INS Vikrant has indeed been aptly named. ‘Vikrant’ meaning ‘courageous’ in Sanskrit was rightly chosen to name the first aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy. She has witnessed many prominent events in the history of the country, and also played a key role in it. Few of us are aware that her destiny has been entwined with India in more ways than one.
Conceived as ‘Hercules’ for the British Royal Navy during the World War II, the aircraft carrier never entered the British service as construction was put on hold after the end of the war. India purchased the incomplete carrier from the United Kingdom in 1957, and completed construction in 1961, and renamed her as INS Vikrant.
INS Vikrant played a key role during the Indo-Pak War of 1971. After years of distinguished service, she was decommissioned in 1997 and preserved as a museum ship until 2012 in Cuffe Parade, Mumbai. She was later auctioned to a ship breaker to be scrapped in 2014, with approval by the Supreme Court of India.
When news of her scrapping came forth, it broke down many, including those war soldiers whom she served in her service years. It was then that Bajaj Motorcycles and Leo Burnett found a novel way to preserve her – her metal was melted and forged into a new motorcycle from Bajaj called ‘V’, the Invincible! And V was launched on January 26 this year.
For a warship with such a rich history, it only seems worthwhile to talk about it in stories, rather than talk about the motorcycle through which it has been reborn.
Bajaj has now rolled out a documentary called ‘Sons of Vikrant’ as part of its campaign for V. It features the untold stories of the brave officers who served aboard the warship, enabling viewers to relive a part of history during the 1971 Indo-Pak War. When each of them was asked to describe Vikrant in one word, ‘mother’ was all they could think of; flying their aircraft to the warship was like coming home to the arms of a mother, they said choking with emotion.
Here’s a short edit of the documentary yet to be made available online:
Online buzz is being pushed through an army of celebrities and Twitter influencers on social media. Bajaj V’s Twitter handle has ensured it engages with all of them, while keeping up the momentum. As per Trendsmap India, the hashtag #SonsOfVikrant trended on Twitter the day after an eventful launch of the screening. The event saw several industry veterans and ad folks applauding the initiative and the idea.
“Stories maketh brands”
Like ‘manners maketh man’, we know by now that ‘stories maketh brands’. Some of the world’s legendary brands have been built brick by brick with the help of stories. Bajaj is walking the path of the greats for V, and given its rich inheritance from Indian history, V, the motorcycle makes for a deserving case. The idea of forging INS Vikrant’s metal to make V was one of the best brand ideas to come out this year, and now with the documentary “Sons Of Vikrant” being launched, the brand building has just taken shape.
The only concern here lies with the performance of the bike, it has to be invincible like the war hero INS Vikrant. V can become the first iconic Indian motorcycle that biking enthusiasts want to own, only if it is designed with the best of technology just as its source INS Vikrant was built sturdy for many years of service in the Indian Navy. Brands cannot just ride the patriotism wave in India.
Over 10K consumers have bought the V, tweeted the brand right after its bookings were closed this March. But, year-end numbers are necessary for the success story.
Meanwhile Bajaj can come up with more video stories of V too, its making, its design and more. I don’t know about bikes but from the looks of it, its got this amazing vintage design with cool insignia. The team at Powerdrift bring us a fair review of their first ride in the V15, in this video.