New Delhi: Breaking away from typical automobile advertisements focusing on vehicle features, Czech auto manufacturer Skoda’s latest commercial shows how power can elevate or destroy lives.
Made by advertising agency Publicis India, the monotone campaign promotes the recently launched Kodiaq, a seven-seater premium sports utility vehicle (SUV) priced at Rs34.49 lakh.
The television spot opens with a visual of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre with an accompanying message “The power of authority can be ugly". The shot is followed by the visual of a young girl playing in a park with a placard saying “Plot reserved for playground", hinting at how the power of authority can also be beautiful. As the ad progresses, a series of visuals bring forward the good and evil sides of money, courage and love. The film ends with visuals of the Kodiaq along with a message “Whatever your power, it should be beautiful".
“The word ‘beauty’ is not usually associated with SUVs, which tend to be associated more with ‘power’. This conflict led us to the proposition that ‘Power should always be beautiful’ and culminated in a larger message that appeals to the goodness in all of us to use our powers beautifully," said Tarun Jha, head of marketing and product, Skoda Auto India Pvt. Ltd.
In a category where communication is heavily focused on features and benefits, Skoda, through the Kodiaq campaign, aims to tap into relevant socio-cultural tension to create a meaningful and impactful brand narrative.
“We have immense faith in the product and know it will do very well in India and globally. The film is a beautiful representation of the fundamental truth that the good and the evil co-exist in the world and reminds us that historically that’s been the case. It’s up to us to choose which side we’re on," said Paritosh Srivastava, chief operating officer, Publicis Ambience.
The integrated campaign will be launched across the offline and online platforms, including print, outdoor, digital, radio, television and below the line activations.
Rishabh Dave, creative director at advertising agency Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi, finds the visual execution stunning and the interpretation of power quite refreshing. “The black and white, slow moving imagery is poetic and stands apart in a category that is obsessed with showcasing metal. Automobile advertising can be quite monotonous in its interpretation of power, it is refreshing to see an auto maker going beyond the clichéd meaning of power," he said.
According to Naresh Gupta, strategy head and managing partner at advertising agency Bang in the Middle, Skoda Kodiaq is not in the same league as Ford Endeavor or Toyota Fortuner in its stance or personality. “The latter two are brutes, Kodiaq is more urbane and slick vehicle. The TVC does a good job of building this differentiation. Power and beauty are not the two hallmarks of big SUVs, and that is a tough marriage the brand is trying," he said.
Gupta is convinced that the ad will get noticed. “Overall, I think it will manage to get attention of those who want to drive a big burly SUV," he added.