Bajaj Motorcycles: The Nation's Bike

 

Client: Bajaj Auto
Brand: Bajaj Motorcycles
Category: Automotive, Motorcycles
Country: India
Year: 2016

 

Campaign Summary

The INS Vikrant, a Majestic-class aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, was being sent to the scrapyard -- leaving a proud nation dispirited and resigned to its harsh fate. It was not just any other warship. She was a national icon. As India’s first aircraft carrier and the face of independent India’s growing pride and prowess, she led the country to the historic Indo-Pak War of 1971 that resulted in the birth of a new nation – Bangladesh.

Bajaj Motorcycles wanted to ensure that the legend lived on. It purchased the scrap of the warship, melted it, molded it and brought it to life by forging a motorcycle -- the Bajaj V -- from its metal for the first time ever. With the indomitable spirit and metal of the iconic Vikrant resting in its body, our task was to launch Bajaj V and let India know what made this bike unique.

 

Objective and Context

The challenge in launching the Bajaj V was to find an innovative way to let India know what made this bike unique. The brand was only going to use digital and mobile marketing. There was no above-the-line support for the campaign.

On mobile and digital, Bajaj reached a more aspirational audience and banked on their patriotism and predisposition to share content that appeals to the target audience and get the word of this campaign out.

Given what the bike stood for –the launch had to be equally memorable.

The target audience was male, middle-class, 25 - 35 year olds, across the nation -- the prime audience for premium commuter-segment bikes like the Bajaj V.

 

Creative Strategy

The creative strategy hinged on igniting national pride by creating a talking point for the brand, designed around a day of pride. Bajaj shunned the regular mass media approach for a motorcycle launch. By leveraging PR, digital and social media, it created media-contextual work that seamlessly fit its narrative of “forged with collective pride” - centered around an epochal date in Indian history – 26th January, the Indian Republic Day.

2016 was the first year of the campaign since it was the launch of the bike.

In Phase 1, the brand "teased" the bike by reliving the legend. Bajaj took the nation by surprise and awe on Republic Day, by announcing that the legend of Vikrant would continue to live on through a new bike from Bajaj, using the following:

  • An inspiring teaser digital film set to the epic sound track of Indian musician and philanthropist AR Rahman. His song "Maa Tujhe Salaam" brought to life the Vikrant’s saga and Bajaj’s intent to pay tribute through an all-new avatar.
  • Bajaj galvanised conversations by seeding opinion and native content pieces about Vikrant's achievements, and showcased it in a responsive online museum that chronicled her journey through painstakingly sourced archival footage: www.bajajauto.com/v/vikrant
  • With people eager to know what the new bike looked like, the brand further fuelled anticipation by cueing the Vikrant badging, culminating in the bike silhouette, through interactive display and social media properties.
  • Bajaj began seeding this video through the messaging platform WhatsApp.

In Phase 2, Bajaj launched the Bajaj V, which it called, "The Nation's Bike." The new symbol of the nation’s pride roared into being on February 1st. This phase consisted of:

  • A LIVE cast that revealed the Bajaj V on the mobile and desktop site, amplified by automobile specialists on Twitter and YouTube (Powerdrift, IAmABiker, etc.), were further invited to review the bike.
  • Amping up the desirability quotient by highlighting the ’invincible’ form, performance and style of Bajaj V on the site, on YouTube, via roadblocks on auto portals and through social media assets.
  • Post-launch, the brand optimized the microsite to ensure that relevant keyword searches channeled traffic, including terms related to Vikrant.
  • 360 views, videos and carousel ad units on Facebook – all of which were aided by the mobile experience.
  • Everything was built mobile first.
     

Results

The results are below:

  • The Bajaj V was a $500 million brand on day one: A never-before achievement, that too, using mobile and digital-only!
  • Bajaj V sold 11,000 bikes on the first day of launch itself, leading to a 3-month waiting period, with Bajaj upping its production capacity from 20,000 to 50,000 units monthly, making it a $0.5 billion brand already!
  • Close to 40,000 leads were directly attributed from digital channels in the first two months (Source: Bajaj Auto), almost 25,000 of those coming in February alone, with the majority coming from mobile.
  • The site received a whopping 500,000 visitors within the first week of launch (55 percent of which came from mobile, hence showing the mobile efficacy of the innovations).
  • The Live Cast of the launch crossed 100,000 views on YouTube.
  • While the online videos garnered 53 million impressions, reaching out to 16 million, over the campaign period, brand Bajaj V created over 100 million impressions on varied digital platforms.

 

SMARTIES AWARDS WON

  • Gold award winner in the category of “Brand Awareness” – India

 


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