Hunter 350 – How Royal Enfield Pulled Off A Launch With All The Right Vibes!

For a marketer, a launch is a critical moment to get right. You can’t do little; you shouldn’t do too much. You need to inform; you need to intrigue. You need to make a lot of noise; you need to listen. It’s like cracking the perfect spice blend! We’re deep diving on a brand launch that got their marketing spice mix just right.

Royal Enfield’s launch of Hunter 350!

It’s the first anniversary for Hunter 350, and the brand has reportedly crossed a sweet 200,000+ in sales in its first trip round the Sun. What made this launch so effective? 

Quite a few marketing moves.

The launch ticked all the right boxes from a marketing POV. 

Rooted in consumer-insight:
From the product design to every small-big activation that followed, the target audience was at the heart of it all. It made the efforts meaningful and impactful – for the brand and the audience. 

Innovative, truly:
Royal Enfield vroomed past the industry norms for this launch! From art to music to more, each activation was thoughtful and unlike the cookie-cutter approach you often see in product launches in the auto segment. 

Brand 🤝 product:
We see launches that successfully inform about the product. We see launches that successfully create a desired brand positioning. Royal Enfield managed to do both.

So, what did the brand do? What made it work? Let’s dive in.

The strategy

Hunter 350’s launch strategy was focused, intentional and purposeful. It hinged on two steps:

1.     Understand the TG

This sounds like an obvious first step but in a world of blink-and-you-miss-it trends, it takes concerted effort to do this with sincerity. In the auto category specifically, you often may see a spray and pray approach with generic billboards and banners. 

Royal Enfield chose to invest behind understanding their GenZ audience deeply before it launched marketing rupees.

  • Where do they spend time?
  • What do they enjoy?
  • What do they relate to?
  • What is aspirational to them?

They went beyond their category of auto, to understand cultural themes that GenZ resonates with. The highlight? This Grid of GenZ-ness!

2.     Equipped with this knowledge, engage with the TG 

This is where Hunter 350 pushed the envelope. They launched marketing initiatives that:

  • Reached GenZ in their natural habitat
  • …and then made them actively engage with the product, instead of just being integrations for the sake of it

Think about typical auto activations. Imagine a larger-than-life activation in a mall for say a motorbike. It’s most likely just a motorbike placed on a dais. Maybe, the dais is revolving! But that’s about it.

Royal Enfield saw this pattern and went – um that seems like a waste, and no young person is going to care about a brand like this… let’s do more.

And more they did.

Here’s a deeper look at 7 activations that truly pushed the bar in how they connected with Gen Z and made them engage with the product and brand.

#1: Royal Enfield x Sneakin’ Out 2.0 

In the marketer’s quest to understand GenZ, we grapple with many terms and new lingo. Royal Enfield concluded that there’s one phrase that sums up GenZ more than any other: vibe hunters

GenZ, truly, is all about the vibe. 

By partnering with Sneakin’ Out 2.0, Royal Field set out to match the energy… and bring the vibe to them.  

What did they do?

Sneakin’ Out 2.0 was India’s first multi-city, on-ground sneaker, streetwear, hip-hop focused event executed by SoleSearch and Steppin Out. 

 Remember the grid of GenZ-ness? Sneakin’ Out 2.0 brought a lot of GenZ loves together in one eclectic marketing event.

 And Hunter 350 was front and center of it all.

  • Quirky and fun elements like the Hunter 350 Filter
  • A very vibe-y Vibe Hunter soundtrack
  • Plus a ‘Vibe Wheel’ to give people the chance to win merch

There were various integrations that ensured that young people not only had a great time at the event, but also that they registered the brand in the right context and ‘vibe’.

Why did this work, from a marketing pov? 

It was an event synonymous with GenZ. It used things that GenZ authentically loves, and built brand love using those building blocks. Smart, and out of the box.

#2: Royal Enfield x Artists 

Auto and Art? This ain’t a combination you see every day. Royal Enfield studied its audience and realised that their target group would resonate as much with bikes as with art. After all, the common denominator is all things street and style.

What did they do?

Collaborated with the iconic Santanu Hazarika and various upcoming young artists to create some collectibles! 

First up, Santanu created these limited-edition collection of helmets. The genius detail? This collection was in the signature Hunter 350 colours! Rebel Red, Rebel Blue, Rebel Grey, the works.

It was different, it created excitement and it put a spotlight on both the product and the art!

