Advertising has changed its style and strategies from time to time. The last decade of the 20th century saw an upsurge of ad campaigns that solely marketed a product. But the advertising of the 21st century started by creating campaigns for a cause. It was a new phase for the advertising industry. The ads became socially committed and addressed the issues that prevailed in society. The new strategy helped the brands to connect with people more than ever they had.
Most of the ads which triggered a change got received well by the viewers. Ads for a cause have a great potential to increase the sales of a product if used properly. It’s sagacious to avoid any hypersensitive content that might trigger controversies. So, campaigns for a cause can be called a double-edged dagger.
Bajaj and RalcoTyres once celebrated Independence Day by releasing ad campaigns for a cause. They tried to look into the problems faced by different sections of the society in Post-independent India. Both of the brands motivated the audience to address the issue and behave with compassion. The ads concentrated on the freedom we are yet to gain, the chains we have to meltdown, and equality before the law regardless of gender. Bajaj and Ralco blunted the dangerous edge of the sword to release their Independence Day ads. Thus they managed to avoid unnecessary controversies.
Bajaj Avenger’s #RideYourIndependence
(Image Source: campaignasia.com)
Bajaj has always released stunning ads which enthralled the viewers with its exclusive contents. On August 10, 2017, Bajaj arrived with another notable advertising strategy that marketed its cruiser-style motorcycle Avenger. The brand released this ad four days before Independence Day.
Bajaj’s #RideYourIndependence ad was a bold attempt to help women of India to become empowered. In India, motorcycles and long rides are considered masculine. Women are supposed to ride a scooter. It got normalized through various advertisements of the past that showed motorbike=man. Bajaj created this ad campaign to redesign the notion of motorbike=man and motivate women to buy Avenger. In the ad, Avenger is the symbol of women’s freedom. It also says that a woman can’t be called independent until they get the right to choose their friends, select the outfits they like to wear, travel anywhere they wish to go, and so on. The ad shows a girl who has attained all these rights, who can be called independent. And, she rides the Avenger.
Image Source: campaignindia.in
Bajaj’s ad became a sensation among women. Some people believed bike=man and thought that women are not supposed to ride them. The women who rode their bikes were considered unusual people. This had to be normalized, and Bajaj played their card. Gandhi’s quote shown at the end of the ad has made the idea of Bajaj stronger and sharper. Bajaj’s marketing strategy had two aims. The first one focused on establishing that Avenger is not a macho bike. In the next step, they transformed Avenger as a symbol of women’s empowerment. By supporting the fundamental rights of women, Bajaj Avenger expanded its market to the hearts of women. What the ad showed was the dream of every girl in India.
#RideYourIndependence reminded us about all-inclusive freedom. It’s not that freedom we won from Great Britain, but the freedom women lack in India, the freedom to express themselves, the freedom to ride anywhere, and so on. The women started to talk about Avenger as a result and began to buy the bike. #RideYourIndependence is a perfect example of Bajaj’s social commitment. It not only enlightened the customers but also boosted the demand and fame of Bajaj Avenger.
Image Source: vimeo.com
RalcoTyres focused on the existing gender discrimination in Post-independence India. The brand addressed the disregarded problems of the transgender community through their Independence Day ad released two days before August 15. In India, transgender citizens still face discrimination every day. They are separated from the mainstream of society and are insulted most often. As RalcoTyres said, such things happen due to the lack of awareness. Through the #FreeTheRoads ad campaign Ralco sent an Independence Day message to the citizens of India, that all are equal before humanity and law.
The ad shows a transgender citizen who finds it hard to cope with the mainstream, for the people refused to consider her as one among them. She is invisible to them, similar to the protagonist of the novel Invisible Man written by Ralph Ellison. People overlook her presence and those who do deny her fundamental rights. A woman disallowed her to enter the bus through the front door, and a taxi driver passed a currency note to her. At the end of the ad, a man gives a lift to that severely neglected transgender woman, who comes on a motorbike that has wheels of RalcoTyres. The soothing climax of #FreeTheRoads is a message to free the road from bias. As similar to Bajaj’s #RideYourIndependence, #FreeTheRoads ad campaign pointed out that unattained freedom. The ad showed us the difficulties faced by transgender citizens. The RalcoTyres paved a clear path for other brands to make campaigns for a cause. They got appreciation from every corner of the nation. Ralcotyres has also partnered with Humsafar Trust for their TRANScend initiative, to support, empower and provide employment to the transgender community across our country.
Image Source: facebook.com
Bajaj Avenger’s #RideYourIndependence and RalcoTyre’s#FreeTheRoads ad campaigns were a bold move in the marketing industry. Motorbike=man became motorbike=man/woman through Bajaj’s ad. It inspired women to seek the independence they lack. RalcoTyres encouraged people to support the transgender community, for it’s a duty of every citizen of India.