The emotion of fear is used quite often in ads and in case of the CEAT bike tyre TV—Streets are filled with idiots campaign it has been used very effectively. According to me the emotion of fear, in the two commercials (Man with the pram and Crossing), has been shown in its raw form without any sugar coating; the element of shock and horror, clearly shown by the expression on the face of the bike drivers in each of the two ads, adds to the overall impact. Many years ago when I was planning to learn driving I was told that
when I drive I must consider every other driver on the road to be pagal or insane and must always tell myself that I am the only sane person on the roads; in other words I was advised to be very very careful while driving. Maybe an insight of a similar kind inspired the creative minds at the agency which developed the script for these two TV commercials.
Over the years I have observed that messages conveyed in tyre ads (I mean any tyre ad, not just motorcycle tyres) are more or less about product features – they usually talk about thread designs, radials, technology, etc. and how these make the tyres sturdier, durable, and give better road grip; this in turn enables you to brake safely (Apollo) or perform stuns (MRF – A R Rehman on the beach) or one can experience a smooth ride (MRF ZVTS - Lullaby). The current CEAT bike tyre ads clearly stand out among other tyre (both two-wheelers and others) ads. This is not because each of the ads shows the bike rider suddenly braking to avoid an accident; we have seen this in other tyre ads before. What makes these two ads different is the fact that it is the first time that fear of an impending accident has been shown so effectively.
To further analyse the two ads, I would like to draw attention to the efficient use of long shots. The ‘Man with the pram’ ad has a long shot of the man pushing the pram on a busy road, seeing this makes us wonder as to why is the guy taking the baby for a ride on this busy road? In the ‘Crossing’ ad there is a long shot of the couple on the motorbike after the brakes are suddenly applied; they seem to be alone in the middle of nowhere fending for themselves. They appear so helpless. These long shots have added to the overall impact in both ads. Shallow depth-of-field used to show close up of the tyre threads in both ads is interesting, I am glad the makers of the ad decided not to use computer graphics which is pretty common. The actors have acted very well to effectively bring out the shock, horror and disbelief.
Another interesting aspect of this campaign is that the company has put up a micro site -- beidiotsafe.com. Visitors to this site are invited to share their experiences of encounter with idiots on the roads; visitors are also encouraged to upload videos of idiots they encounter. This micro site is a good effort in engaging the prospective customers and educating them about tyre grip and road safety.
To conclude I wish to say that the script and execution of both films are very good and the communication of the message is right on target.