Reviewers: Raghu Bhat & Manish Bhatt
With around 13 years experience in advertising, Raghu Bhat and Manish Bhatt, founder-directors of Scarecrow Communications Ltd, have worked on brands such as Wonderbra, Cadbury and Vaseline.
Layered: Raghu Bhat (left) and Manish Bhatt.
The new campaign for TVS Wego by BBH India emphasizes the scooter’s body-balance feature. The advertisement features two couples riding TVS Wego scooters. The girls riding pillion compete with each other, showing off their balancing skills.
What did you think of the ad?
This category has seen somewhat similar, though not identical, imagery in the past. Bajaj had guys playing chess on the back seat, a few years ago. Pulsar showed extreme stunts while advertising bikes. The use of stunts as a creative device to portray two-wheeler benefits is not, therefore, very new. This places a huge onus on the execution to create an impact.
Imagery issues: The use of stunts isn’t new so the onus is on execution.
There is a lot of layering in the storyline—the contest between two women and the earthy music track dripping with lust, all of which are attention grabbers. While the man is shown riding the scooter, the woman is shown as the major beneficiary of the body-balance feature. Again, this is a smart way to position it as a unisex scooter as well as a vehicle for couples.
Does this ad work? Especially in such a crowded category?
This falls into the genre of advertising called vivid demonstration. The convincing power of a demonstration depends on how closely it resembles reality (the most effective demonstrations are those you see in front of your eyes). One of the ways to achieve the “illusion of reality” is to strip away all the elements that make it look like an “ad”. Like the desi soundtrack, for instance. The flip side is, doing this might make the ad appear “bland”. This is where an important question needs to be asked. What response does the ad seek to achieve? Enjoyability? Or believability? The other point relates to the risks of showing extremes in the demonstration. The use of hyperbole, or stunts in this case, may not evoke a high level of consumer empathy. It could also compel the consumer to ask fundamental questions such as, does Wego really offer great body balance? Or are these guys professional stunt men and women?
What must one keep in mind while working on such a category?
Scooters are constantly reinventing themselves in the Indian urbanscape. Scooter brands need to be innovative and imbue themselves with fresh meaning to be continually relevant. For a new scooter brand like Wego, it’s important to be seen as a viable second vehicle in a household that already has a car or a bike.In other words, it’s not only the primary vehicle for a woman but also a secondary vehicle for the man who can ride it for short distances. The brand needs to build bridges into the hearts of both men and women. Therefore, the communication needs to go beyond mere functional executions. The seeds of romance that are clearly visible in this ad need to be nurtured and given full expression.
As told to Gouri Shah.