The Resurrection Of Yearning: The PR Story Behind The Launch Of “JAWA”
This is an exciting prospect for the entire motorcycling community in India. From a PR perspective, it will be interesting to watch how marketing strategies play out
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Since last year, the biking community has been abuzz with rumors that the iconic JAWA is set to be re-launched in India under the umbrella of Mahindra & Mahindra. Nostalgic motorcycling enthusiasts and 2 stroke lovers were keeping their fingers crossed and eagerly waiting for the day when they could finally see their beloved motorcycle be back on the roads. However, teasers were flying around in social media where they could see graphical pictures of this iconic brand.
This Czech motorcycle JAWA was introduced in India after World War II and later gathered a cult following in the 1970s and 1980s. Two Parsi entrepreneurs Farrokh and Rustom initially started importing the bikes by the brand name “Ideal JAWA”. Finally, the local manufacturing unit of this Czech motorcycle was installed in Mysore in the 1960s.
Very quickly, JAWA became the choice of youngsters in the country as it was sturdy as well having a two-stroke engine was deemed to be a trailblazer for the time, much speedier than competitors. In the year 1972, the entrepreneurs made a decision to manufacture bikes under their own license name “Yezdi” with assistance from JAWA.
But in the late '80s, the brand started to lose market share because of the Japanese bike-makers like Hero-Honda and Escorts-Yamaha. These Japanese bikes were lightweight, had better fuel economy and came in various colors which attracted the masses at large. The company suffered huge losses cause of tough market competition and labor agitation in their Mysore plant and brand eventually wound up in 1996.
However, after a gap of two decades, the JAWA seems to have roared back with its original thump. Classic Legends Private Ltd., a sister concern of Mahindra & Mahindra revamped the Ideal Classic JAWA brand by launching three motorcycles on 15th November 2018. The JAWA, JAWA Forty-Two, and Perak which is a custom factory made Bobber, were showcased to an eagerly waiting biking community. The motorcycles will be up for grabs from the last week of March 2019. Price ranging from 1.55 lakhs to 1.89 lakhs, JAWA’s main rival seems to be the mid segment of the classic motorcycle legends The Royal Enfield.
One of the key brains behind the comeback of JAWA is Mr. Anupam Thareja, who helped a retro motorcycling brand revive and has a template for it. The other one is Mr. Boman Irani who is from the family who brought JAWA to India. This shows authenticity, credibility, and passion which needs to be preserved for a brand with such a cult following. And the third is Mr. Anand Mahindra who provided the trusted Mahindra ecosystem with the requisite infrastructural support systems for manufacturing as well as the vendor and dealership networks across India.
Overall, this is an exciting prospect for the entire motorcycling community in India. From a PR perspective, it will be interesting to watch how marketing strategies play out. Already some very interesting trends have been evolving. First, the Instagram handle for JAWA was activated around six months prior to the launch, and the campaign centered-around older pictures of the bike. The strategists have very cleverly used the nostalgia and cult following of the iconic brand, to gradually recreate a narrative. The usage of older images, the sepia tone of the images and the masterful implementation of the info-graphics tell a story of yearning and resurrected hope at the same time.
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