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‘Plug-in, Ride Out’ carries forward Hero Ultra’s mass media campaign

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‘Plug-in, Ride Out’ carries forward Hero Ultra’s mass media campaign

With a vision of becoming India’s leading electric two-wheeler brand, Hero Ultra Pvt. Ltd has introduced new marketing plans for the market. Hero Ultra is a collaboration between Hero Exports, which is an affiliate of Hero Cycles Ltd (HCL), and Ultra Motor Company (UMC) of UK, a global electric vehicle solutions company.

With electric bikes being a totally new category in India, the task for Hero Ultra was to tap this potential, create, build and own this new category, and make this category relevant to the fastest growing automobile market. Hero Ultra created an ‘Ultra Powered’ technology tag, a derivative of patented ‘Impulse Inertia Technology’, to help differentiate its technology and offer tangible benefits to its consumer. The target profile of electric bikes includes primarily lifestyle bicycle riders in the age group of 14-18, as well as the age group of 24+ who could be riding a petrol scooter or a moped and were looking at economy and utility. The universal appeal of the product has been targeted at both men and women.

According to Deba Ghoshal, Director-Marketing, UMC, “Electric two-wheelers offered a new opportunity in India. We needed to tap the potential, build the category and instantly connect to the customer in a way he understands the new product proposition. We invested in experiential marketing to start with, and after having gained a sizeable footprint in distribution, and a robust product mix, we feel it is the right time to break into mass media marketing.

Hero Ultra devised its core consumer proposition around economy of usage and simplicity of the category. It highlighted the low running cost and the low maintenance cost of electric vehicles, with respect to the other internal combustion engine (ICE) two-wheelers. The tagline ‘Plug-in, Ride Out’ was created to emphasise the simplicity and convenience of the product. It has been carried forward in all levels of communication – from press advertisements and shop floor collaterals, to the newly aired TVC. While the BTL activities are aimed at enhancing consumer experience, the ATL campaign is aimed at consumer awareness.

In order to enhance the buying experience of the consumers, Hero Ultra has done a lot of BTL activities. Apart from participating in the local trade fairs and consumer exhibitions, the company has gone beyond the conventional routes. Keeping the target audience and their spending patterns in mind, it has targeted cluster markets, residential societies, entertainment spots, commercial areas, municipal corporations, vicinity of colleges and coaching institutes and schools to conduct road shows.

Two different commercials have been aired under the new television campaign. The ‘Born of electricity, Born for the future’ commercial highlights the electric aspect of the category through a creative route of lightning, which symbolises electricity. At the same time, it also paves the way for the launch of the new brand ‘Hero Ultra’, distinguishing it from other two wheelers.

The other film, based on the concept of miming, is aimed at establishing the core consumer proposition – ‘Plug-In, Ride Out’. Set against a deliberately theatrical backdrop of a petrol pump, the film emphasises the petrol-free aspect of the scooters in a humourous manner. The simple idea of just charging the vehicle and riding out without any hassles is the highlight of the film.

The print campaign carries forward the consumer proposition of simplicity and functionality, highlighting the range of petrol-free electric scooters.

Hero Ultra has already touched 10,000 units of sales this month. Through the new marketing impetus, the company aims at selling around 20,000 units by the end of March 2008, thereby achieving top-line revenue of around $16 million. The venture intends to plough back 25 per cent of its revenue into advertising and marketing activities.


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