Sunit RoyPublished: 20 Jan 2017, 12:00 AM
Advertising

"We wish to bust the myth that Ford cars are expensive to maintain": Rahul Gautam, VP Marketing, Ford India

Ford will spend close to Rs 25 crore on the launch phase of this campaign, learns afaqs!.

"For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie but the myth." Picking the essence of what John F Kennedy once said, the latest television commercial (TVC) campaign, titled 'Misdirection', from Ford India attempts to break the myth and stereotypes around its 'cost of service'. The genesis of the campaign finds its roots in research that shows how consumers tend to believe others and blindly follow perceptions without knowing the truth.

"We wish to bust the myth that Ford cars are expensive to maintain": Rahul Gautam, VP Marketing, Ford India
And, taking a unique creative route to expose the trend, Ford's latest campaign on the cost of service features well known on-screen 'villains' - Singham fame Prakash Raj, small screen vamp Sudha Chandran and Bad Man Gulshan Grover. While the ad films featuring Raj and Chandran have already been released, the TVC featuring Grover will be launched soon. All antagonists in the campaign highlight how they get stereotyped as bad in real life too due to their evil appearances in cinema / television.
"We wish to bust the myth that Ford cars are expensive to maintain": Rahul Gautam, VP Marketing, Ford India
According to Rahul Gautam, vice-president - marketing, Ford India, Indians are one of the most discerning customers when it comes to automotive purchase. With their focus on the overall cost of ownership, the Indian customer looks at a guaranteed peace of mind during the ownership of a product.
"We wish to bust the myth that Ford cars are expensive to maintain": Rahul Gautam, VP Marketing, Ford India
"Consumers perceive that the cost of ownership of a Ford vehicle is high, whereas the truth is exactly the opposite. Many of our customers are surprised to know that the annual scheduled maintenance of a Ford EcoSport in its fifth year or 50,000 Kms is as low as INR 3662. Thus the campaign from Ford busts the myth of high 'cost of service'," explains Gautam.

"We want to convey the point of view of how at Ford, we view the value of ownership holistically, i.e., all the costs involved through the life cycle of the product. Not many car buyers knew that Ford products have a longer service cycle which makes people pay only once a year on service," he adds.

Made by Global Team Blue (GTB), the campaign is currently aired on key sports, news and GEC along with social and digital platforms. Produced by Tubelight Films, the TVCs have been directed by Naved Ahmed. "For the launch phase of the campaign - covering television commercial across GEC, sports and movie channels along with corresponding digital and communications - will see Ford spend close to Rs 25 crore," informs Gautam.

The American auto giant has been trying hard to get consumer insights. For this, the brand has taken first-hand feedback from consumers by talking to them, and understanding their sentiments. "We at times hear our customers tell us that 'Ford has great products but there is this little doubt about maintaining them'. This prompted us to think about busting myths around our cost of ownership," explains Gautam.

"Through our latest campaign, we want to reach out to intenders who believe that change is possible. While there is a lack of trust, they believe that they can lead the change - in ways which are big or small. Our audience, between the age-group of 25-40, belongs to a section of people who value honesty and integrity, seek respect, promptness, and transparency. The target group is unconventional and is more likely to be younger and a first-time buyer," he adds.

Betting big on trust and transparency, Ford has introduced several path breaking initiatives such as 'Service Price Calculator' and 'Parts Pricing' on Ford India website that allows the customer to know their service and parts cost, even before walking into the dealership. And, continuing on a Growth 2.0 strategy, the brand is now focusing on product-led innovation, delivering differentiated customer experience, and busting the myth of 'cost of ownership'.

Industry Speaks

"We wish to bust the myth that Ford cars are expensive to maintain": Rahul Gautam, VP Marketing, Ford India
We asked the experts 'if the ad films succeed in conveying the message appropriately?'

Nimesh Shah, head maven, Windchimes Communications, says, "This is a tactical piece of communication that the brand needs to carry out to resolve a very specific issue or highlight a benefit. Clearly in Ford's case, they must have seen that this misconception of high service cost was acting as a barrier to sales. The thing about designing tactical communication is that it needs to hit at the problem head on and without beating around the bush. So, to that effect these films do the job. However, I am unsure if raising suspicion is the best analogy for tackling pre-conceived notion."