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Old 3rd March 2017, 12:03   #1
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Default Back to basics for the Bajaj Pulsar? "Definitely Male" tagline reinstated

For the last 6 years Mr. Bajaj was obsessed with the idea of associating the Word "Sports Bike" with the Pulsar.

Reason: Marketing guru Jack Trout says that once a brand is associated with a word, that brand owns that category. Eg. Xerox

(LS) Light Sports, (NS) Naked Sports, (AS) Adventure Sports, (RS) Racing Sports, "India's No.1 Sports Bike"... ring a bell?

And so it was for the last 6 years

But a few days back, I noticed on the official Pulsar Fan Page that the Original (and most memorable) Tagline "DEFINITELY MALE" was back. In 6 years hundreds of crores must have been spent in an attempt to associate the word "Sports" with the Pulsar... so why go back now?

According to me, the following could be the reasons:

1. Realisation that altering a set Public Perception is almost impossible (ironically Mr. Jack Trout himself says so). For the desi consumer when you say Sports Bike, they instinctively think "Full Faired Dhoom Bikes"

2. "Beingly Manly" has obviously become more profitable than being "Sporty". Royal Enfield has been rolling on the bank floor laughing with its archaic but "manly" Bullets/Classics/Thunderbird.. current monthly numbers of RE touching around 50k..

... on the other hand the Yamaha R15 - The "original desi sports bike", is still stuck with monthly sales of 3k

Ironically the Pulsars which never got the "S" or "Sports" tag has been the ones holding the fort so far. Namely the Pulsar 150/180/220. As "DEFINITELY MALE" direction seems to be back, someone at Bajaj must be thinking "Bekar mein Bahut kharcha ho gaya" [Translated: Spent a lot of money for nothing]

What are your thoughts?
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Last edited by GTO : 3rd March 2017 at 16:48. Reason: Few formatting changes.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 12:09   #2
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Default re: Back to Basics for Bajaj Pulsar? "Definitely Male" tag-line reinstated

This will most likely result in a massive public relations debacle.

In recent times, there has been a rapidly growing and engaging conversation about gender equality.

While most corporations around the world are putting their best foot forward in highlighting how their workplace or products (where applicable) do not discriminate between genders, tagging a bike (and essentially, the rider) as "definitely male" will reek of tremendous sexism. Even more so when it is not uncommon to see women riding not just bikes, but even premium sports bikes.

If Bajaj indeed makes Pulsar "definitely male", it will be an extremely sad and dangerous move.

Last edited by libranof1987 : 3rd March 2017 at 12:10.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 14:11   #3
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Default Re: "DEFINITELY MALE" Back to Basics for Bajaj Pulsar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
This will most likely result in a massive public relations debacle.

In recent times, there has been a rapidly growing and engaging conversation about gender equality.

While most corporations around the world are putting their best foot forward in highlighting how their workplace or products (where applicable) do not discriminate between genders, tagging a bike (and essentially, the rider) as "definitely male" will reek of tremendous sexism. Even more so when it is not uncommon to see women riding not just bikes, but even premium sports bikes.

If Bajaj indeed makes Pulsar "definitely male", it will be an extremely sad and dangerous move.
More so when Mr. Bajaj himself said that the entire assembly line of Dominar 400 is exclusively "manned" by women staff.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 14:12   #4
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Default re: Back to basics for the Bajaj Pulsar? "Definitely Male" tagline reinstated

Ironically, I remember the "Definitely Male" tagline quite clearly. (Along with hoodibaba)

Hadn't even heard / paid attention to "India's No. 1 Sport Bike" until your recent post in the other Rajiv Bajaj thread (Rajiv Bajaj - Among the best orators in the Indian automotive industry).

Quote:
Originally Posted by payeng View Post
For the desi consumer when you say Sports Bike, they instinctively think "Full Faired Dhoom Bikes"
True point. And to add to that, perhaps there's a greater market for 'Manly Bikes' than there is for 'Sports Bikes' in India?

That said, the customer is no idiot. You can't stick a badge or a tagline on something and expect it to automatically become that.


I think another reason may be that the game has now moved on. Especially with the entry of the Dominar! There's no doubt that has something to do with it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
In recent times, there has been a rapidly growing and engaging conversation about gender equality.

While most corporations around the world are putting their best foot forward in highlighting how their workplace or products (where applicable) do not discriminate between genders, tagging a bike (and essentially, the rider) as "definitely male" will reek of tremendous sexism. Even more so when it is not uncommon to see women riding not just bikes, but even premium sports bikes.
While I get what you're saying, I don't think there's really anything for social justice warriors to truly be offended about here.

By saying a bike is definitely male or definitely female, doesn't really mean anything. It's not like they are saying "you need to be a man to ride one". Perhaps the tagline implies the opposite

That said, the Dominar is apparently rolling off a production line that is 100% 'manned' by women!

