On a Dif­fer­ent Ride

Through a new spot, the brand is look­ing to pro­mote its pro­tec­tive gear.

The Brand Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - By Sankalp Dik­shit sankalp.dik­shit@afaqs.com

Pic­turesque land­scape, vir­gin lo­ca­tions, dra­matic back­ground score and breath tak­ing cin­e­matog­ra­phy - that is Royal Enfield’s new ad in a nut­shell. The Chen­nai based mo­tor­cy­cle brand has re­leased a new ad film for its pro­tec­tive rid­ing gear.

The ad film which hinges upon the tagline, ‘All Weather. All Ter­rain Gear’, is shot across dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions in In­dia. Start­ing from Dar­jeel­ing’s swampy ar­eas of Le­bong Val­ley to Ma­ha­rash­tra’s muddy stretches of He­malachi Tanda and fi­nally con­clud­ing at Sikkim’s chilly glaciers of Yumthang Val­ley, the ad takes in­spi­ra­tion from real rid­ing ex­pe­ri­ences of Royal Enfield rid­ers.

While re­ports are do­ing the rounds that Ba­jaj’s new of­fer­ing, Ba­jaj Dom­i­nar 400 has eaten away twenty per­cent of Royal Enfield’s mar­ket share; Royal Enfield is un­fazed. The new ad po­si­tions it­self in a way to which many city based con­sumers might not re­late. Af­ter all, not ev­ery­one is a week­end ad­ven­ture en­thu­si­ast, are we? We asked Samrat Som, head, ap­par­els and ac­ces­sories, Royal Enfield, to bet­ter un­der­stand the brand’s strat­egy which seems to be alien­at­ing a seg­ment of con­sumers.

He says, “Royal Enfield of­fers a range of pro­tec­tive as well as and ur­ban gear. The lat­ter has a gamut of tex­tile jack­ets, t-shirts, den­ims, etc. for the leisurely city runs, suited well for both on and off the mo­tor­cy­cle. While the pro­tec­tive gear on the other hand, be­fits a more chal­leng­ing ter­rain and long rid­ing dis­tances where the rider will en­counter many rough stretches, some places with no sight of even the tar­mac, wa­ter crossings, tem­per­a­tures rang­ing from 50 de­grees to sub-zero, to down­pours etc. So to an­swer your ques­tion, it was im­per­a­tive for us to tra­verse au­then­tic/real ter­rains and weather con­di­tions to il­lus­trate the idea of pro­tec­tive gear. Our range of jack­ets, trousers, gloves and boots al­low the rider to pur­sue his ad­ven­tures and ex­plo­rations while we have him cov­ered.”

Speaking about the me­dia plan for this ad film, Som tells that the plan is fo­cused on tar­get­ing in­volved cus­tomers (purists, ad­ven­ture en­thu­si­asts, mo­tor­cy­clists) through video com­mer­cials on Youtube, Google, Face­book and In­sta­gram. “These com­mer­cials are led by a sixty sec­ond film that helps es­tab­lish the core idea of ‘All Weather. All Ter­rain Gear’ fol­lowed by mul­ti­ple fif­teen sec­ond videos to strengthen mes­sag­ing re­call through re­mar­ket­ing ef­forts,” adds Som.

The ad which aims to ad­ver­tise the brand’s pro­tec­tive rid­ing gear, strictly re­stricts it­self to that. The mo­tor­cy­cle is kept on the back burner to fo­cus at­ten­tion on the rid­ing gear. Som ex­plains, “Our mo­tor­cy­cles en­joy a cer­tain re­call amongst rid­ers. With this cam­paign, the fo­cus was to build aware­ness for our Pro­tec­tive Gear of­fer­ing and in many ways it was

The ad has been crafted and con­cep­tu­alised by Wieden+Kennedy In­dia.

in­ten­tional that the spot­light doesn’t go back to our mo­tor­cy­cles, thereby di­lut­ing the task at hand. On our mo­tor­cy­cles, we end up go­ing to some of the cold­est, dri­est, mud­di­est, warm­est and most hu­mid places on earth. This time it’s the gear that has you cov­ered.”

