Devesh Gupta

Nissan tunes the Evalia

Nissan's branding strategy for its MPV, Evalia, in India involves seven Indian music stars making music on a ride in the car, instead of the stereotyped Bollywood celebrities.

'Moves like music' are the last words of Nissan's television commercial for its new multi-purpose vehicle, Evalia, launched by the Japanese automotive giant targeting the Indian market. Themed around the seven musical notes 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa', the TVC designed by TBWA India showcases different features of the seven-seater, such as turning radius, smooth reverse gear and 19.3 kmpl mileage, synchronised with the notes.

Nissan tunes the Evalia
The film begins with a group of musicians that includes Sunidhi Chauhan, Swanand Kirkire, Anushka Manchanda, Andrea Jeremiah, Shantanu Moitra and Vijay Prakash, starting off in their Nissan Evalia from Chauhan's house.

The group enjoys the ride not with songs but with the musical notes of 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa', producing different tunes at different points of the drive. Starting with lighter notes, Swanand Kirkire's notes relate to the easy pick up of the car and as the journey progresses, the passengers' renditions reflect the joy of the ride, even overcoming a discordant note produced by an obstacle.

Nissan tunes the Evalia
Nissan tunes the Evalia
Rahul Sengupta, executive director, TBWA India, says, "The brief asked us to showcase different features of the Evalia, like fantastic drivability, mileage and ease of parking. And, to present these aspects in a creative manner, we chose the path of depicting them with music. The idea itself looked like music, so we chose music as the theme."

Nitish Tipnis, director, sales and marketing, Hover Automotive India (HAI), says, "Innovation has been an integral part of our communication strategy at Nissan and our products, too, reflect that seamlessly. For the Nissan Evalia, we chose to convey the key features and innovations in a unique way through music, as music brings together people from all walks of life. TBWA's 'Moves like music' campaign beautifully captures the innovative story of the Evalia."

Sengupta adds that the idea was to pick brand ambassadors away from conventional choices. He says, "We have chosen contemporary singers. Though their popularity is not as high as a Bollywood star, it is no less either and thanks to programmes like Coke Studio, a large number of people known them well, too."

He further adds that the aim was to showcase driving in urban areas, and driving on Delhi roads is more of a romantic drive as compared to other cities and can be associated with music.

Nissan has launched a 360 degree campaign to promote the Evalia, with ads running on print, digital and out of home, and on ground activities.

An official Facebook page promotes the brand with contests that ask people to identify the singers and fill in the lines of the commercial. Also, out of home activations at important locations and print ads in leading publications increase the reach of the communication.

In one of its earlier TVCs, the car manufacturer used Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor in an orange Nissan Micra to showcase the vehicle's ease of parking, and keyless entry and engine ignition, giving it a human touch.

Compared to other car manufacturers, Nissan still has a low presence in the Indian market. Although it has launched several cars in the market, it is still waiting to achieve phenomenal success with its brands.

Reverberation effect

Nissan tunes the Evalia
Nissan tunes the Evalia

afaqs! asked a few industry experts if the TVC will connect with the target audience, with the right insight and impact.

Satbir Singh, managing partner and chief creative officer, Havas Worldwide India, says, "The insight behind the ad is extremely good, but what it lacks is the punch in the end lines that would have made it memorable to the people. Given the quality of stars, I think the track left me longing for more. That has not been satiated."

He adds that it's okay to experiment with advertising and the singers used in the TVC are no less popular. 'Moves like music' promises comfort, which is what people look for, he says. Also, Nissan has a niche audience and is not looking at numbers like Maruti or Hyundai.

On the contrary, Raghu Bhatt, co-founder, Scarecrow Communications, says, "It is not clear exactly for whom the advertisement is made. Also, the music stars do not make the same impact as a Bollywood star or a mass icon."

Talking about the music, Bhatt says that although it is good, it does not demonstrate anything. "Which car is not smooth and not easy to turn?" he asks.

He asserts that the branding is weak and justice has not been done to the ad as it does not give it an aspirational look.