A Wild Chase

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SummaryThe new ad with actor Ranbir Kapoor may be an attempt to showcase Hero’s premium bike range but the bikes get lost in the action-drama-romance hoopla of the commercial.

Campaign: Unleash the Hero within

Brand: Hero’s premium segment range (Xtreme, Impulse, Hunk, Karizma ZMR)

Company: Hero MotoCorp

Agency: FCB Ulka

The Campaign

The two-minute TV commercial opens with Ranbir Kapoor, handcuffed and chained to a rock, being thrown into a river. The ad then goes back in time by a day and shows a hot and seductive damsel walking into a lounge, with a bulky villainous man in tow. She slips her phone to Kapoor and asks him to leave the place with her. Next, there’s a wild chase with Kapoor and the woman on a Hero bike being pursued by the man and his accomplice who are driving SUVs. Over the course of the chase, Kapoor and the woman hop on to four different Hero bikes - Xtreme, Impulse, Hunk, Karizma ZMR, all belonging to Hero’s premium segment. But finally with one of Kapoor’s friends caught by the two men, the duo turn themselves in. Next, Kapoor is shown standing on the edge of a bridge, handcuffed counting his final moments. The villain allows the woman to say a final goodbye to Kapoor. She goes and kisses Kapoor who is then pushed off the bridge. Cut to the present, submerged in the water Kapoor opens his mouth and the key to his handcuffs comes out (the only plausible explanation of this being that the young woman passed on the key to him when they kissed). He then frees himself and is shown standing on the same bridge when the woman calls him and asks whether he’s ready for another “game”. “Why not” he replies and is shown jumping off the bridge onto a cargo vessel below that’s carrying Hero MotoCorp container boxes. “Unleash the Hero within” is the tagline that appears on screen as he jumps.

Our Take:

Two minutes. Yes, it’s a two-minute long TV commercial and is something of a kind we’ve never seen before from Hero MotoCorp (or even in its Hero Honda avatar). It’s different, even brave, but does that mean it’s good? Unfortunately for Hero, the answer is a definitive no. From “Dhak Dhak Go!” to “Hum mein hai Hero,” the company has had anthem heavy commercials forming a substantive part of its brand identity. And we’re taking the liberty of excluding bike-specific ads here as the ad under consideration too is a larger brand communication. But this ad has a cinematic treatment with a loosely threaded James Bond-like

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