MRF, India’s leading tyre brand. The Chennai based tyre manufacturer is known for its quality as well as innovations in its product line. Started in 1952, MRF tyres, today, is a household name in the Indian automobile sector and also has interests in over 65 countries around the world. Apart from being a manufacturer of tyres, MRF has made significant contribution in the area of sports development in the country by sponsoring tournaments and competitions and providing infrastructure for sports development in India.
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MRF, in spite of being one of the most-respected brands in the Indian tyre market, is not the first choice for owners of premium bikes. They would rather opt for a foreign brand like Michelin or Pirelli, because of the ‘supposed‘ superior product quality when compared with MRF.
To overcome this challenge, MRF designed an all-new tyre, the Masseter for bikes between 150-390cc engine displacement. This product was built from the ground-up to create a niche in the premium motorcycle tyre market. This tyre was aimed squarely at the likes of Pirelli and Michelin, thought to be “high-tech”.
- Create awareness and excitement around the brand Masseter within the community of bike owners (250 cc and above)
- Develop a premium imagery for Masseter carrying the MRF branding
- Build product credentials for the brand
- Capture and mobilize audience interest around ‘price and availability’ of the product
- Garner engagement from the target audience and drive conversations around the brand
The Strategy/ Execution
Selling Masseter to a segment that has always been riding on Michelin and Metzeler was a tough feat to achieve. To establish Masseter as a premium brand which could lock horns with Pirelli, Michelin & Metzeler, we decided to separate Masseter’s imagery from that of MRF’s, in the initial phase.
The idea was to pull Masseter out from under the existing MRF brand image and create its own distinct identity.
Pro-Bikers riding bikes of such high power seek adventure on roads with a lot of corners, because corners are their greatest challenge. A corner tests their skill and pushes them to be better. Therefore, we devised a teaser campaign where a mysterious brand called Masseter was about to show them the formula to ‘Rule Every Curve’. Was it a tyre? A biking academy? They could only keep guessing!
The brand positioning line runs – ‘Rule Every Curve’. The thought originates from the insight that steep corners test the true mettle of a rider. Masseter helps with a better lean angle and control at corners, which will help one pass that test. But ruling a curve is not easy, one needs much more than just skills and courage – one needs an edge… a formula. And thus, was born Masseter’s stand and the hero of their story on digital.
Discover the ‘Masseter Formula’ To Rule Every Curve. 7 Days to Master the skill of Cornering!
The main objective of the campaign was to build excitement and anticipation around the brand Masseter. Which would eventually lead them to the final launch of the tyre and keep the conversation going, with the help of our first of its kind all-inclusive pan-India community of bikers.
Facebook was used as the hero platform to build awareness and engagement around the mystery brand – Masseter. The aim was to get people to question the nature of Masseter, and its purpose on social. Thus, we introduced Masseter as an entity that will help fellow riders discover the ‘Masseter Formula’ and will eventually help riders master the art of cornering.
We needed a build-up to the launch of the ‘formula’, and create a hype that helps riders recall the thrill of doing corners, establishes the positioning ‘Rule Every Curve’ and introduces the Masseter Formula in a unique way.
We created three exciting teasers: The first one was about the curves throwing a challenge at the Bikers, the second one about a biker’s frustration of not being able to conquer every curve and the third one was about how this mysterious biker managed to ‘Rule Every Curve’ by uncovering the mysterious formula. Could everyone learn the formula? Yes, they could in just 7 more days.
The challenge was to ‘teach’ the formula to pro and amateur bikers alike? We got on board an expert whom everyone within the biker community looked up to – Mr. Kartikeya Singhee. He unravelled the secret formula over 7 days by testing the knowledge of bikers and inviting the top bikers to an event where they could learn the formula first hand!
In the next 4 days we tested everyone on 4 essential techniques to rule every curve – lean angle, braking point, speed and wet road cornering.
Every Morning we posted a question:
In the evening, we revealed a creative with the answer and advice (by our expert rider Kartikeya Singhee).
We followed this pattern for the next few days, which succeeded in garnering a lot of engagement from the biker community. Hundreds of riders exuberantly interacted with us on the page.
We also spread the word through our handpicked set of Influencers and Ambassadors of our biker community – Ride Along with MRF.
We counted down to the launch day by testing the cornering acumen of the best bikers in the country and then invited the top ones to a track day event at one of the most exciting racing tracks in India – The Kari Speedway in Coimbatore.
They, along with our set of influencers, ambassadors and chief expert Kartikeya Singhee got a chance to unveil the formula to ‘Rule Every Curve’ at the venue.
Also, we created 5 short videos from the event and posted them online to keep the conversation going, creating anticipation, and giving sneak-peeks of the formula.
Influencers invited to the event also started creating their own videos from the event and even live-streamed from there. People could either follow the action on our official FB page or check out our microsite that counted down to the Grand Reveal.
Finally, using a similar track day video, we dropped the façade, and revealed that Masseter was actually a tyre all along! Another video followed in no time which showed a bunch of influencer riders taking the veil off and introducing the ‘Masseter by MRF’.
The Teaser and Launch hit the sweet spot as we were able to reach almost 50 lakh bikers through social engagement, which was phenomenal, given that the campaign was targeted at a niche audience. The videos garnered a whopping 800k views with over 2.5 lakh engagements on posts. We were able to get the bikers excited enough to get over 4500 interested buyers on the day of the launch.
Moreover starting from the teasers, to the final launch videos, the content was loved by many and all. The most common reactions were “WOW and “LOVE” which speaks volumes of the reception. The highlight of the campaign was the engagement, which was objective, helpful and conversational in nature, and left no room for ‘peanut gallery’.
Conversations like these shed light on the fact that our audience was objective, mature, and serious about the world of riding.
- When it comes to reaching a niche audience, it is important to use influencers judiciously. If you have a few experts whom the audience follows and believe to be authentic, you have a better chance of connecting with the audience than splurging on media indiscriminately.
- To break a psychological barrier, it is important to step back and look at your brand objectively. We knew bringing MRF to the fore at the beginning would disconnect us from the TG we were seeking. The strategy of getting the audience interested with what they wanted, bringing the imagery up to their expectations and then saying that it is MRF really gave them a wonderful surprise and brought Masseter into their consideration set.
- Real faces talking about your brand is way more authentic than a celebrity endorsement, because a celebrity can get a view, but real faces make you wonder.