How Royal Enfield used social media to create the pre and post launch buzz for their newest model: Thunderbird 500.
“There are two types of people in this world, people who ride motorcycles and people who ride Royal Enfield.”
A big and bold disclaimer, I own a Royal Enfield Classic 500 and the dream to own it had begun since childhood. So when Royal Enfield gave a teaser of the Thunderbird 500 during the Auto Expo 2012, it got me excited. Thanks to social media I was reminded two days in advance that the bull in black is getting ready to cruise on the highway.
The Chennai-based manufacturer finally launched the Thunderbird 500 on 11th October, 2012 – a highway cruiser perfectly designed for Indian conditions. The 499cc, 27.6PS and 41.3Nm ((Source Zig Wheels)) single cylinder made sure that it created enough buzz pre launch and going by the times it made sure that enough thumping was made the social media way. With a very strong online community, the manufacturer not only decided to run a teaser on YouTube, revealing bits about the beauty but in parallel there was an optimum buzz created on Facebook and Twitter too.
Prelaunch social media buzz
The growing trend these days by brands is running full length banner ads on YouTube and then driving the traffic to an appropriate place for the next set of call to action. Before the launch, the ad that was being showcased on YouTube was all black with a countdown to build the hype. On click of the ad, you were driven to the Thunderbird500 website that was again all black, the Thunderbird was out there roaring but all covered up with a timer displaying that the wait is soon going to end.
Facebook and Twitter community were used to build the excitement. On Facebook along with other updates, the page started posting a covered image along with the date and the link to find more details. Along with this, the page also focused on emphasizing some of the cool features the new bike is raving about. One such was giving a sneak peak of the colours that the new model will don and fans were not complaining either.
Twitter, on the other hand, was used effectively and aggressively The buzz was created with constant updates and keeping the fans satisfied with what they would be expecting in a day. #Thunderbird500 was already making waves before the official launch in Mumbai.
@indianidle Very soon actually. You can check out the live countdown here: royalenfield.com/Thunderbird.
— Royal Enfield (@royalenfield) October 9, 2021
Postlaunch social media buzz
11th October, 2012 was the launch day. As the day started setting in, the first thing I observed was that the YouTube ad space has never looked so beautiful. The curtains were raised and the bull was staring at you to give it a closer look. The website was not displaying the countdown anymore but a black Thunderbird 500 roaring to go.
Facebook, more or less, had the same thing in terms of content but the brand had smartly timed the launch with the NH7 weekender that was happening in the capital. So when Mumbai saw the launch of the bull on 11th, the bikers in Delhi or lovers of the bull were not disappointed since the cruiser was waiting for you to take a ride, pose with NH7 Weekender artists and get lucky to win Royal Enfield merchandise, etc.
On Twitter, #Thunderbird500 started trending just before the launch and people were excited to know the specs, design and there were some who were waiting for the price. A few like me were eagerly waiting to see if it would take over the Classic500. In addition to #Thunderbird500, #REnh7Weekender was also creating the right buzz amongst the community of music and bull lovers.
Tweets from the launch were flowing, influencers who are the proud owners of the machine were being informed and rest is history as they say.
2012 has seen many launches via social media but Royal Enfield did it as a real cruiser – smooth and thumping!