Bajaj Avenger says, "Feel like God," once again. The catchphrase is R Balki's baby from over 10 years back.
Remember the biker who forgave his barber for nipping his skin? He is back. This time around, he's scoffing at corporate slaves, while riding the recently re-launched Bajaj Avenger.
A quick look at why Mullen Lintas decided to recycle a 10-year-old ad film.
About the minor tweaks, he says, "When you rise above material ambition, you feel like God... that's a clear re-interpretation. We didn't necessarily need to carry forward more than we needed to..."
The ad film will be aired on digital media (longer cut), followed by TV (45, and later, 30-second TVCs).
Sumeet Narang, vice-president - marketing, Bajaj Auto, says, "Our brief to Mullen Lintas was to dramatise (the) sense of liberation but with a context to daily life..."
Bajaj recently launched three new variants of the Avenger - Cruise 220, Street 220 and Street 150. Narang's consumer research suggests that the bikes are a "big draw" among "hard-working young professionals."
"Our interactions with customers revealed their love for weekend escape trips on Avenger. Several Avenger riding communities have also come up..." he says.
Ayyappan Raj, executive vice-president, Mullen Lintas, Mumbai, says, "... we have approached the entire campaign more like a lifestyle brand and not a typical two-wheeler brand..."
Old versus new
K V Sridhar (Pops), chief creative officer, Sapient Nitro, an interactive marketing, creative design and technology services agency, gives the new ad a six on ten. While that's a good score in isolation, the ad, he insists, pales in comparison to the old one. "The new ad is nice. The trouble starts when we compare this with the old one... ," he says.
And, when he does compare the two, what happens? "Forgiving his boss, his girlfriend, the government, and his barber, made it a cult film," Pops says about the old ad, adding, "I know a lot of people who joined advertising because of that film. I had just joined Leo Burnett from Lintas and when I saw this ad, I called up R Balki and said, 'This is fabulous'. It was an iconic commercial."
In comparison, the new ad appears to be trying too hard, he feels. However, Pops goes on to tell us that strategically the current film appears to be sound, as it addresses the start-up generation, one that shuns the corporate rat race in a bid to go solo.