Observations as simple as reading random stuff scribbled on objects around you can soon elevate into excellent business and marketing idea where you really need not put in excessive efforts to sell your brands; they’d sell for themselves. One such attempt was made by Tata Motors and Rediffusion Y&R to sell a condom brand while promoting safe sex among truck drivers in India years ago.
We’ve all read those quirky lines stylistically painted on trucks and auto-rickshaws in India. From intense shayaris to quotes against ‘buri nazar‘, these atypical sentences have often caught our attention and have even derived subtle cackles from us. Among the many artistic designs, you must’ve read ‘Use Dipper At Night’ boldly splotched on the back of almost every truck.
Now, this message originally is an appeal to use dim headlights at night. Tata Motors, India’s largest truck manufacturer, saw the potential to do a social awareness campaign here and twisted the sentence by releasing a condom brand by the same name as an initiative to promote safe sex among Indian truck drivers.
Dipper was a brand of condoms by tata motors started as an initiative to promote safe sex for truck drivers in India.— Ashish Singh (@ashzingh) October 25, 2023
And their gtm strategy you ask? USE DIPPER AT NIGHT painted on six million trucks. pic.twitter.com/DZuPasHTjx
In their research, they realised that AIDS awareness among drivers was low. Many of them visited sex workers in the night. Tata decided it wanted to penetrate India’s remote locations and reach the drivers ‘in a language they understood best‘.
The packaging of the special range of condoms perfectly captured the essence of the Indian truck art. Tata did not even spend a penny on media to reach the target consumers as around 6 million truck drivers were already motivating each other to practise safe sex with the all-pervasive messaging on the back of their trucks. The condoms were manufactured by HLL Lifecare and distributed by TCI Foundation.
While the campaign met with an award-winning success, many of us on X (including myself) just discovered the dapper initiative by Tata Motors, thanks to Ashish Singh’s tweet.
So that "Use dipper at night" on the back of trucks has always been a condom ad? Fascinating https://t.co/rCiRvjrqtz— Not so worthless piece of shit (@Prabhat420tweet) October 25, 2023
For major part of my childhood I believed they meant asking the vehicles to dip their headlights while overtaking from the rear. https://t.co/42udekWz8J— Dwight's Fire Drill (@TheShootingFire) October 25, 2023
Is it just me or is the artwork on the wrappers so good🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯 https://t.co/VY52XCp5Y1— SHARMISHTA R SOMAYAJI (@ChicaGeeka) October 25, 2023
no way this is the first time I'm learning what that means https://t.co/J5PWar3AiK— Daryon (@DaryonGaming) October 25, 2023
now that's what i call marketing https://t.co/YworCsi1H0— ☕️ Downing coffee (@ChadManRyger) October 25, 2023
PLEASE I WANT THEM THEY'RE NO PRETTY PLSPLSPLS https://t.co/eTMZgENS4q— kishmish (@acchabaathai) October 25, 2023
Seeing a Fabulous campaign after ages.— Vijay Amritraj (@vjamritraj) October 25, 2023
Always noticed ‘Horn OK please’ on truck backs but never paid heed to ‘Use dipper at night’ 😊 https://t.co/HCxq1yaejK
You can watch the campaign video released by Tata Motors here:
Isn’t it cool? Such an intelligent idea to directly integrate the brand with something that is already a big part of the target audience’s day-to-day life. Besides, the value addition it provided was important. This campaign by Tata is now on the list of my favourite brand campaigns.