Rashmi Menon

Swift change

The latest campaign of Maruti Suzuki Swift has a surprisingly young bunch at the wheel. What gives?

A group of young boys and girls look thrilled at driving a car, as if it's some roller-coaster ride. The youngsters seem impressed by the car's speed and manoeuvrability. And, the peppy background song, 'Swift and Shout', adds to the excitement that portrays the quality of the Maruti Suzuki Swift in its new television commercial (TVC). Titled 'We the Swift', the campaign has been conceptualised by Publicis Capital and the TVC is shot by Keroscene Films.

Swift change
One of the highest selling models from the Maruti stable, the advertising for Swift - as the name suggests - has been essentially about the joy of speed. Unveiled in India in 2005, the characters portrayed in the advertising were of all ages. However, since its re-launch last year in the price range of Rs 4.22-6.38 lakh, its communication has featured a distinctly younger age group.

In the current TVC, the people filling up the Swift are so young that they could be from college. Is this a case of using teenagers' pester power to veer their parents' choice of car towards Swift? Apparently, we had got it totally wrong. Maruti Suzuki says that instead of its least expensive models, it is pushing Swift as a first car for young adults.

Swift change
Sanjeev Handa, general manager, marketing, Maruti Suzuki India says that Swift has always been positioned for the young and young at heart. While Handa insists that the brand cuts across age groups, for it, 'young' is defined as the age group of 21-34 years, who might have secured their first job or who enjoy life to the fullest.

Discounting the high price factor, Handa says that while Swift is not the cheapest option when buying a first car, it is also not exorbitantly priced either "India is growing younger and being a young country, it makes sense to target the youth. Also, consumers are jumping categories today. They want cars that reflect their personality and they have the finances available. People who own Swift have an instant connect with other Swift owners. So, it was a conscious decision to show the youth," Handa says.

Agreeing with him, Hemant Misra, CEO, Publicis Capital says,"The campaign captures the youthful spirit."

This is the brand's second campaign since its re-launch last year. While Maruti Suzuki has not decided on its duration, it is working to extend the 'We the Swift' slogan on the digital platform.

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