Unfortunately, in India, among 'Indians' and 'Bharatiyas' the ‘cool’ doesn’t mean dancing at sunburn but being an entrepreneur, proving one’s worth and earning a ‘lot of money’ at an young age, just like Sachin Tendulkar.
The brand perception for Hero will always remain ‘user friendly and reliable’ rather than cool.
Check this advertisement of Hero Moto Corp. in the year 2012:
Here is another latest ad campaign by Hero Moto Corp. with a tagline "hum hae Hero" (We are the heros) that depicts mass Indians as the heros in their life and struggle : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc0CVEuUvRs
the print ads of hero Moto Corp still insists on its durability and extended warranties :
And, below are the photos of Sunburn (to exhibit AIOs of the participants):
It’s a wrong move to climb over Hero’s emotional root and try to build a newer association. “coolness” can’t be acquired but expressed with right product segment and defining the perception.
A report in Economic Times suggests that ‘Hero MotoCorp, which exited all cricket sponsorships including the Indian Premier League earlier this year, is now betting on music to connect with the youth. The top two-wheeler maker will be presenting sponsor for Sunburn, Asia's biggest music festival, this year. Media buyers say Hero has coughed up Rs 7-10 crore for the seventh season of the music festival promoted by entertainment and talent management firm Percept. This is the highest sponsorship deal for Sunburn so far.” Interestingly, the cricket and sunburn never fits in the same bracket! Sunburn is a fest popular among the In’glo’dians and ‘cricket’ is for ‘Indians’ and ‘Bharatiyas’! In’glo’dians neither watch Cricket (they hates it actually, since it’s too mass) nor the other segment visits Sunburn (Bharatiyas hate it with a perception of ‘low cultural values’, read Adapted differentiation theory to understand it better). With newer brand association, there is a chance that Hero might even loose it’s substantial market share. In India a bike is still purchased by parents and gifted to youth (during pre-university phase, mostly as a ‘gift’ to study well or exhibit parent’s status). A father will never like the association of his son’s bike with alcohol, trance dance and bikini clad girls. Similarly, a young aspiring executive will not take risk of giving impression that he is not ‘serious’ but ‘cool’, at office. In India, the coolness of a bike is still judged by it’s performance, masculinity, speed, accessories and durability. The In’glo’dians will never aspire for Hero but Hurley Davidson, imported bikes or Royal Enfield.