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CEAT and Ogilvy try to make women bikers feel safe on roads

The tyre brand’s creative agency partner Ogilvy & Mather has conceptualised and ideated an innovative scooter handle grip, containing a pepper spray, to help women riders take on road Romeos

Click on the Images to watch the Video.

Street harassment is a serious concern for women riding motorbikes, especially after dusk. There could be many ways to confront such situations such as keeping pepper spray in bag or making SOS call to near and dear ones, but one may not find enough time to use these solutions.

Almost all brands across the world talk about feminism and women safety but there are very few who walk the talk.

Here is a brand that has come up with an easily accessible solution to this serious problem with a product innovation in partnership with its creative agency partner. An innovation that becomes a part of customers’ daily life is the most successful piece of work. Working in sync with its creative agency partner Ogilvy & Mather, CEAT Tyres has come with an innovative handle grip with a pepper spray in it for scooters.

Making it relevant to over one-third of the two-wheeler driving population in the country, CEAT aims to solve one of the many problems of women safety. Women form over 32 per cent of the total two-wheeler sales in the country. Road Romeos and stalkers on the roads are some of the major issues that women riders tackle every day.

Keeping that in mind, the tyre manufacturing company has launched CEAT Safety Grip, which is a customised scooter handle grip that seamlessly conceals a pepper spray in the accelerator throttle for quick and easy access at the time of distress.

Nitish Bajaj

Nitish Bajaj, Sr. VP, Marketing, CEAT Limited, said, “CEAT has always stood for safety and women safety is a growing concern in our country. So we wanted to give a solution to empower women so they can take charge of their own safety.”

CEAT has often come up with some or the other innovations each time with the belief that innovation is the key to communicate with its audience about the brand’s focus on safety.

“The idea must be distinct and befitting with our brand purpose of making mobility safer and smarter. So yes, being innovative is critical,” said Bajaj.

The brand’s creative partners are equally involved in the innovation and the development of the product. To further promote this innovation, the company has launched a digital campaign titled, ‘Empowering Women Safety’.

Kiran Antony

“CEAT constantly believes in going out of the way and do something that portrays its philosophy of, it helps. With this brief too, CEAT wanted to make roads safer for women. The brief was not just to create communication, but do something that actually makes a difference,” said Kiran Antony, Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather.

It took Antony and team good four months from ideation to final execution, product development and then the release of the campaign.

He further added, “We believed it was time for action, beyond just words. The problem is real, and the solution needed to be as real. This very insight helped us arrive at the idea of the CEAT safety grip.”

Talking about the challenges involved in the making of the whole initiative, Antony said that developing a whole new product is difficult and the seamless brand integration is more difficult. It did take a lot of time perfecting the safety grip and integrating it within a throttle.

“Our challenges include getting the design right for quick and easy access and complying with CEAT promise of quality,” added Bajaj.

CEAT Safety Grip is available on Amazon at an introductory price of Rs 499. Currently, the CEAT Safety Grip is compatible with Honda Activa Scooters. CEAT has filed a design application patent for this innovative product and the company looks forward to customising the design for other popular scooters in the near future based on the market response.

“For now, this product can be fitted only on Honda Activa scooters and is available on Amazon and now on Flipkart as well. We will be working on the design for other scooter models based on the market demand,” said Bajaj.

When asked if people will actually be willing to replace their original handles with the new product, Bajaj said, “It’s been only three days and we’ve already received very encouraging responses from the audience online and offline in terms of comments on different platforms. You just need a mechanic to replace the accelerator grip without modifying the wiring of the scooter within 15 minutes. So it’s a small effort towards keeping yourself safe and equipped for any emergency situation.”

The campaign will be promoted through social and other influencer outreach programmes. “Given its social relevance, we also expect people to share on social media and spread the word,” said Bajaj. “There is no plan to use television as a medium for this campaign as yet.”

Uncertainties pointed by the industry peers

Jagdish Acharya

Jagdish Acharya, Founder and Creative Head at Cut The Crap finds the innovation viral-esque initiative. He said, “It can give some confidence to the lady. But the question is, is it practical? Is it safe for the lady herself? She might instinctively use it while still riding the bike, a dangerous stunt that. Can’t it become a handy weapon against her, if anyone can pull it out?

Concluding his viewpoint, “For the time being, the idea in the media is empowering. But the issue here is serious and should not be left at a mere marketing ploy,” Acharya added.

Sharing her viewpoint, Sreeja Gopalakrishnan, Creative Director, Copy, Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi, said, “Women on two-wheelers is has a very common sight in big and small metros. The CEAT Safety Grip is an interesting and refreshing initiative. Because unlike an SOS system, it puts the power in a woman’s hands, literally. She becomes in charge of her own safety and protection. Having said that a pepper spray may be a temporary measure. If there was some way the authorities could be alerted in the meanwhile, it would be absolutely great.”

Mumbai-headquartered CEAT, the flagship company of the Rs 22,000-crore RPG Enterprises, was established in 1958. CEAT produces over 15 million tyres a year and offers the widest range of tyres to all segments and manufactures world-class radials for heavy-duty trucks and buses, light commercial vehicles, earthmovers, forklifts, tractors, trailers, cars, motorcycles and scooters as well as auto-rickshaws.

The current campaign:


Creative agency: Ogilvy & Mather

Creative team: Kiran Antony, Rohit Dubey, Nikhil Waradkar, Sohil Wadhwania, Riti Hamlai, Sandeep Jaiswar, Devashish Vaghela

Servicing team: Harsh Bhatt. Saurabh Achrekar

Planning: Arjun Paul

CEAT has always been launching some of the useful initiatives.

CEAT Happy Roads campaign

Within this initiative, CEAT encouraged vehicle owners to donate their old tyres which can be further recycled and used to prepare suitable pothole filling mixture. CEAT tied up with Green Rubber Crumb to prepare a fine quality of rubber crumb from used tyres, which could have been mixed with the bitumen to improve its binding properties. The bitumen mixture was then utilised to fill potholes covering areas such as Bandra, Santacruz and Borivali.

Drive Safe Dad campaign: #CEATBobblehead

In this initiative the dads received a personalised bobble head which is attached to the odometer of the vehicle. On over speeding, the device plays the recorded personalised message from their sons or daughters asking them to slow down.

Some other humorous brand campaigns:

CEAT Fuel Smart campaign

Meet the Mahapurush campaign

Mr Nehlau:

Mr Hath Dikhao:

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