It's one of those things that one can't really plan for, and can easily be put down to providence - if one believes in such a thing. Last month, when automotive magazine Overdrive featured the results of a multi-bike, fuel efficiency shootout that it had conducted, it gave two-wheeler manufacturer Kinetic Motors an unexpected opportunity to make a forceful point about the fuel efficiency of its range of motorcycles. An opportunity that Kinetic and its agency Grey Worldwide have grabbed with both hands, as is apparent from the new Kinetic commercial that went on air yesterday.
The tactical film, which capitalizes on the results of the Overdrive test, spoofs the advertising of quite a few competing motorcycle brands in the course of demonstrating the superior fuel efficiency of Kinetic's offerings. The ad opens on a group of automotive engineers (all distinctly - and pointedly - from the Far East) in a shopfloor mournfully commiserating one another to the sound of doleful choir music. Cut to a blind man in a two-wheeler showroom shedding copious tears from behind dark glasses, as his son, equally heartbroken, squeezes his shoulder understandingly. Cut to a solitary bike making its way down a wind-blown, autumn leaves-laden road. It's rider, white shirt open and fluttering in the breeze, weeps silently… then wipes his tears with the shirt, before wringing it dry.
Cut to two nurses walking down a hospital ward. They reach a bike, sniffle, cover it with a shroud, and burst into tears on one another's shoulders. Cut to a man reclining on a bike, a big yellow smiley (actually, in this case, a big yellow weepy) emblazoned on his T-shirt. As he wipes the tears streaming down his face, the camera reveals that the bike is parked on a cricket pitch!
'Overdrive magazine exposes the truth,' proclaim the voiceover and the super. 'Rates Kinetic's mileage technology the best in India.' The ad then goes on to explain how stablemates Kinetic Boss, Kinetic Velocity and Kinetic Laser are 'three undisputed winners' by being best in mileage across different categories and motorcycle segments. 'Kinetic. The very best mileage technology in India,' the VO signs off.
The facts, as per the Overdrive test, are that the Kinetic Boss delivers the best mileage across categories. For instance, in the 'Up to 100cc' category, the Boss apparently clocks 73.4 kms per litre. (The Bajaj Boxer CT, which came second, apparently registered a mileage of 73 kms; fractionally less than the Boss, but less none the same.) In the '100-125cc' executive segment, the Kinetic Boss 115 heads the list with a mileage of 69 kms, while the Kinetic Velocity is second-best, delivering a mileage of 67 kms (the Bajaj Caliber 115 is placed third with a mileage of 63.8 kms). And in the high-performance '150cc Plus' segment, the Kinetic Laser tops the charts, returning 53.8 kms to a litre (the Bajaj Pulsar 180 DTS-i is a distant second, with a mileage of 45.8 kms).
The tongue-in-cheek film, as we've said before, happened at the spur of the moment. "When the Overdrive results came out, the client told us that we have to do a communication that highlighted the findings," says Raj Kurup, creative director, Grey, Mumbai. One option before the agency was to do a simple Overdrive-says-we're-the-best kind of ad that a lot of automotive companies do whenever an industry survey or test comes out in their favour. But Grey says it overruled that option straightaway. "We knew this was a big thing," says Kurup. "We have been brought up on the knowledge that Hero Honda is the fuel efficiency leader, and the Overdrive results stand that 'knowledge' on its head. Suddenly, you have a brand that no one associated with mileage being named the mileage king. So we said, why not take this fact to town."
The reason Grey opted to take a more combative stance in its advertising was to ensure greater top-of-mind for Kinetic. "There is no point in simply saying we are the best in fuel efficiency," Kurup explains. "No one would notice, and if someone did, he won't care to remember. So we took the decision of artfully spoofing the advertising of some of Kinetic's worthy competitors. That way, we'd get people to notice the Kinetic brand and its remarkable achievement. The vivid point we are making is, Kinetic's mileage technology puts the competition in the shade."
Fuel efficiency, as we all know, is something that nine out of ten Indian automobile consumers religiously seek out when making a purchase decision. And more often than not, superior mileage is a very convincing argument in favour of automotive brands - particularly among cost-conscious consumers of economy and executive segment bikes. Small wonder Kinetic is drawing every possible ounce of mileage out of Overdrive's mileage test. Â© 2004 agencyfaqs!