Born tough, but advertising ruined me

Change. Thats exactly what I’d like those Ceat guys to do about their campaign. After their TVC started airing, it took me this post to understand exactly what they meant by the ad, because I was too busy trying to figure out what was happening to notice the logo change. Also happened to see more from the same family like this, this, and this. Just because change is a constant does it mean you have to force it to happen? Couldn’t see anything wrong with a positioning like ‘Born Tough’, unless of course they either hired a new marketing head or a new agency, who, by now would wish they had the original rhino’s thick skin judging by the reviews I’m reading online.

I wish someone could’ve explained by now what exactly has changed and why, because if i happen to see that guy on the road, I just might dip my hand into the wallet and offer him some….. change. I wonder why they didn’t tie up with TOI for their Chennai launch, after all the campaign said ‘Next Change’. The possibilities just go on – the guy sitting on a beach and the super going ‘Sea Change’, CEAT changing the model, and the old guy walking with a tee saying ‘Ex-change’, and so on.

For a product like tyres, wouldn’t it be better if they concentrated on the product, retail and distribution, and talked about its benefits rather than talk about change. After all, the category that the brand operates in should be kept in mind before deciding on communication strategies. This kind of stuff begs something similar to that old KF-Jet-Go Air jpeg that made its rounds. In this case, MRF coming out with something on the lines of ‘No Change. Still the best’.

Oh damn, now i can see the banner ads on rediff too!! Like the author of the post i mentioned earlier suggested, by this token, a tee should end all concerns regarding a brand’s identity change. And continuing with his take on ambient ideas, here’s one, while driving on a mountain road, you see a theatre playing ‘Darr’. A little way ahead, you see another theatre, guess what movie is playing there?

until next time, tough luck

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4 Responses to “Born tough, but advertising ruined me”

  1. hey,

    Enjoying this blog of yours. 🙂 Btw, here is an interesting presentation (by a software engineer) about brands and brand perception that talks about things similar to what Ceat is trying to do: http://blip.tv/file/319044/

  2. hey, thanks satchit 🙂 … a s/w engineer’s idea of a brand..sounds very interesting… lemme take a look

  3. Hi,

    Before i explain the rationale for the Change advertisements, it is important to understand the genesis of CEATs new logo..

    The Genesis of the Logo: The Old logo and tagline “Born Tough” worked wonders for CEAT in an era where the chief requirement from a tyre was “Overloading”, be it the 6 wheeled trucks that you saw lumbering on the highway or be it the family car that used to carry the entire joint family.
    However times have changed, the transportation game has changed… The 6 wheeler trucks are being replaced by high speed container trucks. Nuclear families and vehicle seating norms have ensured that your car is not really overloaded as in the past. Hence over a period of time the primary requirement from a tyre has changed from just “load carrying capacity” to mileage, Cushioning(read comfort),Speed(Speed rated Radials)and parameters like Cost per Km(Truck Owners are actually becoming that scientific)…
    Extensive research with our consumers pointed out towards the fact that while CEAT, the Rhino and Born Tough were still SALIENT, their relevance was a question mark???.. Catering to a young India where 55% of the population is under 25, is no joke.. You need to youthful, fast, aggressive and that is precisely what the new logo is all about.
    Also, a logo does not stand for a consumer brand alone. Today it visually depicts the aspirations of the entire set of stakeholders attached to the company,be it employees, future employees, investors, trade partners etc…
    CEAT as a company has overcome a period of despondency and now wants to occupy a premium position in all the stakeholders’ mindset. There have been lot of initiatives that have been taken within the company(operational, cultural, product-wise etc),to make it a far more youthful, aggressive and contemporary company. Some changes have already happened and some will be experienced by the stakeholders in the days to come. All in all the company is in a state where it is ready to “Take it on”
    The New Logo is a visual manifestation of this Corporate philosphy.

    Now as far as the Change ads are concerned, well they are Corporate ads purely meant to convey the visual identity and nothing else. I totally agree with you that any identity change has to be backed by a strong reason to believe, and the RTB for CEAT change will be in the form of an innovative product line being launched and advertised.

    There might be varying views on whether the method used to convey the identity change was appropriate but then that was never our intention. We were ok with a divided house as long as the new logo got registered..

    As they say “Love it or hate it … You cant ignore Change”…

    line that will be launched sometime in August.

  4. manuscrypts Says:

    @Nitin before anything else, kudos for the efforts undertaken to check on reactions in the blogosphere, and more importantly answering each of them patiently (have seen at least one more comment of yours) 🙂 that being said, lets argue 🙂
    I can understand a logo change being a manifestation of corporate philosophy, IMHO the problem is that the logo change really did not register. like i wrote, it took me another post to realise the objective of the ad. Maybe i am the LCD (lowest common denominator) along with a couple of other friends as far as the duh! factor goes, but in a category thats not exactly top of the mind for the under 25 (I am not, but still) isn’t it better to at least show the connection to the product, especially because he may not be old enough to have such a strong connection with the brand to associate with the product, as an earlier generation (like me) would have? forget a change, you could’ve just relaunched CE@ in a new avtar, which, to a person below 25, would be the very first avtar.. this communication actually makes him ask ‘change? from what? to what?’
    But as you rightly said, this is just a view, so all the very best for the tyre change 🙂

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