Taking on the ‘haathi’

By: |
Published: August 29, 2017 2:44:21 AM

Bajaj’s TVC for Dominar 400 looks to do two things: one, to present itself as an alternative to Royal Enfield, and second, go further and pitch it as a bike that can outdo a Bullet

Bajaj TVC for Dominar 400, Royal Enfield Bullet, Royal Enfield Bullet engine, features of Royal Enfield BulletThe ad film begins with burly looking biker men, helmets and all.

Bajaj’s TVC for Dominar 400 looks to do two things: one, to present itself as an alternative to Royal Enfield, and second, go further and pitch it as a bike that can outdo a Bullet

By: Shinmin Bali

The Ad

The ad film begins with burly looking biker men, helmets and all. This is until the camera pans out and shows that they are atop elephants, instead of motorbikes. The soundtrack is undoubtedly that of the Royal Enfield Bullet’s engine. The ‘riders’ are making their way on winding roads, at a meandering pace. Until, the mammals cease to cooperate, eventually coming to a halt and leaving the party stranded. Just then, three riders on their Dominars can be heard making a fast, zippy approach. They slow down and smoothly weave through the elephants before continuing on their way. The ad film ends with a voiceover sign off: “Haathi mat paalo” (Don’t have an elephant as a pet), as the tagline Go Hyperriding appears on screen.

Target Audience

18-30 year-old males who are looking to upgrade from their current motorcycle of 100-150cc. Largely concentrated in markets upwards of tier I towns.

Business Objective

To offer a viable alternative to people wanting to own a higher engine bike, with an aim to garner at least 10% market share in a year’s time.

The Appeal

Functional

Being a challenger brand, Bajaj has made an obvious dig at Royal Enfield, as it tries to break into a sub-category of bikes that most players have had hits and misses entering into.

Competitive Edge

Disruption is what Bajaj is expecting to work in its favour with the current ad.

Tone of Voice

Tongue-in-cheek

Verdict

Brownie points to Bajaj for being bold about calling attention to the brand it’s going up against, as it promotes the Dominar 400. In this commercial, Bajaj is making no bones about what a Royal Enfield brings to the table in terms of its pace or size. The ad uses those attributes against it, offering the Dominar 400 as the better alternative. Bajaj has projected its bike as the faster, spirited alternative to a category that promotes the leisure riding culture as a biking lifestyle. The ad film is disruptive, using both visual tokens and supporting it with audio cues.

The leisure biking category rides on the aspirations of those consumers who want to be a part of the biking culture. This culture has subdivisions that are inclusive of but not limited to just cruisers or leisure biking.

Through this ad, Bajaj is looking to address a space it is wishing to create with ‘hyperriding’ as another subdivision for customers to belong to. Take away all reference to Royal Enfield from this commercial, and it becomes just another ad for a bike with appropriately stylised sequences that are sure to appeal to the target audience. Communicating features and performance defining metrics is something that Bajaj has done in the past and is something that it does well, typically. The purpose, though, is a little ambiguous. Is it to bring the Royal Enfield lovers towards a Dominar 400? Is it to grow a new community of riders that aren’t a part of the biking culture already?

On a side note, the current ad comes almost a year after the Happy Brotherhood Day ad where Bajaj looked to highlight the camaraderie between riders of an Avenger and, quite ironically, a Royal Enfield!

Rating: 7.5/10

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Mumbai

Brand: Bajaj Auto

Campaign: Go Hyperriding

Production House: Corcoise Films
Shinmin.Bali@expressindia.com

@shinminbali

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