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Apollo Tyres and its adventure marketing mantra

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla | Updated on October 17, 2019 Published on October 17, 2019

Apollo Apterra goes the extra mile on tough terrain

With the Apterra AT2 tyre, off-roaders can now explore India’s rich diversity

Tyre shopping is not nearly as fun as car shopping, but it is still important to those consumers who need a new set.

The glitch is that tyres are not as glamorous or high-end fashion products which means marketing becomes a regular road-tripping experience. To give a new spin, Apollo Tyres decided on a 360-degree media campaign for its Apterra AT2 designed specially for off-road enthusiasts.

The first commercial for the range was developed by digital agency Wunderman Thompson. While most brands are relegated to functional demonstration in their campaigns, Apollo wanted the product to have an elevated conversation in this category.

The idea was to create a platform for sustained engagement with its target audience, says Joy Chauhan, Managing Partner, Wunderman Thompson, Delhi. “AT2 was designed to cover the toughest of terrains. Besides AT2, they have a range of tyres under Apterra, catering to various driving conditions,” he adds.

One of the problems while shopping for a car or bike that can go off-road — colloquially known as adventuremobiles — is that the actual specifications that add up to genuine capability have become obfuscated by marketing jargon.

Judging by the advertisements, both two-wheelers and four-wheel drives are capable of the exact same feat, but in reality, one would get stuck before the other even broke into a sweat.

Apollo Apterra’s new campaign

Alluding to Apollo Apterra’s latest campaign ‘Bad Roads Go To Good Places’, Chauhan says it will not only resonate with every off-roading and adventure enthusiast but will also connect with travellers at large, “as it captures an extremely important life truth as well.”

Sundeep Sehgal, Executive Creative Director, Wunderman Thompson, adds, “Bad roads lead to good places is not just a philosophy, but a way of life for an adventure seeker. Through this communication we wanted to change the stereotype of a ‘good place’ in the consumers mind.”

Regular roads lead to regular mundane places, he says, but when one pushes oneself and takes up a bad road, “one can reach an untouched, unexplored mythical place. It’s like hunting for a mystical path, reaching a place which no one has ever seen”.

Designed and developed as a collaborative effort between the two global R&D centres — in Enschede, the Netherlands and in Chennai — and a cross-functional team, Apterra AT2 has been thoroughly tested across various countries.

The agency decided to highlight a basic fact - power is nothing without control and how the meat of the matter is all in the traction. Creatively showcasing a ride that spells freedom, Apollo decided to go the extra mile for adventure junkies.

Satish Sharma, President, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (APMEA), Apollo Tyres, says the company is sharpening its focus on the SUV segment in India, “with specialised tyres for different terrains, as this vehicle segment is growing faster than passenger cars.”

On the clutter-breaking campaign, Chauhan says the brand will use the platform to engage with the community of off-roaders. “We call this community ‘Bad Road Buddies’. The platform provides the brand with an opportunity to create sustained engagement but also create some marquee properties in the future,” he adds.

Creative thought for the campaign came by tapping into the basic insight of every SUV rider: he/she buys an SUV because of an adventurous mindset. Though though they might not end up doing hardcore off-roading, given an opportunity and the right platform, they will be more than keen to rough it out on the adventure tracks.


Apollo Tyres has curated #BadRoadBuddies, a community for budding and existing off-roaders to come together and discover India. The participants travel through some of the harshest roads and get breathtaking views for their efforts.

Bad Road Buddies was unveiled in Goa this May by Sachin Tendulkar with hardcore off-roaders. Mindshare, a full-service media agency and a part of advertising and media major Group M, also launched an integrated media campaign for the Apollo Apterra AT2.

The campaign for Apollo Tyres’ SUV segment seeks to add more to ‘Bad Roads go to Good Places’ and aims to establish it as a high-technology brand with unmatched traction and durability. It has been thoroughly tested in the toughest of conditions in South Africa.

Mindshare used its proprietary tools to capture the interests of auto enthusiasts. For Apterra, Mindshare partnered with online video platforms with a hybrid approach of behavioural targeting and high reach via cricket (Ind-SA T20 series) and entertainment (KBC).

High affinity platforms and niche movie premieres were also used while key highways of India were identified for off-roading and impactful creatives placed along them.

Ruchi Mathur, Senior Vice-President, Client Leadership, Mindshare North & East, says there is an organic momentum in the SUV category. “Our primary task was to decode, identify and then reach the SUV enthusiast. Given that we were talking to a niche segment, we needed a hyper customised approach.”

By leveraging the agency’s proprietary tool, it was easy to understand the interests of the target audience and “convert these insights into a strategy and action plan, across offline and online channels. We played to the niche segment, but with scale”.

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Published on October 17, 2019
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