Last edited by Rehaan : 3rd March 2017 at 14:18.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 14:26   #5
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Default re: Back to basics for the Bajaj Pulsar? "Definitely Male" tagline reinstated

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
This will most likely result in a massive public relations debacle.

tagging a bike (and essentially, the rider) as "definitely male" will reek of tremendous sexism. Even more so when it is not uncommon to see women riding not just bikes, but even premium sports bikes.

If Bajaj indeed makes Pulsar "definitely male", it will be an extremely sad and dangerous move.
But then there have been instances of scooters linked to females (TVS Scooty/Yamaha Fascino) by advertising them as "its a girl thing" or something or the other. A lot of men ride these scootys and fascinos, and similarly there would be a lot of women driving these so called "male" bikes.

There are products made for specific genders, like say shampoo. For Men and for Women. Of course it hardly matters and its not that one cannot use the other, but then this is how things are marketed.

I am sure this is not going to provoke any untoward debates, more so since that tag line is already embedded in the minds of the people and it is not something new.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 14:54   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Ironically, I remember the "Definitely Male" tagline quite clearly. (Along with hoodibaba)


That said, the customer is no idiot. You can't stick a badge or a tagline on something and expect it to automatically become that.

It was the genius of the creative team at O&M who back in 2001 came up with that mould breaking (Definitely Male) idea...

It wasn't just a marketing idea born at a board meeting; but inspired by the product itself.. which back in 2001 was unlike anything the market offered.

Goes without saying that it was a very successful campaign. Made people take notice of the bike and broke the clutter.


But I hope Mr. Bajaj realises that in 2017 the landscape is bit different.. with competitors with artificially inflated plastic muscles (but light in weight at the same time) and FAT rear ends, that now claim to be "ripped" as well.


Going back to the original tagline is perfectly OK with me... but might need just a little bit of soul searching and thought of how to be relevant in 2017.

Since a sizeable chunk of the current customer base might have missed the early 2000 era.

Last edited by payeng : 3rd March 2017 at 15:19.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 15:29   #7
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Default re: Back to basics for the Bajaj Pulsar? "Definitely Male" tagline reinstated

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
This will most likely result in a massive public relations debacle.

In recent times, there has been a rapidly growing and engaging conversation about gender equality.

If Bajaj indeed makes Pulsar "definitely male", it will be an extremely sad and dangerous move.
I read this and the first thing that came to my mind was HH Pleasure "Why should boys have all the fun?". And yet, Pleasure was accepted wholeheartedly by both the genders. IMO there is nothing wrong in targeting a specific group of individuals for your product.

Is Maruti wrong when it says that Ignis is for millennials? I wouldn't think so.
Check this out
Back to basics for the Bajaj Pulsar? "Definitely Male" tagline reinstated-2008royalenfieldbulletmachismo500b.jpg

Regarding the tagline, I used to love the ad. The one with a nurse walking past and the another one where 1st-gen and Dtsi were racing with each other. I, for one, like this idea of the old tagline. But as mentioned, some of the target customers might have missed the 2000s and hence, a good set of advertisements are required.

Slightly OT, but does anyone agree that the old Bajaj ads were very good but the recent ones lack soul (just like old Tata Motors ads)?

Last edited by ashis89 : 3rd March 2017 at 15:34. Reason: Adding more
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Old 3rd March 2017, 15:58   #8
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Default re: Back to basics for the Bajaj Pulsar? "Definitely Male" tagline reinstated

"Its a BOY!!!"
Oh, how I loved that ad. So much so that I went out and bought one of the first P180s in Delhi!
That apart, sensibilities are at an all time low. Real Juice has to contend with a parent who's daughter refused to drink a pack. So, does not seem like a good time to be doing this. No one knows, but.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 16:11   #9
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Default re: Back to basics for the Bajaj Pulsar? "Definitely Male" tagline reinstated

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashis89 View Post
Slightly OT, but does anyone agree that the old Bajaj ads were very good but the recent ones lack soul (just like old Tata Motors ads)?

You hit the nail in the head.


Posted are two of those memorable Pulsar / Motorcycle Ads for me. "Simple - To the Point - Get the message across - Generates interest in the Product"




Last edited by payeng : 3rd March 2017 at 16:14.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 19:48   #10
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Default Re: Back to basics for the Bajaj Pulsar? "Definitely Male" tagline reinstated

I owned the first gen Pulsar 180; the one with the round headlamps and with no fancy-pancy digital and triple spark motor. It had an addictive note from those Yezdi styled exhausts. At that time, it was true to its tag-line. It was definitely male. For college-goers, a P180 and a CBZ commanded extreme respect. I still remember my 180 climbing up the small hillock on which our college was built in 3rd gear with 3 people aboard when the 150 and 125 cc bikes were huffing and puffing with just 2.

