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Such was the situation when moped manufacturer Hero Puch approached Euro RSCG India with the question: How do we revive the category?
The agency knew that any great Creative Business Idea starts with the pursuit of knowledge. To revive the category, the agency
The End of Advertising
.the Beginning of Something New
Hero Puch Power XL
would first have to know the category—inside and out. And so the creative team took to the streets. But not just the city streets. The agency also studied suburban and rural markets, where small traders and vendors used mopeds. These Indians couldn’t afford motorcycles or scooters to cart their goods—let alone a truck. So they used their mopeds. Vendors would carry goods to a larger city to sell there, or they would carry goods from a larger city to sell in the village.
And out of that knowledge . . . eureka!
The agency realized that not all moped uses are equal. One group used it for personal transport, as a way to get around. The other was using it for an entirely different reason. Not to transport themselves, but to transport their goods and wares. And therein lies the leap: Why not revive the category ... by creating an entirely new market? Why not shift the category from mopeds as personal transport vehicles to mopeds as business utility vehicles (BUVs)?
A cosmic leap, you might say, but repositioning alone—is that truly a Creative Business Idea? In and of itself, no. But this one not only
influenced communications strategy, it influenced business strategy—and the manufacturing process.
The agency team didnt recommend just repositioning the moped—they recommended redesigning it.
In pursuit of the perfect design, the team once again took to the streets and made visits to small towns. They spent hours hanging out where vast numbers of
Hero Puch Power XL
moped drivers congregate—in parking lots—and they talked to customers about what they needed and wanted from a business vehicle. They also targeted industries that use mopeds to make day-to-day deliveries, such as newspaper vendors, pizza parlors, milk deliverers, and so on.
The redesigned moped was named the Power XL and included a special plank in front, a removable pillion seat (for accommodating extra loads), and adjustable shock absorbers to withstand the heavier loads. Later design modifications were made specifically for those in the delivery industry, including extra sections such as compartments for milk containers and a space for courier packets.
Why invest in four wheels when you can get everything you need in two? The new moped was positioned as “the truck on two wheels.” The promotional message reinforced that the Power XL can carry loads that would be torture for a normal two-wheeler. It makes more commercial sense than a bicycle or scooter—and more economic sense than a truck. It’s the ideal business utility vehicle.
In five months, sales of the Power XL went from 0 to 3,000, with no cannibalization of Hero Puch’s existing line. Not a bad acceleration rate for a brand-new category.
What the agency brought to Hero Puch’s business was great creative thinking: creative thinking that resulted in carving out an entirely new market . . . and started to define a new category. That’s the kind of creative thinking that every agency should be bringing to their clients’ businesses.
Yes, it’s the end of advertising. But it’s the beginning of something new and something far more exciting and rewarding. It’s the beginning of the opportunity to think creatively across larger and larger business issues—and to redefine businesses in the process. What would you rather do?
Chapter 8 The Entertainment Factor
For the first half of the twentieth century, entertainment wasn’t at the center of life; it was on the sidelines. It was what you did on Saturday night—a movie, a dance, a concert. Later, with television, entertainment got bigger. You no longer had to go out to be entertained.
In the twenty-first century, entertainment is America’s national pastime. Beyond the outrageous amounts of entertainment-driven media we consume each day, the entertainment experience has pervaded even the most mundane activities of our daily lives. Supermarkets, retail stores, airlines, banks, restaurants, hotels . . . more and more, entertainment is the deciding factor in where we shop and what we consume. We don’t simply run errands anymore, we consume experiences. The bigger, the better.
Adding to the pressure on retailers and service providers is the fact that we’re becoming more and more choosy. Not just any form of entertainment will do. And what we clamor for one month may well be passe the next. In the post—September 11 America, the most highly prized entertainment is the most escapist. In the realm of films, we’re flocking to action-packed movies that have only the most modest connection to our daily existence. For those films, it’s bonanza time: Box-office revenues for the first five and a half months of2002 are up at least 20 percent over that period in 2001, which was already a record year. And this cannot be attributed simply to slightly higher ticket prices: The number of people going to movies is up around 16 percent from 2001.1