“This is a Caaaaar!” – The Nissan Sunny, the Mallu and Mr. Manoharan.

“This is a Caaaar!”

Golden words never die, they just get cunningly reused in the right places. And the Nissan Sunny ad campaign is the latest example for this. The TV advertisement describes the car as being not just a car, but a Caaaaar. What do you think this tagline is about? The space inside the car? Hell no! Using a clever combination of the long standing love-affair Gulf Malayalees have had with the Nissan Sunny and the cunning use of the aforementioned dialogue which is a longstanding Malayalam pop-culture reference, the ad campaign seems to be a brilliant subliminal advertising ploy to get the Gulf-going population of Malluland to come out in droves and stand in queues in front of Nissan showrooms to book the Sunny. Once these queues are longer than those in front of Beverages Corporation outlets, the target can be considered achieved. And it shouldn’t wrong to think that Nissan is eying a particularly large chunk of the Kerala car market with this model, thanks to Mr.Manoharan and his epic dialogue.

The Nissan Sunny’s Malayalee Legacy

Legend has it that the Malayalee first landed on the shores of the Gelf when Gafoorkka agreed to take on some passengers on his boat going to California with cargo. Midway through the journey, he had to take a detour off the coast of the Gulf to dump them in Dubai as true to form, they bargained and refused to pay the full fare. It is as a tribute to this great event that even today Mallus touch the hallowed shores of Dubai or other parts of the Gelf before proceeding on their Westward (Europe/Americas) sojourns… But that is not the subject here. It is that the Nissan Sunny is one of those real #MalluCars.
https://twitter.com/#!/dicksondani/statuses/108067275021619200

The Nissan Sunny has been insanely popular among Gulf Malayalees, so much so that is it called the “national vehicle” of “Gelf-Malayalees”. Lore has it that as soon as the Malayalee got off Gaforrkka’s boat, the first thing he did was to go to the nearest Nissan showroom and book a Sunny. Almost every Gulf-Malayalee of a generation are said to have owned or driven a Sunny during some point of his/her time there. Also, “Sunny”, a popular name among Malayalees, is been said to have been inspired by the car. The histories of the Gulf Malayalee and the Nissan Sunny are so intrinsically intertwined that the car is a household name among Gulf Malayalees and everyone have many a memory associated with it to such an extent that one wonders the need for Nissan to even have an advertisement campaign to sell the car in Kerala.
https://twitter.com/#!/surendran999/statuses/108058981888565248

“This is a Caaaar”!!

“This is a Caaaar” is not really the tagline of a mid-size sedan, but are immortal words which were first spoken by the legendary Mr. Manoharan, proprietor, K&K Automobiles, played by Jagathy Sreekumar at his comic best in the epic Malayalam comedy movie Aram+Aram=Kinnaram. The gullible, good-hearted but stupid Mr. Manoharan, broke and desperate for a client, tries to win over Continental Exporters by trying to repair their cars. Just as we try to do, Mr. Mahorahan tries to impress the girl (client) with his scant knowledge of “English”, and hilarity ensues. She asks, “What is this??” To which he replies “This is a caaaaar. We are doing a car!” He also retorts, “Car engine, out compleeetely!” But then he learns that the girl knows Malayalam after all. His expressions, mannerisms, all priceless. These dialogues have today become an invariable part of Mallu pop culture and language lore, and is widely used as even a figure of speech. So deeply entrenched have these words become in the Malayalee psyche that if someone asks a Mallu “What is this??” on the fly, the involuntary response would be invariably: “This is a caaaar!“, “Out compleeetely” is used for anything that does not work, and while unexpectedly learning that someone (usually a girl) actually knows Malayalam or is a Malayalee: “Josephe, kuttikku Malayalam ariyaaam...” (err.. Joseph, she knows Malayalam!) Watch the video below, you don’t need to know Malayalam as it is mostly in “English” :D

Nissan did well by not including the “Out Completely” part in their advertisement :)

 Well Played, Nissan, Well Played!

Nissan tries to take advantage of the emotional attachment the (Gelf) Malayalee have towards the Sunny and backs it up with the “This is a caaaar” factor, which together makes a potent combination hard to ignore. So much so that whenever we repeat that dialogue, we are reminded of the Sunny and vice-versa.

While successfully targeting its biggest market using Mr. Manoharan as bait, Nissan can use the “Space factor” advertisement very well for the rest of those Indians who do not have any nostalgic hangups with the car or any movie-dialogue influence. All birds with one stone – Well played Nissan, well played!

It would have been the ultimate in paying of tributes if the “phoren” looking car parked next to the Contessa in the movie were a Nissan Sunny. But unfortunately it looks like a 1981 Toyota Corolla. Nah, does not matter, since the “national vehicle” of Malayalees in the USA is anyway the Corolla.

Something about the Sunny

Having sold more than 16 million units world over, the Nissan Sunny is one of the most successful cars ever in it’s segment. In India, the car is priced at Rs.5.86 to 7.78 Lakhs ex-showroom, Bangalore. It comes in three variants with in all the usual named colors. It looks like the younger version of the Teana, all round and plump, (looks like a Chipmunk from front) and has oodles of space inside with lots of features and useful knick-knacks inside and with an unexciting 1.5 L Petrol engine under the hood. It is termed as a no-nonsense car, which will not set the roads on fire with it’s power and handling, but rather is a mile-muncher with a very good mileage of 16.5 on an average. The perfect car for the no-nonsense Indian middle class family. With a super-aggressive pricing and attractive features, the Sunny might just change the game in the upper mid-segment, just like Skoda once changed the games in the entry level luxury segment. You should get the lower variant at JUST Rs.6.5 Lakhs on road. Irresistible, Caaaaar or not.

This is a Caaaaar, too.
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  • he he Wen i saw sunny first i remembered my mallu friends in dubai and ur #mallucar tag :D

    • vadakkus

      :) Haha… So did I! :) Thanks!

  • Sujeeth

    From Gelf-Malayalees to Gaffoorkka to Mr Manoharan to K&K Automobiles to Sunny to Caaaar… everything seems to be in perfect sync… the mallu connection is so evident [:-)]

    So the #mallucars hashtag is going places…. with enough in it for a second post at least! End of the day, we find another mallu connection… and now we can start singing in chorus that “Nissan Sunny Rocks”… where is my peg of OCR to celebrate the launch of our own mallu caaaaaaar!!!! :-)

    • Hahaha… Totally. The ad designer HAS to be a Malayali! This is too much of a coincidence to be true! Hehe

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