Naresh Gupta, Managing Partner and Chief Strategy Officer, Bang in the Middle, takes a look at the complexities of car advertising, focussing on the ads for Nexa and BMW X6
Delhi | August 12, 2015
Sometimes it is good to be a fly on the wall and hear what people talk about. The two were busy discussing the next car they wanted to buy. This is a small recap of how the conversation went â one a prospective buyer, the other who owns a car.
âThere is a new car brand in the market that is what I should be buying.â
âIs there a new car in the market? Why havenât I heard of it?â
âIt is called Nexa, letâs go check it out. They have some new models coming in.â
âDude, Nexa is not a new brand of car, it is a new showroom of cars.â
âBut I have seen ads of Nexa, very nice ones. They show a car in the ad, looks kind of nice, SUV type.â
âNexa is actually just a showroom, they sell Suzuki cars, not Maruti.â
âSo now Maruti and Suzuki are not the same brands? They are different?â
âI think so.â By this time I sensed a bit of confusion set in. âMaruti will sell some cars, Suzuki will sell some cars, letâs check them on the web.â
One of the two at this stage pulled out the phone and started to check Nexa on the web.
âThis is the page of Nexa, but it says Maruti Suzuki, not Suzuki.â
âSee, I told you Nexa is not a car, it is a showroom, they sell Suzuki cars.â
âBut it is a Maruti showroom, so Nexa is not a car?â
This sense of confusion seems to prevail in the entire communication spectrum of the brand. The initial three ads that announced the launch of Nexa built a sense of expectation, about a new experience. The ads created a sense of lifestyle and high fashion. The next phase of the launch was introducing S Cross. The TVC is an expensively mounted car experience TVC that is a moving showcase of the car. Cross also signs off as S Cross available on Nexa with a small Maruti Suzuki branding in the mix. The print launch ad was a large scale attention grabbing tactic, designed to create a sense of awe.
There is a big sense of overload on the branding. There is a showroom brand, there is a car mother brand, and there is a sense of car brand, not stated overtly. There is a lot that the consumer has to decipher.
BMW launched its X6 range of cars in India. The TVC is a usual showcase of driving shots and a host of visuals with X written randomly across the landscape.
As a viewer, you do get a sense of an expansive drive across a variety of territories, you also see a host of car types: sedan, SUV and crossover, you get a sense of bigness. Is this what brand BMW should depict is another question. X6 should be a mark of new driving experience, new sense of spring-in-step of the owner, should create a sense of adrenalin rush. This range of cars is aimed at a very small select audience who have experienced the best of luxury and are looking at something that is beyond the ordinary. For a car brand that is the epitome of car driving experience and a brand that promises joy, the TVC leaves you underwhelmed. May be there is a new set of communication in the pipeline that will build on the driving credentials of BMW and raise X6 to the level it should be.
Cars are complex products to advertise â the cars need to be showcased, but eventually the driver of the car is more important than the car itself. For the car to stand out and create the desire, the driver needs to step up.