Mr Nair on old tyres – CEAT’s new TVC


A nice, sweet, simple, funny ad, with Kunal Roy Kapoor well cast, and with a better jingle. Created by Ogilvy for CEAT, which continues with ads in a humorous vein. But its press release makes the misleading claim of ‘everlasting’ grip

CEAT has come out with another interesting, humour-driven ad, and this time round, the humour comes from a lovely seamless mix of two important elements — the characterisation and casting of the central protagonist of the ad, Mr Nair, and the funny, quirky jingle. Kunal Roy Kapoor’s been cast well, and plays the character with a sweet stiff awkwardness, especially when his bike  — even though it’s on old tyres — comes to a halt just in time to evade a heap of rocks covering a pothole on the road. Ceat’s Gripp X3 range of tyres, see?

So, this one’s a simple and chuckle-inducing storyline, to communicate the message of “everlasting” grip of the Gripp X3 range of tyres, as the press release states, adding, elsewhere, that the creative was “led by strong consumer insight that a motorcycle rider rides confidently on a tyre that is new, but when the tyre becomes old, their confidence goes down.” That’s about right, isn’t it?

But what’s not sounding so right here, is that the ad states that the Gripp X3 range of CEAT tyres has an “everlasting grip”. Really? Only an ad that unmistakably implies a life-time guarantee  for the grip of a motorcycle tyre could promise an “everlasting grip”.  So this claim is obviously, patently false and misleading, don’t you think?

But it’s only the press release that makes the misleading claim. Mercifully, the video film doesn’t do that,  so no role for ASCII yet. Though one doesn’t know if any newspaper or other portal has reproduced the claims of the press release without questioning them.

The release states, ‘The “everlasting” grip of the Gripp X3 range allows the consumer to ride as confidently as he would ride on a new tyre irrespective of the condition of the tyre, and the theme of communication had to incorporate this particular insight while telling the story of superiority of the Gripp X3 range tyres.”

Now let’s look at the creative execution.

The commercial has been divided into two parts — the teaser and the reveal. “A day-to-day incident that could propel to be a potentially dangerous situation is set as the basic premise for the TVC.” (Not our language; that’s from the press release)

Now the good parts:  Kunal Roy Kapoor plays Mr Nair, who regularly rides to work on his motorcycle. He wears new clothes,  but his’bike has old tyres. As the genuinely funny Mr Nair (even though his Malayali accent seems fake during the one dialogue he has) rides his motorcycle, the video narrative rides a quirky jingle. However, “the tides in his perfect day turn” (the release, again), as he suddenly encounters a huge pothole filled with rocks. The teaser manages to keep the viewers guessing “with a cliffhanger ending” (yes, the release again)  where we see Mr. Nair in a rather uncomfortable position, trying to escape the pothole.  Urging the question, “Will tyre save Nair?”

And voila! The reveal “which arrives after a long wait finally resolves Mr. Nair’s troubling situation” (yes, the release again). Mr. Nair escapes the pothole without a scratch, thanks to the Dual Compound Technology of the Gripp X3 tyres! The commercial then goes on to explain how the Dual Compound Technology of the tyres helps in maintaining maintain the same grip whether the tyre is new, partially worn out, or old.

The sweet little film – funny and simply that it is – is well executed. It’s out on Television, Digital, OOH,  “etcetera”, says the release.

OK, enough talk. Watch the film.

So you’ve watched the ad film. Should the release have made that “everlasting” grip claim? But wait, even Nitish Bajaj, Senior VP, Marketing, CEAT Ltd, makes the ‘everlasting’ grip claim in his quote in the press release. “Our Gripp X3 brand campaign has been created to generate consumer awareness and promote the benefits of a tyre that has an ‘Everlasting’ grip. This campaign brings alive the key benefits of our Gripp X3 tyres developed on a consumer insight that consumers become less confident while driving with old tyres. The campaign highlights the Gripp X3 tyre with dual compound technology that provides a grip as good as a new tyre even when the tyres become old, thereby allowing the rider to ride tension free. Furthermore, this launch of CEAT Gripp X3 delivers on our vision of Making Mobility Safer and Smarter, Everyday.”

Rohit Dubey, Group Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather, is far more restrained. He says, “Consumer’s involvement with bike tyres is extremely low. Most riders only think about their tyres once in approximately two years when it is time to replace them. In this scenario, we built involvement with the product by making engagement, central to our creative thought of landing the benefit of Gripp X3, a tyre that maintains its standard of performance over time. This also allowed us to leverage multiple executions across digital and social media, to increase salience.”


  • Client : CEAT Tyres
  • Creative Agency : Ogilvy & Mather
  • Executive Creative Director : Kiran Anthony
  • Creative team : Rohit Dubey, Nikhil waradkar, Shatrughan Tripathi, Sandeep Jaiswar
  • Account Management: Harsh Bhatt, Saurabh Acharekar, Siddhesh Nair
  • Production House: Ubik Films
  • Director: Surjo Deb
  • Producer: Sonu Bhandari & Saikat Chakraborty

Your thoughts, please