The ad has been crafted and con­cep­tu­alised by Wieden+Kennedy In­dia. Speaking about the tough­est part be­hind shoot­ing this ad, Jonathan Ge­orge, cre­ative di­rec­tor, Wieden+Kennedy In­dia, tells afaqs!, “We in­ten­tion­ally chose places that were tough to get to and tough to ride in. Places that re­ally put our gear to the test. Places that Royal Enfield rid­ers would en­joy - other-worldly, out of most peo­ple’s am­bit, un­for­giv­ing and as a re­sult, more sat­is­fy­ing. This of course, meant trudg­ing through knee-deep snow at 3 am, deal­ing with 50 de­grees tem­per­a­ture at one in the af­ter­noon, end­lessly clam­ber­ing up and down the Hi­malayas and mak­ing our way through the back of be­yond in Ma­ha­rash­tra. A very tir­ing, un­set­tling task.”

“Au­then­tic­ity was cru­cial. This is what al­most all Royal Enfield rid­ers in­evitably hope to do with their mo­tor­cy­cles. The lo­ca­tions had to say “Hey, you haven’t been here yet” and en­tice peo­ple to ride a lit­tle more. Hope­fully they’ll see the sense of be­ing well-kit­ted out and equipped while they’re at it,” adds Ge­orge.

ROAR­ING THUN­DER OR AN AD­VER­TIS­ING BLUN­DER?

In re­cent times, there have been sev­eral ads that fea­ture rocky ter­rains, ex­pan­sive moun­tain ranges and awe-in­spir­ing land­scapes. Take for in­stance the re­cent ad by Shell for its lu­bri­cant oils or the ‘Ba­jaj Avengers’ ad cam­paign; even the award win­ning cam­paign of HP Lu­bri­cants (Roads that Honk) - all have a sim­i­lar back­drop in their films. So just like that, a ques­tion comes to mind, how does one en­sure brand re­call when all these ads look and feel the same?

Through­out the one and a half minute long ad, the logo of Royal Enfield makes a blink-and-you-mis­sit ap­pear­ance. In to­day’s day and age, where ads are scream­ing brand names, is it there room for sub­tle brand­ing?”

Kar­tik Smetacek, ex­ec­u­tive cre­ative di­rec­tor, Law & Ken­neth Saatchi & Saatchi, tells afaqs!, “While it’s true that sev­eral ads to­day fea­ture sim­i­lar im­agery, no one has a more right­ful claim to it than the Royal Enfield

“Our range of jack­ets, trousers, gloves and boots al­low the rider to pur­suit his ad­ven­tures and ex­plo­rations while we have him cov­ered.” SAMRAT SOM

brand. Of course, sim­ply show­cas­ing beau­ti­ful vis­tas could get repet­i­tive over time, how­ever it is for the idea and ex­e­cu­tion to add fresh­ness to each ad. In an age of 5 sec­onds and skip, the video kept me watch­ing till the end. The sheer scale and drama of the vi­su­als punc­tu­ated with only SFX and sparse per­cus­sion sets it apart from other ads.”

Smetacek adds, “The ad firmly fits in the Royal Enfield brand world. Ev­ery as­pect of the video, from the lo­ca­tions to the re­al­is­tic way it’s been shot, points to brand. In my opin­ion, that is bet­ter brand con­nect than mul­ti­ple shots of the logo. Also, I think it makes sense that they didn’t fo­cus on the bikes too much, mak­ing it clear that this is an ad for Royal Enfield gear.”

Ap­pre­ci­at­ing the ad’s back­ground score, Utkarsh Singh Payal, cre­ative di­rec­tor, Bot­tle Open­ers, tells afaqs!, “... as the bike rolls through the slush and the wa­ter, the sub­tle thump, the sparse drum beats, there are no sun­shiny, mood-up­lift­ing alt rock songs. Just raw, nat­u­ral sounds as you hear them while you’re rid­ing. It all came to­gether nicely.”

Agree­ing with Smetacek, Payal adds, “When a Royal Enfield cruises across the road, peo­ple no­tice (even with­out that an­noy­ing non-stock fire­cracker si­lencer).” ■

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