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Can Honda ride on 'Hero'?

16-August-2013
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Can Honda ride on 'Hero'?

There’s a ‘Kanjoos Lala’, there’s ‘Badnaam Traffic’ and there’s ‘Zaalim Raaste’ – Wait! It’s not the remake of Ramesh Sippy’s ‘Sholay’, but the new ad campaign of Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) titled ‘Superstar’ for its Dream Series mass motorcycle – the 110cc Dream Neo.

Conceptualised by Dentsu Marcom, this is the first time that HMSI has taken the rural route to appease the masses.

Dream Neo from Honda caters to the needs of the Indians who aspire for an expression of individual identity with ‘Apni Film ka Superstar’ concept. The masses desire for a bike to deliver best in class mileage with star features in a limited budget. HMSI had announced its plans to aggressively expand its presence through India-specific brand identity ‘Sach Kardenge Sapne’ and various new launches at the largest automobile event Auto Expo 2012.

To establish a stronger foothold in the entry level two-wheeler market, Honda’s new 100cc mass segment offering – ‘Dream Neo’ will be an extension to its product portfolio.

Rather than aspiring to be someone else, the campaign celebrates the protagonist as not just a star but a superstar in his own life, in his own right.

The film begins with protagonist saying, “Ye meri phillum hai aur iss phillum ka main Superstar hoon”. He wears sun glasses and a jacket that says, ‘Horn Ok Please’.  He is shown riding the bike through Chambal like rocky terrains and we see the villains in his life – Kanjoos Lala, Badnaam Traffic and Zaalim Raaste. He then goes on to say that when he gets on his Dream Neo, the features of the bike help him feel on top of things so much so that all the villains in his life disappear. He rides past all the villains and meets the ‘Mrs Superstar’ and asks her “Phillum chale?” She replies saying, “Apni phillum itni achchi toh auron ki kyon dekhe?” The film ends with the tagline ‘Dream Neo, Bano apne phillum ka superstar’.

On the campaign, YS Guleria, Vice President – Sales and Marketing, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India said, “Creating a new paradigm in mass mobility, Dream Neo is Honda’s most affordable and most fuel efficient two-wheeler ever in India. While Dream Neo is loaded with attractive and best-in-class features such as top mileage of 74 kmpl, it is being delivered at a truly aggressive pricing to delight Indian customers. I am confident that the new TVC of Dream Neo will create top-of-the-mind recall with its out-of-the-box and local customer-centric theme.”

“The idea was simple – what would happen if the struggling man out on the street thought that his life was a movie, and that he was the protagonist of his own movie. Honda’s latest offering, Dream Neo helps him take this leap in his mind. The 110 cc motorcycle has stellar features that help him conquer the daily grind and be on top of things. We thought this was apt story because we are talking to an audience who are heavily influenced by the visual 75mm screen. They look up to superstars. We thought what if we make them think that they could be the superstars of their own lives, that they, if they wish to, could live the lives of the icons they look up to,” said Titus Upputuru, NCD, Dentsu Marcom.

The campaign will be supported through print and digital.

Will the individual identity help?
Expert take
Satbir Singh, Managing Partner and Chief Creative Officer, Havas Worldwide India said, “I found it funny that Honda’s former collaborator in India says there’s a hero in you and Honda says there’s a superstar in you! Be that as it may, they could’ve tried something catchier with the same positioning; something that stays with you a little longer.”

Our take
‘A dabangg hero with brutal villains in a rural setting’ – this defines the new ad of Honda Dream Neo. After analysing the life of a rural consumer, the brand has successfully found a man who stands out for his confidence and assurance in himself. Hence, the insight of bringing alive this dimension of celebrating the individual identity with ‘Apni Film ka Superstar’ concept has hit the bull’s eye. The whole idea of celebrating the protagonist not just as a star but a Superstar in his own life is very good.

The ad has been executed in an entertaining way and clearly helps in understanding the insight behind the campaign. The use of phrases like ‘Kanjoos Lala’, ‘Badnaam Traffic’ and ‘Zaalim Raaste’ adds to the local flavour. The choice of the characters are very good, especially the protagonist with the right attitude.

It is interesting to see the way they have portrayed the various loop holes while driving on rural roads. Unlike other motorcycles ads, this one intelligently describes the product features without being too obvious. However, the rustic settings and dabangg attitude looks similar to Salman Khan’s ‘Chulbul’ style of Suzuki Hayate – Yun Hi Nahi Chalate.

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