Riding on emotion: Is Eicher Trucks and Buses trying to do a Volvo USA?

A large chunk of the advertising in mundane, low-involvement categories tends to be just that... mundane and uninspiring. The only time a category like, say, trucks really made an effort to stand up and be counted was when a Volvo got a Jean-Claude Van Damme to perform a split on two reversing Volvo trucks, demonstrating the vehicles’ stability and reliability. This type of advertising strategy focuses on explicitly displaying a product’s benefit via a “demonstration”. The sheer effrontery drove the point home in the case of Volvo and one tended to assess category advertising against that yardstick every time after that. Indeed, many reports following that epic stunt claimed Van Damme saw a career resurgence and Volvo Truck sales rose more than 30 per cent that year.

Is Eicher Trucks and Buses, the flagship brand of the Volvo Group and Eicher Motors joint-venture, trying to do a Volvo USA? It is not about the imagery this time. Consider the message.

A truck driver comes to work and finds his truck missing from the fleet. On questioning the security guard, he finds out that the owner has given it away to another driver. Worried, he rushes to the owner and asks if he had committed a mistake. The owner smiles and says, “Yes, you made a mistake. It’s your son’s birthday and you are out at work? You should be celebrating with the family. Go back right now or you will not get the truck back.” The driver is both relieved and surprised. The owner has a request: “Better get a piece of cake for me tomorrow or I won’t return your truck.” The ad ends with the super, “Aisi soch ko Eicher ka salam”. 

This film is part of a new 360-degree brand initiative, #EicherNayiSoch, launched by Eicher Trucks and Buses to “partner with and developing a strong connect with the next generation fleet owners and stakeholders”. The idea is to urge every member of the ecosystem to embrace a new and progressive outlook. “We have always championed new thinking and inventiveness in the commercial vehicles industry,” says Eicher’s senior vice-president and head, International Business, S S Gill. “We want to recognise all the partners and stakeholders who have taken the industry forward,” he adds. On how the creative agency plans to carry the campaign message forward, Kapil Arora, president, north, Ogilvy group of companies, said it will be supported by films, ATL and BTL communication and also consumer and dealer outreach programmes.

Eicher is among the top players in the commercial vehicles category. Its fleet consists of light-medium (LM) trucks, heavy duty (HD) trucks, and buses. According to the company, in the LM category, Eicher has a 30 per cent share with approximately 100,000 units. In the HD category, where the fleet stands at 300,000 units, Eicher enjoys a five per cent share; in the bus segment, it has a 17 per cent share. 

Coming back to trucks, the rapidly evolving market is moving towards a new level of efficiency. “Eicher’s entire range of next-gen Pro Series of HD trucks and support solutions complements the nayi soch in the industry,” says Gill. 

Calling this a brand initiative and not an ad campaign, Gill says: “We want to forge a relationship with all the relevant people of the trucking community.”

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