Debrief: Honda: No need for desi flavour

05 Jul,2012

By Anil Thakraney


On Tuesday we examined what Hero is up to. Today let’s see what’s happening with their estranged partner, Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI). I suppose the key task Honda set for itself is to establish a bond with the desi youth, now that the ‘Hero’ moniker is gone. And they have rushed to macho hero Akshay Kumar for help.


The idea in the TVC is that every Indian is in a great hurry to make his/her dream come true. And that the Honda bike imparts acceleration to those dreams. The voice-over is provided by macho ‘dood’ Akshay Kumar (decked up in a horrendous hood), who claims to know all about chasing dreams because he’s been there, done that. Or some such words. And the ad is peppered with Indian symbols and attitude to further embellish the local flavour.


An entirely boring commercial. It features nothing that we haven’t seen before. In fact, the ad re-hashes all the usual Indian advertising cliches. Worse, Akshayji’s non-stop drone gets on the nerves, and what saves your life is the biggest tech boon known to humanity: the blessed remote control.


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Apart from the TVC being a complete flop show, here’s a thought for Honda: Now that you are on your own, and now that your only USP is the Jap connection (and it IS a positive connection), why do you want to desperately bring out the Indian touch? Wouldn’t it be better to go full-on on your Japanese lineage and expertise? As a bike purchaser, I would actually find that a lot more appealing.


Bring out the kimono, guys. And chuck the dreadful hood.


Rating: (On a scale of 1 to 5): 1. Boring and misdirected.


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