January 21, 2012

Three ads that makes us smile - Hero, Coca Cola and Volkswagen

I was at home on New Year and an came on TV to which my Father immediately asked me in excitement "Have you seen this ad? It's very good!" I turned around to see and it was the Volkswagen Think Blue ad which even I liked since the first time I saw it. So what exactly happened here? Why did my Father especially mention about this ad out of nowhere? What made the ad click? These are some questions for us but actually an 'achievement' for the Marketers and Ad-maker of that TV campaign. As a Marketer, I find it exciting to observe, analyze, learn and pick up those 'little things' that help differentiate a successful campaign from others and allows them to become successful solely on the basis of word-of-mouth. Trust me, wanting people to talk about your brand is a Marketer's dream.

I have picked up three such ads from the last month period which I like and many are talking about. There's some intrinsic feel-good factor that drives these ads and makes us want to see again and again and even talk about it whenever there's a slight mention. I have put up the youtube videos of all the three ads below, do have a look and read what makes it work.

1. Hero Motor Corp - Hum Mein Hai Hero ad (2011)

What makes it work?
Hero MotorCorp website
  • A passionate ad to relaunch Hero Motor Corp
  • Song sung by the Music Mozart A.R.Rahman
  • Lyrics resonate very well with common man
  • Target not only youth but a broader audience
  • Shows almost every part of India & its culture
  • Website connects well with ad campaign
  • The music makes us smile, see again! :)

2. Coca Cola India - Umeed wali dhoop, sunshine wali aasha ad (2011)

What makes it work?
Coca Cola India website
  • Heart winning ad released on Holiday period
  • Indian version of 'Reason to Believe' ad
  • Starts with Umeed which means optimism
  • Lyrics very catchy, makes you want to sing
  • Shows children along with world facts
  • Surprisingly website doesn't connect with ad
  • The music makes us smile, see again! :)

3. Volkswagen India - Think Blue ad (2011)

What makes it work?
Volkswagen India website
  • Ad wins your attention with an animated story
  • Adopted from Think Blue global campaign
  • Uses the environment as a backdrop
  • Targets families, young professionals alike
  • Blue color used to keep brand recall simple
  • Website has Planet Volkswagen teaser
  • The music makes us smile, see again! :)

To validate whether my observation and thinking was right or not, I tweeted the question "Which are your favorite new TV ads in the last one month or so?" to which my friend Rakesh (Follow @RakeshTheKumar) responded Coca Cola and Hero Motors - the two ads which I already thought of while writing this post, so it confirms my 'everyone is talking about' point above. His perspective that these ads make him feel happy and positive resonates what most of us feel. So, who gets the credit for this? - Undoubtedly, the Marketer!

Which are your favorite new TV ads? Tell Arif on twitter by clicking here

It's interesting to note that the common factor for brand likeliness and recall among all these three ads was - Music! The story in all three ads is packaged with simple lyrics and good music in a powerfully creative way. It just touched you. These ads rely on emotional branding which makes them more expressive through a meaningful form of communication and connected well across genre. They are different from the traditional ads which are predominantly product-centric, i.e. they aim to sell one product at a time by either showing a product feature, price discount, comparing with competitors, giving 10% more scheme, etc. They're not been shown to push the sales chart from the very next day itself. Instead, their aim is to build the brand by creating an environment of trust so that whenever next you think of a bike - think of the popular Hero bikes, whenever next you think of a soft drink - crave for the Coca Cola happiness and whenever you decide to buy a car - consider Volkswagen among your final three choices. It's basically in line with the broader aim of building the corporate brand. Big B2C companies with dedicated Marketing budgets can afford to run such ads as ultimately it's building noise, increasing brand recall and expanding a prospective customer base to maximize the value of the relationship as is in the case of B2B marketing.

I give a thumbs up to all these ads despite having owned a TVS bike, loved Pepsi as a teen and always drove our Indian Maruti car. For now, these ad makes me smile, see again and talk about it and I will definitely consider in future whenever I have to. As a Marketer, the take-away for me is to build 'stickiness' through innovative B2B marketing. If you have seen all three ads, then do post a comment below on what do you think about these ads and did you like them?

So long,
Hum mein hai hero!


  1. Actually, when Hero Motors released the 'Hum Mein Hai Hero' song early last year, I kinda liked it. But the video they launched recently made me fall in love with it.

    While all the three commercials you mentioned are very good to listen, they are also so much refreshing to watch.

    I have preferred Pepsi since long, but I won't mind buying a Coke next time and 'open happiness'

    PS: I think an honourable mention should go to that jewellery ad. It made us laugh, let alone smile. Hahahahahaha.

  2. @Rakesh I agree with you. Hero MotorCorp have timed their ads very well and one after the other it's getting better and better. It really touched and makes you want to hum along. Full marks.

    You mentioned about these ads being 'refreshing' and I think that's one major factor for the success of these ads as they break free from the regular clutter. They make you emotionally charged up.

    Lastly, that jewellery ad ain't gona come up here on maktion! haha

  3. I was in awe of the Volkswagen ad ever since i saw it the first time. A legendary brand and such a simple and uncluttered communication. How they linked their focus on environment with each of their product line was beautiful. But not sure is this ad their global campaign or India centric?
    Hero motors - music and the situations depicted touch the cords.
    Coca Cola - The facts communicated with children was a winner, feels more oriented towards youth

    1. These are good observations Sweety. The Volkswagen ad seemed to have been a worldwide roll-out connecting with viewers across boundaries. As far as Hero Motors and Coca Cola are concerned, they're clear winners of our hearts! :)

  4. VW ad on top for me.. The other one where kid is entertained by the salesman is equally good... appeals me since i am automotively-inclined ;)

    Nice blog!!

    1. Thanks Abu, yea the other VW ad was also good!

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