Hits and misses of Honda Jazz’s Sexy and I know It

Social Samosa takes a look at the content marketing route taken by Honda Jazz to reach out to their ‘uber-cool’ younger target audience with Sexy and I Know It

Honda Jazz has come up with their latest marketing campaign titled ‘Sexy and I know it’ on digital platforms to promote the car and its wide array of features. The campaign conceptualised by Dentsu One, is essentially a series of short beepsodes or webisodes narrating a story, with Honda Jazz being in the centre of the plot.

Featuring popular faces like Rohan Joshi, Sarah Jane-Dias and Tahir Raj Bhasin, the tonality of the communication is quirky and humorous. Each of these videos has garnered more than 50,000 views on YouTube.

Creative strategy

Commenting on the objective of the campaign, Titus Upputuru, NCD, Dentsu One, said, “In India, younger consumers are getting influenced by the bells and whistles that the competition is offering. We thought we’ll engage the consumer about what makes Jazz the superior choice. We wanted to do this in an engaging manner, in an environment that the younger audience is living in. So we came up with this quirky mockumentary.”

There will be 6 Beepsodes in total, out of which 4 are already out. Upputuru furthered elaborated, that there is no plans of any sequels at the moment. “Other than the digital film, we have done a print and outdoor campaign with the new tagline ‘Sexy and I know it’. It’s bold and gives Honda Jazz the right attitude.”

According to Abhinav Kaushik, Senior Vice President, Dentsu One, “The challenge was simple, how do we make the communication as unique and differentiated. The audience for the Jazz has, since its launch, become much younger since its earlier launch. Seeing that our audience largely resides in the digital sphere we felt it best to knock on their door. We came up with a series of quirky, real-life webisodes that allow us to walk the talk with the positioning centred on our consumers in a manner most relatable to them.”

Brand objective

Navneet Kaur, Sr. Manager Marketing and Communication, Honda Cars India Ltd. said, “The Jazz buyer is getting younger and younger, and he sees merit in the product’s versatility in usage at his current life stage. As such it is important for us to match pace with the young consumer in our positioning of the car. We saw great merit in catching our prospective consumer in the environment most comfortable to them which is why we were excited about the beepsodes.”

Social Media Chatter

Even though the videos have received good traction, there are few negative comments on social media, where people have criticised this as forceful marketing by Jazz.

Expert Take

We asked brand expert Saurabh Uboweja and digital expert Zafar Rais to give their views on the effectiveness of the marketing strategy.

Saurabh Uboweja, International Brand Expert and CEO, Brands of Desire liked the fact that Honda Jazz is focused in its approach as far as their target audience is concerned. The content, storytelling and direction is quite focused and neatly packaged in the form of short episodes, which they have smartly branded as beepsodes.

“The idea is extendable and should help the brand build some useful equity with their TG. It is an attempt to present Honda Jazz as a brand that is uber-cool and relates well with an audience that is more comfortable watching MTV shows rather than serials on general entertainment channels. With their communication, it clearly appears that they are targeting the first time urban buyers of a car. It’s very easy for an automobile brand or sub-brand to get distracted while trying to position but Honda Jazz comes out trumps with their understanding of their TG.” he said.

Zafar Rais, CEO, Mindshift Interactive said “Storytelling is the way to go when you’re trying to engage with your audiences and Honda Jazz has tried to do the same through their videos and overarching social media strategy, keeping the overall experience real. A mix of success factors, namely- celebrities, humour, personalisations have been scripted in to reach for safe zone success metrics. A hard sell of the car leaves little to look forward to, but certain instances add for great comic timing especially the car buyers experience – a dilemma that many millennial face and would connect with.”

However, Rais feels, the production could have been richer to truly embrace the need for an invested digital first strategy that’s at par with video content created for other mediums.

Will this strategy drive sales?

Rais pointed out, “The campaign outreach figures look great, and shares do prove that people are talking and spreading word on the campaign too so they’ve successfully achieved awareness. From the comments, most of the engagement is Fan love towards the actors or generic engagement basis instances they found to connect with them, hence campaign recall seems to be a successful facet as well. Recall is a leading factor towards driving word of mouth, which results in faster sales, so if the campaign notices about 2-3% of immediate leads, they’ve got a winner in their pocket.”

Uboweja further added, “If they boost up the content with consistent promotion, it should help the brand in establishing a successful association with their TG, which over a period of time should trigger sales.”

It will be interesting to see, if this a one off marketing tactic to grab eyeballs or will it actually help in pushing sales for the brand? What are your thoughts on it? Do let us know at comments section below.