Hero Honda Splendor NXG: Friendship Express

The buddies reunion story for the new Hero bike ad is a good insight. The commercial only suffers a little in the execution

Actually, I don’t know whether to say ‘Hero’ or ‘Hero Honda’. Guess with the dosti between the two auto majors done and dusted, one must only say ‘Hero’, but that sounds a bit incomplete, having been used to utter the full name. Also, er, ‘Hero’ only cues bicycles… but that’s an image battle for the proprietor to fight. Meanwhile I’ll stick to ‘Hero Honda’, because that’s what the ad says.

Hero Honda Splendor NXG is now positioned as a ‘Friendship’ bike. And the commercial is the story of friendship between three ‘chaddi yaars’ who reconnect many years later to relive the magic. The idea is a cross between the movies ‘Rock On!’ and ‘Dil Chahta Hai’.

The three childhood buddies, who are young adults now, itch to get together once again and re-live their wonder years spent in a small town. So, just as they used to fool around on the streets as kids, they meet again on a rainy day, riding their Hero Honda Splendor NXG bikes. And bond all over again. The soundtrack is a remixed, techno version of the ancient Hindi film track, ‘Gaadi bulaa rahi hai’. The voice over sums up the re-union: ‘Jitni door yaari jaaye, utni door gaadi jaaye’.

Must say it’s a good insight. And I say this despite buddies hanging out together is de rigueur in bike ads. Two reasons: One, in this age of heavy migration from small towns to metros, and from metros to metros, youngsters do yearn to relive special moments of childhood. Two, thanks to social networking sites, school and college re-unions are happening dime a dozen these days, and re-bonding with long last buddies is the new fad. The idea therefore is emotional and relevant in current times. So, thumbs up on that front.

Where the commercial suffers a bit is in the execution. The editing is patchy and disjointed. And too many extra characters and elements (and this includes a needless running commentary) have been added, and these dilute the emotional quotient. And emotion is EVERYTHING in this idea.

They should have stuck only to the three dudes and their interactions and we would have had a far superior ad film.

Anyway, only one question now remains. Whether Mr Hero and Mr Honda will also miss each other one fine day? And re-unite on a rainy day over their Hero Honda Splendor NXG bikes? Only time will tell!


Tuesday’s Market Preview: Gap-up opening likely

The market is likely to witness a gap-up opening today on positive global cues. Wall Street closed mixed for the second day in low volume trade while markets in Asia were in the green on higher commodity prices and optimism about growth in the US next year. The SGX Nifty was two points higher at 5,955 compared to its previous close of 5,953 on Monday.

The market opened in the negative zone on Monday on weak cues from its Asian peers, due to fears of fresh skirmishes between North Korea and South Korea. It touched the day’s low in early trade but soon witnessed a gradual climb beyond the neutral line amid volatility, recovering the losses suffered earlier in the day. The Sensex regained the 20,000-mark in post-noon trade but could not retain the gains as investors took the opportunity of taking profits off the table. This resulted in the market erasing all the gains to end flat, with a mixed bias.

The Sensex added 24.03 points (0.12%) to close at 19,888.88. On the other hand, the Nifty lost 1.70 points (0.03%) to settle at 5,947.05.

Markets in the US closed mixed for the second successive day in low volume trade. Good economic news was offset by concerns regarding the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and geo-political tensions in the Korean region. Meanwhile, a host of US retailers are avoiding high discounts late in the holiday season, helping them wring more out of sales in the days before Christmas.

The Dow declined 13.78 points (0.12%) to 11,478.13. The S&P 500 added 3.17 points (0.25%) to 1,247.08. The Nasdaq gained 6.59 points (0.25%) to end at 2,649.56. US markets will be closed on Friday to for the Christmas Eve holiday.

Markets in Asia were in the green in early trade on Tuesday on higher commodity prices and optimism about growth in the US next year. Easing of tensions between the two Korean nations also supported the gains. Crude rose on hopes that US growth will spur demand for the commodity.

The Shanghai Composite gained 0.23%, the Hang Seng rose 0.43%, the KLSE Composite was up 0.21%, the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.75%, the Straits Times added 0.12%, the Seoul Composite surged 0.71% and the Taiwan Weighted was up 0.05% in early trade. The SGX Nifty was two points higher at 5,955 compared to its previous close of 5,953 on Monday.

The government on Monday decided to suspend onion exports till 15th January in the wake of skyrocketing prices of the commodity which is selling between Rs60-Rs70 a kg.

Agriculture cooperative major Nafed, a regulating agency, has been asked to stop giving fresh clearance to exporters. The government has also made exports almost impossible for those who are already in possession of ‘no objection certificate’ (NOC) given by the Nafed and 12 other agencies.


RIL’s D-1, D-3 fields to hit peak output of 80 mmscmd in 2012-13

New Delhi: Reliance Industries’ (RIL) prolific D-1 and D-3 gas fields off the east coast, which have seen a 15% drop in production in recent times, are likely to touch a peak output of 80 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) in 2012-13, reports PTI.

According to a Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) report to the oil ministry, the Dhirubhai-1 and 3 fields—also known as D-1 and D-3—in the KG-D6 block are likely to produce 80 mmscmd of gas for six years, from 2012-13 to 2017-18.

Together with gas output from the MA field in the same block, KG-D6 production in 2012-13 will touch 88.5 mmscmd, the report said.

The MA field currently produces about 8 mmscmd out of KG-D6's total output of around 54 mmscmd.

According to the production profile prepared by the DGH, production from KG-D6 will be 86-87 mmscmd between 2013 and 2016 before dipping to 81.24 mmscmd in 2017-18. Subsequently, the output will gradually taper down to less than 40 mmscmd by 2020-21.

Sources said the D-1 and D-3 fields have seen output fall from 53-54 mmscmd in mid-2010 to 45-46 mmscmd at present.

D-1 and D-3 are the largest among the 20 oil and gas finds that Reliance and its Canadian partner Niko Resources have made in the KG-D6 block, also known as KG-DWN-98/3, in the Krishna-Godavari Basin, off the Andhra Pradesh coast.

Besides D-1 and D-3, the D-26 or MA oilfield in the same block is producing about 8 mmscmd of associated gas.

Cumulatively, the output from KG-D6 currently stands at around 54 mmscmd.

Earlier this year, the KG-D6 block hit a peak production rate of 60 mmscmd after which output has fallen, sources said, adding that the DGH has projected an output of 60.16 mmscmd in 2011-12.

As per the approved Field Development Plan (FDP), the D-1 and D-3 gas fields—which began gas production in April last year—have a field life of 13 years, with a plateau period of six years.

“The reservoir is a complex reservoir and has not behaved as previously modelled,” a source said.

Reliance has been forced to restrict oil production from the MA field to under 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) due to high water and gas output, sources said, adding the field was yielding more water than oil and even 8 mmscmd of gas in comparison to 20,000 bpd of oil was considered quite high.

Sources said Reliance will have to drill more wells to boost output to the approved peak of 80 mmscmd. Currently, 18 wells on D-1 and D-3 have been completed and hooked up to the production system, but only 17 are producing gas.

The company is currently selling 14.5 mmscmd of gas produced from the KG-D6 block to fertiliser plants, 26.5 mmscmd to power plants and the remaining 13 mmscmd to other sectors like sponge iron plants, LPG, city gas distribution (CGD), petrochemical plants and refineries.


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