Impact: Ceat Tyres ‘idiot’ ad

If you ask me to recollect an impactful tyre ad, you’ll see a confused me. As far as I can remember, I don’t remember having seen any powerful tyre ads. I might remember the Ralson ads from the 80s (for sheer frequency of appearance), the MRF man (but no ad) or a vague idea that Ceat used to have a running rhinoceros, but any powerful ad? No.

Enter the “new” Ceat. And their new advertising.

Ceat seems to be focusing its marketing efforts around the idea of grip, and the new campaign is built around that.

Short, crisp, impactful.

So what really works here?

  1. The message: Ceat tyres have better grip. Better grip means holding on to the road. Which means powerful braking. Which translates to safety.
  2. Empathy: If you drive or ride anywhere in India, you of course are fed up of that set of people called ‘everyone else on the road’. People who don’t care for traffic rules. Who cross roads in peak traffic at any spot other than a zebra crossing. Who talk on the phone while walking on the road, while riding a bike, while driving a car. Who would come in your way out of nowhere while you are trying to rush to office or rushing home from a party late at night. Ceat has called this set of people ‘idiots’. And we all agree, don’t we? These people would put everyone’s life in danger with some stupid action of theirs, then look at you indignantly as if it’s all your fault! You, the good law-abiding driver, are left flummoxed at the sudden turn of events, and just swear at him under your breath.
    Doesn’t this happen a little too often? Which is why Ceat proclaims – The Roads are filled with Idiots. And we all nod in agreement. Which is why you need to get your tyres from the tyre company which already knows this universal truth that you feel so deep inside. Classic convincing!
  3. The scripting & execution: both the TVCs that have aired so far (family coming back from the movies cut off by a speeding SUV, office executive suddenly has to brake for a man with a pram) start on a relaxed, slice of life note, with dialogue which makes you wonder what it’s an ad for, and the blow is delivered when you least expect it. The protagonists are shown to be shocked. The background music aids in the impact. And the line is delivered. Crisp, impactful, winning.

Oh, and Ceat has not stopped at just making TVCs. They also have an online campaign which is tied in to their bike tyre portal www.beidiotsafe.com. And they are doing some really innovative magazine advertising – the last of which I saw in the xBHP magazine’s 2nd issue. Go give it a look.

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