Inside: CarDekho Gaadi’s ‘E’ for Elderly campaign

Aishwarrya Chakraverty
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CarDekho E for Elderly campaign

In a bid to create a safe driving environment for senior citizens, CarDekho Group launched the ‘E’ for the elderly campaign. We spoke to the brand and the agency to understand what went behind the making of the initiative.

Conceptualized by Leo Burnett India, CarDekho released a campaign to drive responsibility towards self-driving senior citizens and create awareness about road safety's sensitive social issue through the 'E' for Elderly campaign. The brand ambassadors, including Akshay Kumar, Mahesh Babu, Rahul Dravid, and K. L. Rahul, stepped up to promote the campaign to amplify the initiative.

We speak with the brand-agency duo to deep dive into the behind-the-making of the initiative and its business impact.


Due to the pandemic, elderly people are reluctant to take cabs and have adopted self-driving. To bring ease and safety in the personal mobility for the senior citizens, the brand has launched the CarDekho 'E' for Elderly campaign.


Gaurav Mehta, Chief Marketing Officer, CarDekho Group, explains, “Just like we become more respectful and show patience when we come across a car with the ‘L’ sign on it, we aim for the same for elderly drivers.”

Some people require a little more help and support from us while driving, so it's an awareness campaign for all cars, bikes, buses, truck drivers so that the moment we see an elderly driver on the road, we respond with respect and empathy, he adds.

The brand intends to spread the message of empathy to everyone who drives, for the elderly. They should not suffer from the perpetual honking from the unknowing/unaware people, especially during the pandemic and its woes.

As a brand, CarDekho stands for personal mobility. Mehta further highlights that their vision is to make personal mobility accessible to everyone, just like other fundamental rights. 

The Insight and the BIG Brief

The insight behind the CarDekho 'E' for Elderly campaign stemmed from the general observation that the older people are not using shared mobility like cabs and metros during COVID-19. Instead, they were opting for self-driving and finding it extremely difficult. “We thought that ease of personal mobility for the elderly is very important, and we should do something about this,” shares Mehta.

Keeping the insight in mind, the agency had undertaken the task of coming up with the idea that revolved around the understanding of people’s needs, at a time when personal mobility was on the rise.

Arjuna Gaur, Executive Creative Director, Leo Burnett highlights how the brief was about owning the idea and driving conversations around the subject.

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Leveraging Star Powers

The brand shares that the campaign intends to make a behavior shift amongst the people so that whenever anyone sees an ‘E’ sign on the car, they become a little extra careful towards them.

Mehta puts forth, “The brand values of our celebrities resonate with ours - be it trust, expertise or excellence at what they do.” The personification of the brand and the brand ambassadors was a natural fit in and in resonance which persuaded CarDekho to leverage the star powers.

According to the brand, the CarDekho ambassadors as the celebrity influencers embody CarDekho values and people trust what they are talking about. Their social media coverage gives the message a wider reach and acceptance across the country.

Gaur says, “When we finally landed on the tonality and style of execution and pitched the idea to our brand ambassadors, they immediately loved it and joined in on the initiative.”

Making and Behind-The-Scenes

With the pandemic putting the spotlight on personal transport, Gaur shares that they observed a lot of the senior citizens back on the roads. “This gave us the impetus to create a conversation for making the roads safe for them too”, he highlights. But both the brand and the agency did not want to make the elderly sound or feel like victims. 

“We wanted to empower them in an endearing way without blaming anyone. The idea was to keep the message simple but make it impactful”, shares Gaur 

With the pandemic putting the senior citizens back in the driving seat the brand wanted to not only create a safer environment for them on the roads but also bring about awareness for the other drivers on the road to keep an eye out for the elderly. 

This led to the creation of ‘E’ as the sign for Elderly drivers. “You can write on a paper, print, use tape, as long as it’s an E it does the job”, says Gaur.

Further, he relates that it was a joint effort for the agency along with the CarDekho marketing team, creating several looks and renditions, making it what it is today. 

“Since the elderly are most active on WhatsApp, we aimed to create a piece of content that they would share organically. Today, we can proudly say that the older folks have been receiving the ‘E for Elderly’ video organically from multiple sources like RWA groups or family groups”, he shares. 

Gaur adds, that the idea has been alive since the festival season last year. Since then, everything just fell into place, in collaboration with the agency.

Highlighting some of the interesting behind-the-screen anecdotes while creating/shooting the campaign, Arjuna quips in that the night before the shoot of the ad film was Valentine’s day. But the agency people spent the time and jammed together, to be able to add the final touches to the campaign that amplified the message.

Marketing Strategy and Social Media Play

CarDekho marketing strategy for the initiative revolves around driving positive sentiments and conversations around the behavioral changes that the brand intends to bring forth, for the elderly.

Keeping the core message at the center, the brand has leveraged the organic campaign while using its own and earned media throughout social media channels including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, amongst others.

The brand highlights that amongst all the other social media channels, WhatsApp was the biggest contributor for them.

Mehta shares, “It is an organic campaign with maximum traction so far seen on WhatsApp. We have been going viral on the platform.”

As CarDekho’s celebrity ambassadors continue to post the initiative on their social media handles, the brand campaign has worked well across all the social platforms, according to the brand. 

With the WhatsApp groups and the elderly couple showcased in the ad film, the medium has been the biggest distribution point for the CarDekho campaign.

While the brand aims to educate people but they are yet to decide on any budget for this. 

“The cost of production of this campaign is less than Rs 10L”, shares Mehta.

Going Beyond

As we brace ourselves for the near future, personal mobility will be CarDekho’s prime focus and everything they do would be around the subject.

Mehta explains, “The way forward will be focused around new and used cars and it will also be about looking at personal mobility problems and coming up with solutions to address them.” 

A significant focus will be on the used car business in 2021 as has been the case for the past year and a half for the brand. 

“The used car industry has become very big and we too have grown immensely in that business. If we accelerate our go-to-market at a fast pace, then the used car industry, too, gets organized and digitized really quickly”, he concludes.

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