Later Pulsars moved on to taglines like Racing, Sporting etc on what is essentially a city bike. The tagline also brought about a rapid shift in public perception. College-goers and young people automatically associated the Pulsars with street racing and stunts. While this was definitely present during the 'Definitely Male' days, it became a more common occurrence with the introduction of Race and Sports and 'The fastest Indian' to fore of the Pulsars. It created an illusion that if you own a Pulsar, it was a God given right to race and rule the streets. This had often disastrous consequences for many. There were many Pulsar ads that openly showed Wheelies and Sorties, both of which are extremely dangerous if not done under supervision and in a controlled environment.

I, for one, feel that associating Sports and Race with regular street going bikes will create a perception of invincibility into the minds of the consumers (the riders). A shift back to something more sensible is the right way to go. Tag line for bikes must inculcate responsibility into the minds of the riders and the manufacturer should support this by actively promoting safe riding habits.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 20:34   #11
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Default Re: Back to basics for the Bajaj Pulsar? "Definitely Male" tagline reinstated

Haha, are Bajaj doubting themselves? What does 'definitely male' even mean? Are they reassuring themselves and the public that their bikes are definitely not female?

Bajaj seriously need to get a good marketing team. 'Leave track racing to amateurs' for RS200 and 'Only babies sleep at night' for Dominar 400 aren't helping much.

On a serious note, Bajaj is a very popular company. Thanks to them people will get inspired and they'll race on roads during nighttime because apparently only amateurs race on track.

Also, public image for a company is very important. Thanks to their ads, I've started to think Bajaj as a childish and immature company. On another note, KTM impacts me in a very different way even though even their ultimate aim is to portray their bikes as sporty and unabashedly youthful. Thanks to their marketing strategy and team.

Last edited by The Brutailer : 3rd March 2017 at 20:41. Reason: Adding extra info.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 23:11   #12
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Default Re: Back to basics for the Bajaj Pulsar? "Definitely Male" tagline reinstated

I think the 'definitely male' tagline helped set the product apart, political correctness and gender sensitivity be damned! It was a nice ad (especially the nurse one) and coming from an indian manufacturer of mass market products it was indeed a revelation. Unless one is particularly touchy, there is nothing offensive about the campaign. Somehow brought back memories of tube watching from a decade back!
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Old 4th March 2017, 03:06   #13
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Default Re: Back to basics for the Bajaj Pulsar? "Definitely Male" tagline reinstated

I remember the 'definitely male' adverts from when I was a kid. The bike turning around while the nurse walked past or catching a dupatta were all memories I still remember. As someone who knew nothing about bikes, the Pulsars were all I ever cared about. It was only when I was only around the time that I was learning how to ride a bike when I was 20, that I began to realise there was nothing special about those old Pulsars that I used to lust after, and that there was so much more that the market had to offer. That's how strong that ad campaign was. It made me associate the Pulsar with biking in India. Period. The name Pulsar itself, is evergreen and I am sure that if they scrap these new taglines like 'Only babies sleep at night' and 'Leave track racing to amateurs', and go with the old 'definitely male' one with some good new television advertisements coupled with the fact that today the typical Pulsar bike actually comes with a host of features, sporty chassis, it ought to further catalyze the sales
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Old 4th March 2017, 03:37   #14
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Default Re: Back to Basics for Bajaj Pulsar? "Definitely Male" tag-line reinstated

Quote:
Originally Posted by racer_ash View Post
I owned the first gen Pulsar 180; the one with the round headlamps and with no fancy-pancy digital and triple spark motor.
To me, the first gen 180 was the perfect Pulsar. It had several issues that was resolved/improved in the next generations; but plastic/fiber parts also started replacing metal body parts. And the bike never retained the macho look the first gen displayed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashis89 View Post
IMO there is nothing wrong in targeting a specific group of individuals for your product.

...

Slightly OT, but does anyone agree that the old Bajaj ads were very good but the recent ones lack soul (just like old Tata Motors ads)?
+100 to both points.


Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
This will most likely result in a massive public relations debacle.

...
If Bajaj indeed makes Pulsar "definitely male", it will be an extremely sad and dangerous move.
Not everything has to be be gender-neutral. Advertisements/marketing will always be focused on specific customer segments; be it gender/age/region/etc based.
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Old 4th March 2017, 07:14   #15
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Default Re: Back to basics for the Bajaj Pulsar? "Definitely Male" tagline reinstated

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Originally Posted by payeng View Post
with competitors with artificially inflated plastic muscles (but light in weight at the same time) and FAT rear ends, that now claim to be "ripped" as well.
And they still manage to beat twin spark plug, tech laden, similar capacity bikes without much ado.

Let me not even bring the words - handling, braking, reliability & quality here.
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