Production Company: Skadoosh Films & Strawberry Films
Producers: Sivanar Konar, Harsh Singhvi, Shraddha Singhvi
Director: Shraddha Singhvi
Cinematographer: Manish Shunty

Royal Enfield also tied up with 10 different artists to develop 10 custom, thematic sneakers. 

Each artist was given a unique theme, and these collectibles were put on display at an exhibition in Delhi. A clever way to attract the art as well as the sneaker community. 

People saw it, loved it and pretty soon there was an organic buzz around it.

This is when Royal Enfield played the perfect next move. An auction!

The brand donated all the proceeds from the auction to ArtReach India, an NGO dedicated to marginalized communities. 

Why did this work, from a marketing pov? 

The unique sneaker designs represent the youthful free spirit: the desire to stand out, even in regular day-to-day activities. 

By tapping into the artistic world, Royal Enfield aimed to do something automotive manufacturers don’t usually do. 

Gen-Z loves: 
Art? Yes. 
Sneakers? Yes.
But what young people also really look for are brands with a bigger purpose.

And this activation did just that.

#3: Royal Enfield x Born On Instagram 

Leveraging creators for amplification is pretty much 101 right now. But, Royal Enfield took it up a notch with how they worked with creators 

What did they do?

Royal Enfield partnered with Meta’s ‘Born On Instagram’ programme aka a hub empowering creators all over India.

Using this initiative, the brand was able to work with young content creators to bring out the features of the Hunter 350… but in Gen-Z style.

Each collab spoke in the OG creator voice, and weaved in the product’s USP. For GenZ, by GenZ!

Why did this work, from a marketing pov? 

What better way to communicate the dynamic and youthful vibe of Hunter 350, than through dynamic, young voices? 

With 43 influencers across 11 cities, the programme gave the brand scale as well as niche pockets of influence. 

#4: Royal Enfield x Josh 

This was a special one in how strategically effective it was. A collaboration that empowered the brand to take Hunter 350 to a wider audience, which was so far not engaging with Royal Enfield’s portfolio at all.

What did they do?

Royal Enfield partnered with Josh, the massively successful short-video platform. The brand didn’t just repurpose their Instagram social strategy for Josh. Fresh content, fresh collabs to make a mark on a fresh platform!

Why did this work, from a marketing pov? 

Josh allowed Royal Enfield to reach Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets, while still retaining the GenZ focus. A smart marketing initiative that shows that targeted marketing when done right need not be limiting. It can in fact open you up to ‘similar pockets’ in far off markets! 

6 cities. 42 creators. And a whole lotta buzz! 

#5: Royal Enfield x Superkicks 

Royal Enfield studied its audience, and cherry-picked who to collab with! Case in point.

What did they do?

To build on Gen-Z’s love for sneakers and all things authentic, they collab-ed with a store that is a go-to for all sneakerheads: Superkicks.

Royal Enfield x Superkicks got the right eyeballs, and caught them wide-eyed! Awareness, check. Positioning, check.

Why did this work, from a marketing pov? 

It positioned the Hunter 350 as a ‘luxury streetwear’ product, given Superkicks’ niche for including ‘night luxe’ and fashion-forward brands.

#6: Royal Enfield x Voot 

With this activation, Royal Enfield took something Gen-Z loves and added a Hunter 350 spin to it: OTT content. 

What did they do?

They created ‘The Vibe Hunters’, an interactive web series. The brand understood the genres and format their audience resonates with, and created a storyline with relatable characters, with Hunter 350 weaved into the mix! 

Why did this work, from a marketing pov? 

This was a strong move to be relatable as a brand in the digital era. Content marketing is obviously massive, and the brand did a good job to leverage it. A sweet 18.8 mn+ views across Voot, YouTube, and MTV, and a completion rate of over 56% on these platforms. Not bad for a newbie in the OTT space, right? 

#7: Finally – OOH innovation 

In the midst of all the digital and content-led activations, Royal Enfield also leveraged the traditional OOH space – but with a fresh, fun twist. 

What did they do?

Created a giant, like truly giant, live motorcycle display. Yes, literally and exactly that. 

Why did this work, from a marketing pov? 

More people stopped to see the ad on the road.
More people began talking about it.
And more people started sharing it on social media. 

So they basically used an outdoor activation to get traction online. One of the billboard videos has garnered an organic reach of 1.8 mn views and 103k+ likes. 

Royal Enfield understood the assignment, and even bagged a few prizes for this activation.

In summary… the impact? 

The results speak loud and clear.