Thursday, August 20, 2009

(B)AD - Honda Jazz

AGENCY: Ogilvy, Delhi

So here is I think what happened.

The team at Honda and O&M Delhi sat in a meeting. The Honda guys briefed the agency on a new car that they are launching. They spoke about the features and the benefits and how the car is 'different' from the other cars.

They all probably realized that the car space in India is very cluttered. There are many car brands and car ads that vie for the same space in the potential Indian consumer's mind. The challenge and the objective would be to stand out from the crowd and get the consumer to notice the ad, notice the new car, register it and then ask the Honda guys about it.

So the O&M team went back to their office very excited. After all they hadn't made an ad for a new car from Honda in India for quite some time. Well there was the new City ZXi but that was really bottling a slightly different wine in the same bottle. This was different - this was a new heady drink in a new bottle and a new brand! Excitement was pulsing through them.

They all sat down, put their heads together and..............and..............they came up with this?

The ad falls flat on a lot of aspects. The tagline "Why so serious" is a great tagline but it does not link to the ad in anyway. The execution could have slightly humorous to convey the message. But this ad is so serious that I can't figure some of the subtle messages.

The ad begins with the guy picking up his coat and key and a cactus plant (?!). Notice that its a corner office and the sun is shining bright.

He then pulls up a part of the seat and keeps the cactus there - shows that the car has space though it doesn't show how much space.

As he starts driving the other cars on the road are represented as bubble cars. That's a good refreshing representation of the fact that the Jazz is the only viable car on the road today while the rest of the cars are all frivolous. Good creative touch there. Notice the expression of the people in the bubble cars. They seem to like the Jazz and get jealous of it. Good expressions and message delivery. As he drives all the cars around him burst into bubbles though I can't figure out why all the cars don't do that when he is on the flyover.

He then drives into a lane which looks like an apartment complex or a small gully - so its targeted at the middle class segment. His wife / girlfriend comes over to the car and opens the back seat door, has a look at the cactus and has a angry (?) expression on her face. Why would she open the back door? And why is her expression one of angst?

The cactus has grown a flower which was not there when the guy started. How? I assume this is meant to show that the cooling is so good that the cactus grew a flower or that the distance traveled was so large that the cactus had enough time for the flower. Either way I started getting confused from this point onwards.

Why is the guy angry when he sits back in the car? What is the history behind this interaction? Did I miss something in the ad? And finally why is the cactus plant in the middle of the road?????

The background music score could have been better. Is Jazz used because of the name of the car? Would we have noticed that they did not use Jazz music if they had used something else? I doubt that!

All in all a great ad till the girl arrives, then it gets confusing. The tagline execution could have been much better. The ad does not stand out. The car features do not get mentioned and I don't carry back any info of the car.

A 6/10 only because of the 'bubble' representation.

I think Honda lost out on a great opportunity.

I liked this ad of Jazz in UK although I am sure only women must have bought the car after watching the ad. Notice how the ad is cute and touches upon all the key features - interiors, mileage, handling etc.

O&M Delhi - Jazz did not strike a tune!

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