some girls passing by. Suddenly, something catches his eye and he stares. The next moment, he topples forward, his head going 'thunk!' on the bike's petrol tank. Simultaneously, his body starts deflating like a punctured tyre tube. Cut to the shot of another hip guy standing on sidewalk, a babe on his arm. As he looks around, he too sights something and stares. The next thing he knows is that he too has collapsed, his fast-deflating body folding up on the sidewalk…

Cut to the shot of the Kinetic Zing Rockin zipping down the road. 'Kinetic ka naya Zing Rockin,' the voiceover goes, enumerating the new features in the scooterette. 'Isme cola can holder, FM radio, mobile charging point…' The last shot is that of a two-wheeler stand packed with rows of scooters and scooterettes. The Zing Rockin goes by, and immediately, the parked scooters deflate, throwing riders off their perch and triggering a domino effect. 'Baaki sab ki hawa nikaal de,' warns the voiceover, chuckling.

Baaki sab ki hawa nikaal de. Let the air out of everyone else. While at one level the 'baaki sab' means anyone and everyone who isn't riding the Kinetic Zing Rockin, at another, it obviously means the competition. Which, in the Zing's case, are primarily the TVS Scooty and the Bajaj Spirit. For in the 17,000-units-per-month domestic scooterette market, the Scooty (with roughly 50-per cent share), the Spirit (with just under 30 per cent of the market) and the nine-month-old Zing (19-per cent share) are the dominant players. And the mood at Kinetic Engineering is clearly to wrest the initiative and gain ascendancy by repositioning the competition.

Which is why the new and improved Zing (read Zing Rockin). And new communication based on a new tone and figure of speech. All within three quarters of the launch of the scooterette. "We launched the Zing in October 2002 with the 'Jo jee chaahe' thought (the ad was about this teenager who dreams of giving a lift to all three girls who ask him for a lift), and it did well for the brand, with monthly sales in the vicinity of 4,000 units," Rajiv Sabnis, senior vice-president, Contract Advertising, explains the genesis of the current communication. However, subsequent research of the advertising showed that although the commercial was liked, it wasn't getting as many 'active scores' as was desirable. "What came through was that while the ad was watchable and said all the right things, we needed to do more provocative, clutter-busting and thought-provoking advertising for it to have impact," says Sabnis.

For the agency, what helped was the value-adds that Kinetic Engineering put into the product shortly after, while planning the launch of the variant. "The Zing Rockin was loaded with a cola can holder, a mobile charger and an FM radio, things that would instantly appeal to the brand's target audience (the college-going crowd)," Sabnis points out. "The Zing's colours were also made vibrant. Everything about the brand was made 'active', and the advertising simply had to cue into all this."

The core thought of 'Baaki sab ki hawa nikaal de' was, of course, rooted in the fact that the add-ons (can holder, charger and FM radio) were unique to the Zing Rockin. "No other moped, scooterette, scooter or bike packs these features, so we knew that the Zing Rockin would cause a commotion in the market when it was launched," says Raj Nair, associate vice-president - creative, Contract Advertising. "The Zing would completely reposition other scooterettes as has-beens." This was just the opportunity that the agency sought to make a provocative statement. "Instead of taking a classic brand stand of saying we have such-and-such, we decided to say no one else has such-and-such," says Sabnis. "The idea was to create dissonance by saying 'Baaki sab ki hawa nikaal de'."

Taking the 'hawa nikaal de' thought forward in a very literal sense was a conscious decision, says Nair. "The idea that anyone without a Zing Rockin will feel deflated was used literally. What we did was simply blow up the 'hawa nikaal de' connotation, and this hugely helped the communication in standing out. When you actually show what it feels like when kisi ki hawa nikal jaaye, the impact is that much more. And we've managed that in this ad."

The agency acknowledges that execution is everything in this film, and gives all credit to filmmaker Abhinay Deo (of Ramesh Deo Films). "This ad was easy to put on paper, but one was never sure of the outcome," says Nair. "There were apprehensions, and I must say the client was brave to have bought the script and to have persevered with it, not knowing what would finally come out." He adds that the agency met quite a few directors for the film, but "finally went with someone who delivered great stuff despite restrictions on budgets".

Contrary to what might be expected in an 'effects-intensive' commercial, Nair informs that this film is not heavy on post-production. "Most of what you see in the ad happened in front of the camera," he says. "Abhinay used inflatable rubber body suits to get the deflating effect, and there was very little post-production, apart from compositing the different layers." However, he admits that a lot of effort went into the making of the commercial. "In the 10 years I have been in this business, this was a first in terms of detailing and homework. I am happy with the end product, and am glad everything came together brilliantly." © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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