N. Shatrujeet

Preity Zinta rides for TVS Scooty PEP in new commercial

The new ad film for the Scooty PEP featuring Preity Zinta marks a first for the ten-year-old scooterette brand in terms of having the benefit of celebrity endorsement

Bollywood actress Preity Zinta, who had been signed on by TVS Motor Company as the brand ambassador for the 75 cc, four-stroke Scooty PEP earlier this year, is all set to debut in a new television commercial for the scooterette brand. The commercial, which is scheduled to go on air later today, will see Zinta playing the protagonist who falls in love with her Scooty PEP all over again.

Very briefly, the commercial - created by McCann-Erickson India - is about this girl (Zinta) who bids her beau goodbye before boarding a train. Moments before the train leaves the picturesque station, the girl hands the guy a set of keys to her Scooty PEP, requesting him to drop the scooterette back home. Once the train departs, the guy seizes the opportunity to ride the Scooty PEP. Instead of heading home, he joyfully rides the scooterette across the lush countryside, oblivious of the fact that the road runs very close to the railway tracks - the very tracks on which the train he has just seen off is running.

It's only a matter of time before the girl on the train catches a glimpse of her boyfriend on her Scooty PEP. Surprised, she stares out of the window… then cottons onto what's happening. Furious, she pulls the chain and brings the train to a halt. Hauling her bag, she alights and makes her way to the road where her boyfriend has stopped, obviously having seen the train slow down. She thrusts the bag at him, strides over to her Scooty PEP and happily rides off - leaving the poor chap standing in the middle of the road, appealing to her sheepishly. However, it's not long before she has a change of heart and returns to her boyfriend standing by the roadside. Having taught him a mild lesson, she smiles impishly and asks him to hop on. Together, they ride away as the super goes, ‘Scooty PEP. First Love.'

While brand endorsements are nothing new to Preity Zinta (Scooty PEP is the sixth big brand that the actress has endorsed, the others being Liril, Cadbury Perk, Pepsi, Godrej Appliances and Maggie), this is the first time in the 10-year history of the Scooty that a celebrity is endorsing the scooterette brand. Offering the rationale for having signed on a brand ambassador for Scooty PEP, Harish Krishnamachar, vice-president, marketing, TVS Motor Company, says, "Our experience with Sachin Tendulkar (who endorses the TVS Victor) has led us to believe that a brand ambassador has a role to play in communication, especially when the product appeals to a wide audience. A brand ambassador can help jump-start the communication, and our learnings from what Tendulkar delivered for the TVS Victor told us it was a good idea getting an endorser for Scooty PEP."

Specific to the choice of Zinta as an ambassador, Krishnamachar reveals the company saw a natural fit between the personality of the actress and the Scooty brand. "From her more recent movies it is clear that Preity comes across as peppy, young and zestful, which is a persona that we have been associating with the Scooty brand for quite a while now," he explains. "Also, Preity Zinta is a role model for many young women today, and young women constitute roughly half of Scooty PEP's target audience - which is rare for most brands in this category."

Krishnamachar adds that the objective behind inking the deal with Zinta was to boost the brand's popularity by several notches. "The four-stroke Scooty PEP has been doing extremely well since its launch (in April 2003), and has helped the Scooty brand grow 22 per cent in volume terms," he says. "More importantly, it helped Scooty cross the one-million-units milestone, the first Indian brand to achieve the magical figure in the scooterette category. By signing on Preity Zinta, we want to enhance the visibility, recall and salience of Scooty PEP."

From the communication point of view, Krishnamachar reveals that the objective is to consolidate and reinforce the brand's core proposition of desirability among the target audience. "Scooty's core proposition is clearly the desirability of the product, which is encapsulated in the brand's advertising thought and tagline, ‘First Love'," he says. "That is why we have not changed the essence of Scooty advertising despite having acquired a celebrity endorser. The role of the endorser is to add to the element of desirability intrinsic to the Scooty brand." © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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