How Mahindra Gusto Connected With The Youth Over A Food Ride In South Mumbai

Recently Mahindra launched #GoGustoRides - a food ride in South Mumbai with food influencers on the Mahindra Gusto. We look at how the brand tried connecting with the youth for the campaign

Mahindra gusto gogustorides

Late last year Mahindra Two Wheelers launched its indigenously built scooter Gusto. This was Mahindra’s entry in the 110cc scooter market which accounted for 27.4% of the two-wheeler market. According to last year’s data, close to 90% of the automatic scooter market in India is accounted for by 110cc scooters with major players like Honda, Hero and TVS trying to grab a bigger pie. This pushed up growth to 30.4% in August compared to a year ago.

Despite a robust marketing and distribution program, 2014 has been a disappointment for Gusto. The company’s monthly volumes stood at 4000 units in the last financial year, whereas Honda Activa its competitor clocks in excess of 150,000 units a month. Hence the company considers 2015 to be quite critical.

While Mahindra is trying to beef up its sales volumes to 30-35,000 vehicles every month, it has decided to connect with the youth by bridging the online-offline divide. Recently it executed an innovative digital campaign along with Mumbai based digital agency Flying Cursor to connect with the youth.

Named #GoGustoRides, the campaign not only talks about the scooter’s features but does that in a fun way by blending the offline with the online. “We wanted to create awareness about the brand​ and its features in the most interesting and relevant way. So people remembered it for something, and when they in turn were asked by someone or it came up in a conversation, they would have knowledge and a point of view on it,” Shormistha Mukherjee, Director at Flying Cursor said.

To increase the awareness level in an interesting manner, the scooter brand brought together foodies from all walks of life to experience a ‘Go Gusto Ride’ like no other in the city of Mumbai. On the 12th of April, Sunday, Mahindra arranged a food ride with eminent food bloggers. Riders who share a common passion for food, elected via a social media contest explored the city’s most famous food joints on their Gusto. (Read here – #GoGustoRides – Mahindra Gusto Powers India’s First Ever Food Ride Led By Influential Food Bloggers).

Giving a background on why the agency went for a food ride when food walks are still not out of fashion, Shormistha added, “The idea is the rides. Scooters are so much about the emotion and feeling of exploring, about being free, about little lanes, about short cuts. We wanted to tap into that feeling. So thought of creating different rides, that will allow an urban audience to experience that for a couple of hours. To join like-minded people, to feel like a community, to enjoy exploring different things. Food, music, heritage… the list is endless. So when we wanted to make our first ride memorable, it was only obvious that we would start with food.”

With food being the agenda of the ride, the agency roped in few food influencers who would not only bring more eyeballs to the ride but will also bring their knowledge that we often see them sharing in the food walks. Leading food aficionados Amrita Rana, Kalyan Karmarkar and Vivek Bhatia were roped in to drive the food ride to make it a memorable one.

“We were super clear about what we wanted. We wanted credible people who loved food, who had a gusto for it, and who wanted to co-create the ride, and share this experience with others. In fact we gave two scooters to two of the influencers for a week, who used them, spoke about them, integrated them into their lives, and put the ride together while experiencing the Gusto,” informed Shormistha while explaining how the influencers were narrowed down for the ride.

Kalyan who is also known as Finely Chopped on the social media circuit found the food ride very similar to the many food walks he has done at a personal level. “With a ride you can obviously cover a larger area. Additionally the brand integration was perfect and also matched with what I do.”

Talking about the offline event, Kalyan shared that the ride was planned well in advance since the objective was to offer a different sort of food experience from varied parts of South Mumbai. “We went to a Muslim place (Olympia cafe) to try out kheema pao (spicy minced meat curry with bread) and Irani chai, later we landed into a Parsi place (Cafe Ideal) and we also visited Tea Center in Churchgate to get a feel of the lost world of the clubs of the British Raj. The menu that we chose was reflective of the diverse heritage of Mumbai and we stopped at some classic South Mumbai breakfast places in the ride.” Kalyan wrote an extensive piece about the #GoGustoRides on his blog.

With riders being treated with tempting breakfast delicacies, the agency kept sharing pictures of the ride. Sunday looked really beautiful for some and for the rest of us, we had to settle with the pictures of Kheema Pao, Parsi scrambled eggs, akoori, and sali par eedu (eggs fried with matchstick potatoes).

According to a company release #GoGustoRides reached over 7 million people on Twitter itself. Needless to say, the hashtag was trending twice on Twitter. “#GoGustoRides was an exciting initiative which brings together passionate communities and enables them to explore the things they love, on a Mahindra Gusto.  We are delighted with the overwhelming response the first edition has received, wherein millions of passionate food lovers engaged with the brand on social media. We intend to reach out to more cities and communities so that many more can experience the exciting opportunities that can be explored on the Gusto,” Sarosh Shetty, Vice President – Marketing, Mahindra Two Wheelers said.

Beyond the numbers, the intent of the brand to connect with the youth in their own language is a commendable effort. Besides giving scooters to the food influencers for a week, creating a ride with food enthusiasts to discover interesting places of South Mumbai only helps to create meaningful brand awareness.

Going ahead the brand wants to mint from a similar kind of effort in different places of India which isn’t a bad idea at all. Not just food, India has so many cultural traits waiting to be explored and what better way to do it than on a Mahindra Gusto with like-minded folks!