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Ad Review: Honda – More a ‘Hero’ ad than a ‘Honda’ one

13-June-2012
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Ad Review: Honda – More a ‘Hero’ ad than a ‘Honda’ one

If ‘A Day in the Life of India’ showed you all the crazy things that happen every day in our Mother Nation, Honda has launched its first independent India campaign featuring Akshay Kumar, taking you through ‘Gali and Chaubaras’ of Bharat or the real India that rises everyday to chase a dream.

Honda is attempting to act as a crusader for bridging the gap between your dreams and reality by giving speed. The 90-second TVC takes a slice from every Indian’s life – belonging to different class and creed – to depict each and every human being has to travel a long journey before reaching his ultimate destination.

Brand: Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India, Corporate
Medium: Television
Agency: Dentsu Marcom

The brief
“2012 is a significant year for Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI),” said Yadvinder S Guleria, Vice President – Sales and Marketing, HMSI, pointing out the importance of the timing of the campaign.

“Honda, which is respected globally for innovation and technology, is embarking on an independent journey in India. Our ambition in India is to give mobility to every citizen. Thus, the brief was to have a common subject which appeals to a larger audience and have a face that personifies the journey from struggle to success,” he added.

The brief has been translated into ‘Sach Kar Denge Sapne’ with Akshay Kumar shouting the slogan aloud.

Commenting on the creative idea behind the concept, Titus Upputuru, National Creative Director, Dentsu Marcom shared, “All of us have dreams that we nurture since childhood. One of the first questions we are asked in India is – What do you want to become? The creative idea takes a leap from here and shows an India that is in a hurry, to make its dreams come true. Today everyone wants to become a star overnight. ‘Sach Kar Denge Sapne’ talks about the determination that all of us have, that come what may we will make our dreams come true. The campaign communicates that Honda is here to give power to the dreams of the entire nation.”

Execution
The campaign banks on star power of Akshay Kumar, who epitomises perfect rags to riches story. Lines narrated by him in his quintessential baritone, captures everyday story of the ‘aam aadmi’ waking up each morning trying to get one step closer to his dreams and aspirations.

Industry speak
KV Sridhar aka Pops, National Creative Director, Leo Burnett, still in a hangover of Hero-Honda finds it difficult to differentiate the ad. He said, “Well produced and well crafted, the basic idea of connecting with Indian restless youth is a relevant one. However, it ends up looking and feeling like a ‘Hero’ ad than a ‘Honda’ one. While the global idea of Power of Dreams is great, the Indianisation lacks innovation or inspiration. The montage/narrative style makes it far less inspiring than its intention. Honda power lies in humanising technology. Hope the brand finds its voice soon.”

Dheeraj Sinha, Author, Consumer India and Former Regional Planning Director, Bates likes the spot but is sceptical of it getting lost in the clutter. He said, “It's a nice, feel-good spot with some well written poetic lines. Images like breakfast on the bike are quite fresh. However, what makes the spot endearing and warm may also come in its way of impact. Firstly, a montage of warm images strung together by a celebrity narration has a very strong chance of getting lost in today's media clutter. Moreover, the whole space of 'dreams' and 'getting there faster' has been done quite a few times in the last decade. I feel this space is too big and diffused to give any brand a sharp positioning. The spot leaves you with a good feeling but nothing specific to remember. Will it get the brand noticed and remembered? A lot depends on the media weight now.”

Naresh Gupta, Co-Founder, Bang in the Middle doesn’t dislike the ad but has also not fallen in love with it. “This is like Hamara Bajaj of old meets Hamara Honda of today, and nothing
seems to have changed in between,” he said. Commenting on the novelty of thought he added, “A very good reality of our times is hiding under the thought that we as a nation are in a hurry. This could have been a really big story. Powered by a Japanese brand – could have been even bigger. But the way it is executed currently, it is fairly uni-dimensional. Strategically this is Honda's transition to the heartland India. Heartland comes through, but Honda remains a bit muted in this.”

Credits
National Creative Director: Titus Upputuru
Senior Creative Directors: Vishal Mittal, Jitendra Kaushik
Creative team: Titus Upputuru, Vishal Mittal, Jitendra Kaushik, Brijesh Bharadwaj, Vivek Dev
Director: Amit Sharma
Production House: Chrome Pictures

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