Shreyas Kulkarni

The Anglophilia of MG Motor India explained

From the ads of MG Hector to the next-gen Hector and everything in between, it’s all a nod to England.

Seeing British actor Benedict Cumberbatch humanise the MG Hector car for us, the viewers, back in 2019, was quite endearing. Four years later, seeing the legacy British automobile brand give a nod to P.G. Wodehouse’s book, titled My Man Jeeves, for the Next-Gen Hector is nothing, but charming.

What’s noteworthy is that from the first ad MG Motor India aired in the country, to its recent one, most, if not all, of the cast includes British nationals.

“The brand has a rich British legacy and MG Motor is legendary in that sense, with its automobile racing heritage, and we continued to leverage it,” remarks Sean Colaco, executive creative director, Cheil India, on the brand’s ad for the Next-Gen Hector.

It’s this legacy and heritage which has continued the tradition of British actors in MG Motor India ads.

“The brand has been around since the 1920s, and it’s part of the DNA. It’s the reason why a lot of MG Motor’s films are shot, whenever possible, in England. The latest ad features a cast of British theatre actors,” shares Colaco.

The 106-second-long commercial features a young unnamed aristocrat and his butler ‘Bertram’. They’re both involved in bit of a tussle on the topic of Hector the car. The aristocrat, just to continue to build up the banter, praises it as “the car that pampers me” - much to the butler’s chagrin.

MG Motor India had released two teasers, each focussing on one aspect of how the Hector pushes itself into the butler’s territory, to build up this tiff.

Seeing the butler unable to fathom why his employer was favouring Hector and feeling threatened, was fun to watch, but Colaco points out to subliminal messaging about generational squabble, since this ad is for the Next-Gen Hector.

The butler pampering his employer, a “quintessentially British” trope, was the answer to the brand’s brief which, as per Colaco, boiled down to a single word - pamper.

The Anglophilia of MG Motor India explained

An interesting scene in the ad is at a traffic signal, where the Next-Gen Hector breaks behind an old MG racing car and a black London taxi. It was by design.

“The primary objective was to highlight the car’s ADAS feature. The MG racing car was a tribute to the brand’s legacy and the black cab was to build up the flavour of Britishness,” mentions Colaco.

A look at MG Motor India’s treatment of its commercials and one may feel that it’s targeted at the urban elite. However, the price, as per the brand’s website, starts from Rs 14.72 lakh and it does offer some sleek smart tech features.

Affordable luxury, without burning a hole in your pocket?

We drive back to 2019. Pallavi Singh, then the brand’s marketing head, had told afaqs! this in response to the question, “Our brand is competitive, it's comfortable to use, but it still falls in the premium category…”

Also Read: Points of view: What does 'affordable luxury' mean and who's buying into the 'mass premium' segment?

“We want people to come and experience our brand and who we are. The purpose of our brand is to create an exciting experience every time. It's not about selling an expensive product; it's about selling the right experience.”

Colaco doesn’t agree with the notion of MG Motor catering only to the elite.

“This isn’t a brand that’s posing or trying to be something that it's not. The foreigners aren’t there to portray anything else other than be truthful to the legacy.”

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