The Mahindra Scorpio is one of the best-known SUVs currently on sale in India. Ever since its arrival in 2002, the ads promoting the Scorpio have always targetted sedans and shown off its off-roading prowess claiming that ‘Nothing Else Will Do.” Now Mahindra has released a compilation video showing off 9 TV ads used to promote the Scorpio over the last 16 years, which show off its macho image and appeal to the ladies.
The first two ads, released in 2002, were targeted at the buyers of the Maruti Esteem sedan. We have to remember that when the Scorpio launched in 2002 at a price tag of Rs 5.5 lakhs, its nearest rival in terms of price was Maruti’s Esteem. The first ad for the Scorpio sees a man exiting his house and ignoring his luxury sedan to go and ask his wife to pause her tennis game so that he can get the Scorpio out of the underground parking spot situated underneath the tennis court. The ad ends with the tagline – ‘Other cars will suffer from bad self-esteem.’
The second ad is somewhat of a continuation of the first and you first lay eyes on the Scorpio as it casts a massive reflection on tall skyscrapers in a city setting. The man from the first ad is seen behind the wheel waiting for the missus to get in. However, she instead comes in from the driver’s side and takes over the driving duties in her business suit. The ad ends with the tagline, “The car you walk into. Not crawl into.” A jab at the the Esteem’s low-slung proportions if there ever was one.
The third ad (from 2004) sees another gentleman exiting a helicopter and then ignoring a chauffeur with an expensive car. He then takes delivery of the Scorpio from a cargo jet and then drives off with the pilot as his chauffeur is left shaking his head. The fourth and fifth ads are two parts of the same story and came out in 2006 and 2007, respectively. The recurring theme of the ignoring sedans is still here and sees the leading lady use a helicopter to reveal a Scorpio buried in the snow before giving chase to it as it drives down a highway. The fifth ad continues the game of revealing the buried-in-the-snow Scorpio, but sees another lady added to the mix, who follows the duo in another helicopter before forcing the Scorpio to stop, by landing on the road and then taking over the wheel. The video ends by showing off the CRDe Scorpio’s price.
The next three ads saw the ad campaign shift to showing off the off-roading capability of the Scorpio. The sixth ad in the campaign sees the Scorpio jump over and clamber down dunes to help its owners play golf in the desert, with the help of wine glasses. The next ad from 2011 sees the hero in a Scorpio chase down a thief by vertically going down a hill to block the thief’s path down the mountain road. Then mocking the sedans again, he drags the thief’s car behind the Scorpio before forcing him to place the wannabe Fabrege egg back in its display piece.
The final ad of this off-roading odyssey came in 2014 and saw the new-generation Scorpio help pull a horse out of the mud where it was trapped before the driver races a plane (flown by the leading lady) back to the ranch, which on the way drops a boatload of water on him to reveal the new Scorpio in all its glory.
The final ad from 2018 sees the Scorpio return to its old tricks, with the ad promoting it as the only car you’ll need. The ad sees a businessman in his private jet getting ready to land it on the runway on what appears to be a beautiful island. The Scorpio is seen flying next to the jet hanging off a helicopter. The Scorpio is dropped onto the runway as the jet lands. The businessman then gets off his jet and takes over from the pretty lady in the driver’s seat and then drives off with her, with his posse following him in more Scorpios as the familiar ‘Nothing Else Will Do’ refrain is sung.
The Scorpio was first introduced in 2002 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mahindra & Mahindra. It was the first-ever vehicle developed in-house by Mahindra. Only 23 engineers worked on the Scorpio project with total R&D coming in at Rs 500 crore. The Scorpio was priced at a shocking Rs 5.5 lakhs for the base model and was offered with a 2.6-litre diesel engine and a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine sourced from Renault. The 2.6-litre diesel later made way for a smaller but more powerful 2.2-litre unit, while the petrol was ditched and the Scorpio was offered with optional 4WD as well.
The Scorpio introduced in India the concept of budget diesel SUVs with an automatic gearbox and auto start-stop. Over the years, it has kept up with the times and has gotten packed with features like cruise control, rain sensing wipers and touchscreen infotainment systems with voice commands, among many others.
The Scorpio is one of the two cars that Mahindra exports to international markets with the other one being the larger XUV500. Mahindra’s upcoming Marazzo MPV will join the XUV and Scorpio in foreign markets when it arrives in September.