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Nissan plays on aggression to market new Micra

24-July-2013
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Nissan plays on aggression to market new Micra

Shot against the rustic settings of Jaisalmer, Nissan has launched a commercial for the new Micra titled ‘Tag on Wheels’. Playing hard on aggression, the main objective is to showcase the re-launched hatchback with a robust and dynamic facelift packed with driver-friendly features.

The campaign, called ‘Tag on Wheels’, was conceptualised keeping the Micra’s capabilities in mind. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Jaisalmer, the commercial features four cars chasing each other while playing a game of tag. The game takes the viewer through the winding lanes of the fort-city, palaces and ruins, establishing the Nissan Micra as a tough car and also introducing the key features. The jingle urges people to ‘Come out and play’ and the film ends with a voiceover saying, ‘The new Nissan Micra. Play Hard’.

“The significant exterior and interior changes to Micra are based on customers’ desire for a more aggressive and highly maneuverable hatchback with state-of-the-art features for today’s driving needs, combined with infotainment necessities,” said Nitish Tipnis, Director Sales and Marketing at Hover Automotive India (NSC Nissan India).

“The ‘Play Hard’ campaign accentuates the new Micra’s sporty and macho stance while demonstrating the spacious interiors and features. The tone of the new TV Commercial raises the bar for customers in the hatchback segment who aspire for the best,” he added.

It is a conscious attempt by Micra to move away from the softer territory to the tough territory, targeting hatchback consumers in the B and B+ segments.

Parixit Bhattacharya, Chief Creative Officer at TBWA\India added, “With a bolder grille as its new face and loaded with features, the Nissan Micra deserved a commercial where the car was the real star. Four cars playing a game of tag allowed us to unveil the many facets of the car while sticking to the story. The premise also helps in establishing the new Micra as the mean performer that it truly is. We hope the commercial will motivate people to reassess the car and inspire them to play hard.”

The media mix includes print, digital and TV.

Expert take
Vipul Thakkar, Executive Creative Director, DDB Mudra – South said, “It’s nicely executed, I will give it that. The way the features have been subtly showcased beat the big bold supers any day, but as an idea it’s not completely fresh. Everything from ballet to jive has been created in automobile communication. I think the Ranbir retro series was a different idea and a lot more refreshing than the current creative.”

“Play Hard – What does that mean? Is the car hard to get? A long waiting period? The tag idea has nothing to do with ‘Play hard’,” he added.

He also feels that there is nothing memorable about the communication.  According to him, nothing sticks and it’s another ship in the dark silently passing by.

Our take
Nissan Micra is often remembered as a car with the chocolaty Ranbir Kapoor singing ‘Chala jaata hu’ in a retro backdrop. It made us believe that this car is riding on the soft image and is not meant for a long-distance drive. However, the new commercial has been successful in repositioning the car with a more masculine and aggressive outlook. It will necessarily urge people to reassess the car.

The whole idea of ‘Tag on Wheels’ brings out the sporty element of the car. This idea has never been done on the auto front; however, Network18’s ‘Tag and Touch’ commercial and Nike’s Tag were a great hit. The ad has been shot well but a viewer might just get busy chasing the moves of cars in the ad.  The jingle is good and makes the ad lively. However, it raises an intriguing question as to “Is this ad a similar version of BMW’s Mini Cooper Countryman?”

Using Jaisalmer as a location
The decision of choosing Jaisalmer as a location to shoot this film is a great idea because it was necessary to highlight the tough features of the car to make the consumers believe that the car can be driven at any location. Taking the viewers through the narrow roads and winding lanes of the fort-city, reinforces the belief that Nissan Micra has the features of a macho product.

When the element of risk-taking has taken a backseat in auto ads, we believe this commercial will stand out in terms of the idea and execution, which is done in an entertaining manner. 

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