We trace the brand's journey and its diversification through its ad campaigns. While the Pulsar name stayed put, the design and performance specifications changed over the years, giving rise to models like the Pulsar 220F, LS (Light Sports), NS (Naked Sports), AS (Adventure Sports), RS (Racing Sports) and Neon.
A big round headlamp and a bulky muscular fuel tank on a sporty design frame – that was Bajaj's first Pulsar launched in October 2001. With a design theme very close to naked street bikes of the time, Pulsar gave Indian consumers a little more than the usual functional requirement of mobility. The launch got cracking with the ‘It’s a Boy!’ TVC and the ‘Definitely Male’ tag line crafted by Piyush Pandey at Ogilvy (then Ogilvy & Mather). The TVC featured a couple of nurses who peek into a veiled frame to discover the first Pulsar and utter, "It's a boy," in surprise. On the advertising front, this agency-client relationship stands as an example of long-term brand-building romances.
Pulsar ditched its bold round headlamp for newer bikini-half-fairing headlamps in 2003 with the Pulsar DTSI. We have traced the brand's transition over the years through its advertising journey later in this article. While the Pulsar name stayed put, the design and performance specifications changed over the years giving rise to models like the Pulsar 220F, LS (Light Sports), NS (Naked Sports), AS (Adventure Sports), RS (Racing Sports) right up to the CS (Cruising Sport). While planned to be a Pulsar, the 400cc CS was later launched as Dominar, and launched a direct attack on Royal Enfield, the cruising strongman with the campaign Haati Mat Paalo. Only a few months ago, Bajaj launched Pulsar's first sub-150cc model, the Pulsar 125 Neon.
The brand's ‘Definitely Male’ tag has stayed put through the 18 years of its presence. The new special campaign tracks the journey of an adventurous child to his adulthood, equating it with Pulsar's turning 18. And what does he do once he reaches the milestone age? Gets his license ready and hops on to a Pulsar. Over the years, Pulsar has always targeted young adults. With the new ad, the brand is clearly associating with the kind that's having its early experiences of legally riding an automobile.
The Indian brand today has a presence in more than 65 countries. Going by Bajaj's claims, Pulsar commands over 40 per cent share in the sports motorcycle segment in India and every third sports bike sold in in the country is a Pulsar. The brand crossed the one crore sales milestone in global sales around the same time in 2018.
Here's how the brand journeyed: