Happy mcgarrybowen crafts Maruti Suzuki’s #PehniKya campaign

Maruti Suzuki India, nation’s leading passenger vehicle manufacturer, recently rolled out a nationwide social campaign – #PehniKya? The Company aims to create awareness and promote seat belt use among drivers and passengers.

Road accidents and fatalities are a national concern. According to the recent MoRTH (Ministry of Road Transport and Highways) data, not wearing seat belts resulted in 5,638 fatalities during 2016. Fifty percent of these fatalities could be prevented through use of seat belts. Seat belts are an important safety device - often ignored by car users in India. A recent study by Maruti Suzuki conducted with Kantar Group (Millward Brown and IMRB) reveals seat belt usage rate as low as 25% in India.

#PehniKya conceived by Happy mcgarrybowen, a unit of Dentsu Aegis Network, focuses on driving this behavior change among car users in India. The high impact 360 degree integrated campaign by Maruti Suzuki comprises of Print, TVC, Radio, Digital and on-ground activations.

The emotionally resonant TVC for ‘#PehniKya?’ is centered on a kid trying to stop his father from driving his car, because his father is not in the habit of wearing the seat belt. The TVC is currently being played across major television channels in India spanning the genres of news, movies, etc.

The creative for the print ads issued across major mainlines, financials and regional publications, is simple, fact based and striking, to create a high impact on the readers. The evocative radio spots are designed to break myths around the usage of seat belts and highlight the importance of the seat belt as a safety device.

Talking about the campaign, R S Kalsi, Senior Executive Director, Maruti Suzuki said, “Seat belt is one of the most effective safety equipment in a car. Studies by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), USA, show that if an occupant is not wearing a seat belt in a vehicle equipped with airbags, the airbags may actually cause more harm in the event of a crash. At the same time, with the new safety regulations, more cars in India will come equipped with airbags. This makes the usage of seat belts even more critical.”

He added, “Our survey shows that seat belt usage in India is as low as 25%. Lack of awareness of seat belt as a safety device, lack of encouragement from family and friends, and weak legal enforcement were among the key reasons for non-usage. Through this campaign, we aim to encourage car occupants to wear their seat belts.” 

PM Praveen Das, Chief Creative Officer and MD said, “Maruti Suzuki has been doing stellar work in the area of road safety. We were very excited to work on their latest campaign on the seat belt initiative. Drawing from research we decided to keep the message simple and thought provoking, thus was born #PehniKya? Another key insight that was validated by research was that people would be far more impacted if the message came from a family member. Hence, the construct of the TVC. The film captures the simple emotion of love of a son for his father.”


Creative Agency - Happy mcgarrybowen (Dentsu Aegis Network)

PM Praveen Das – Chief Creative Officer and MD

Dhanesh MS – Creative Director - Copy

Virendra Shinde – Creative Director - Art

Abey Joseph Yohanan – Creative Director – Art

Karan Parmar – Senior Copywriter

Avneet Janakiram – Enterprise Business Director

Mohit Chavan – Senior Account Manager

Kartik Prakash – Account Executive


TVC: Production House

Nirvana Films

Prashant Madan – Director

Marjorie – Producer


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