Yamaha SZ: Vroom & Doom

Absolutely horrendous advertising — it’s confused, it’s badly executed, it gives you a splitting headache, and worse of all, it encourages the already careless and dangerous bike riders to ride even more rashly on city roads

The Yamaha SZ comes with a brand new promise. In the race of modern life, the slow tortoise never wins. So scoot like a hare. And emerge tops.

The commercial features a young couple on their Yamaha SZ. The pillion rider is a female, a production crew member of actor John Abraham’s film. And she’s in touch with the macho star on the cell, as she promises him she’ll get to the location in twenty minutes.

And yes, as you may have guessed, she and her companion are stuck in a usual Mumbai hellish traffic snarl. But that’s where the bike (and the fable) kicks in. All the other bikes on the road literally morph into kachhuas, and begin to crawl and slither. And cutting through this tortoise assembly line, the Yamaha SZ zips through like a hare. And wins the race. Much to the joy of beefcake Abraham. Who, instead of getting down to business, gets drooling over the bike (mandatory shot… what use paying the actor crores otherwise?).

And of course, just in case you get lost in the fable, amidst all the sounds, cuts and metaphors, some serious things like comfortable seating, engine power and fuel tank capacity get explained. And to add to the chaos, the background track is a re-mixed Bollywood song ‘Ruk jaana nahin tu kahin haar ke…’ (Using ancient filmi songs in them ads is much in vogue these days, maybe because the new songs are all bakwaas).

Now let’s get down to the business of the day: Absolutely horrendous advertising. It’s confused, it’s badly executed, it gives you a splitting headache, and worse of all, it encourages the already careless and dangerous bike riders to ride even more rashly on city roads. (These are the chaps who dent your car as they cheerfully try to squeeze past from inside thin spaces).

But here’s the even bigger crime: they have broken the key rule of communications: The commercial packs in so many elements, nothing remains in the head apart from a bad migraine. There’s the hare/tortoise fable you are supposed to re-learn. There is the speed factor to be demonstrated. Other bikes need to be ridiculed. Many features need to be highlighted. The real story of the film production has to be established too. And then of course there’s John Abraham who has to justify his presence and pay. Phew! Leaves you breathless.

Watch this TV commercial carefully. You may or may not agree with the New Age Fable, but you will certainly learn how to completely botch up an ad.
 

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