Short List
Product / ServiceAUTOMOTIVE
CategoryA01. Creative Effectiveness

Brief Explanation

This isn’t just the story of a motorcycle brand. This is the story of Indian pride. Motorcycles are big business in India – 76% of registered motor vehicles are two-wheelers, of which 2/3’s are motorcycles; over a million motorcycles are sold in a single month. And 80% of all bikes sold are bought for functional reasons (‘gets me from A to B’) and so are fairly basic with a strong emphasis on value-for-money – the commuter motorcycles. For over a decade, two brands – Hero Motors and Honda Motors – dominated the Commuter sector – and worse so the fast-growing, high value Premium Commuter sector – accounting for almost 90% Premium Commuter bikes sold. People’s faith in the leaders was largely owing to a deeply-entrenched cautious behavior, seeking safety in herd – “if everyone’s doing it, it must be right”. Making it extremely difficult for a new brand to assert itself - 22 of 24 new launches offering incremental product changes failed to take off altogether in the last 6 years. Bajaj Motorcycles – a leader in the sports sector – had seen a steady decline in shares in the commuter segment and wanted to re-establish their caliber among the larger audience. But then the challenge facing us was evident: How do we break the stranglehold of established players in the commuter sector built on such a deeply-entrenched cultural behavior? If we couldn’t overturn years of cultural conditioning, we reasoned we could perhaps give potential buyers a new herd-instinct to follow instead. And found one in national pride, which was on a surge given India’s new found confidence and identity. But how? While we were wracking our brains in an attempt to identify a new-herd proposition, something huge was happening in our society: INS Vikrant – India’s first aircraft carrier, now decommissioned, was turned to scrap by the Supreme Court despite a huge outcry and legal attempts to prevent it. A mad idea occurred to us: what if that scrap became a motorbike?! It was a crazy way to sell a creative strategy to a client, but they loved it – far from throwing us out the room as many would have done, they asked us to help them develop the bike. And so the idea for Bajaj V was born – a bike made with the (metal and) spirit of INS Vikrant, the pride of India. We wanted every element of our campaign to live the narrative of pride (and not safety in numbers), and took a radically different approach to the splashy hyperbole typical of our category –a phased, digital media led conversation driven by evocative content. Bajaj V broke through instantly–selling 11,000 units on day one and 100,000 in its first quarter. Bajaj earned $53 for every dollar spent through the campaign making the brand worth $240 million in annual turnover already! Even our pride-based content platforms were hugely popular with two brand ambassadors getting recognized with Padma Shri awards – one of India’s highest civilian honor.


Name Company Position
Leo Burnett India Leo Burnett India Creative Agency