Debrief: Honda Amaze: Takes a detour

25 Apr,2013

By Anil Thakraney


Wow, this seems to be a season of soaps! On Tuesday we examined the new Godrej campaign, which follows the TV serial format. Here’s another one, and thank god it doesn’t feature Amitabh Bachchan in drag. Honda Amaze, the first diesel offering from Honda is here, and their ads too feature a continuing story.


This campaign features the full family. The man’s in-laws are visiting, and this ‘catastrophic’ event triggers many ads, and within each ‘episode’, one particular feature of the car gets highlighted. More leg room, more boot space, super mileage, etc. The entertainment is provided by funny interactions amongst the family members.


Hmm, must say it’s an interesting approach, even if it isn’t brilliant by any stretch of imagination. It’s actually a regular Indian family ad. What strikes me as different is that Honda has decided to break the rules of typical sedan advertising. Instead of selling premium imagery, hip lifestyle, design, aspiration, hot chicks, etc, they’ve gone into the life of a typical middle class family. They are the sort of people you’d find in a realism-based television serial like Balika Vadhu. There’s not even an attempt to make the brand look cool and happening, it’s totally about functionality and performance.


Now, this I appreciate. Refreshing to see a sedan ad minus all the usual lifestyle advertising shoo-sha. And it makes strategic sense. Honda is considered an expensive option in India, their cars are always priced higher than the rival brands. The Amaze is Honda’s first reasonably priced car, but rather than selling price, they’ve gone for the ‘aam aadmi’ advertising approach. So that the entry level sedan buyers don’t shy away from the brand, imagining it to be expensive.


Good thinking. This approach will result in many footfalls in the Honda showroom.


Rating: (On a scale of 1-5): 3. Sensible, no-frills advertising.


Anil Thakraney is a senior journalist and commentator. He is also Editor-at-Large, MxMIndia. The views of the writer are his own.




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