Think of a Denim brand and usually the names that crop up in your mind are the International players that have dominated Denim wear market in India for quite some time now. But from days when we hardly had any Indian brand manufacturing Jeans in India to today when there are more than a dozen home grown brands fighting it out in the market, we have come a long way. With growth, has also come the challenge of reaching out to the end consumer for brands, offering almost the same product with a little twist here and there. The only way left to differentiate is through advertising. Traditional brands are now adopting loud messages to make a dent in the memory of consumer about their brand. The latest one to do so is Flying Machine.
The brand, from the house of Arvind Mills has come out with a new tongue-in-cheek print campaign, for its new range of stretch denims for women. The ads have bootylicious buttocks of models clad in Flying Machine Jeans as the only focus, along with some bold and eye-catching headlines like “What an Ass”, “Kiss my Ass” and “Spank Them.”
The campaign has already created furore with some women rights activists already planning to take the matter to the National Commission for Women and Ministry of Women and Child development.
But all the attraction is consciously intended, said Arun Iyer, National Creative Director, Lowe Lintas, the agency that has worked on the campaign. He added “The communication has been created for a dual prong effect. It would attract eye-balls and also position our product. We are trying to convey the attitude of women who wear our brand, she does not care what the world thinks of her and is confident the way she is. We have taken the positioning of ‘I am sexy when I am me’ a notch up.”
Alok Dubey, COO, Denim & Sportwear Brands at Arvind Lifestyle Brands, agreed with Iyer. He elaborated “Stretch jeans are not a new innovation, they’ve been there. Everything else like new wash, different pocket styles, various shapes and sizes have been tried in this product category and there is nothing new to show. But we are trying to talk our own language here. We have come up with a 360 degree stretch in our product which is not present in any other stretch jeans and thus we are adopting a new language to communicate the same to our consumer. And I feel product innovation and differentiated communication is the only way to grab attention of your consumer today.”
The campaign comprises of various print ads with headlines ‘WHAT AN ASS’, ‘KISS MY ASS’ and ‘SPANK THEM’. The body copy comprises of lines like “The fool who did not call after the first date, The idiot who refused me a ride home, The women who insisted I go on a diet, My ex who wanted a size zero girlfriend” to communicate the attitude of Flying Machine woman who does not bother about these remarks and is comfortable to be who she is in her own body.
The product innovation - the 360 degree stretch, which essentially means that the Jeans would not only stretch horizontally but vertically too, is conveyed at the bottom of the communication along with product line “Stretch Denims that flatter your body.”
The campaign will appear in the leading dailies pan India along with glossy magazines. There are no TV commercials created for this campaign. This campaign will be followed by another campaign that would release around two weeks before Diwali. “The next communication also focuses around the same idea with youth as its TG. Timing for both the campaigns is perfect as festive season is around the corner. We have spent about Rs. 4 Crores on these two campaigns,” said Dubey.
GroupM is handling the media for the brand along with the digital activities. Lowe Lintas is the creative agency for Arvind Lifestyle.
The campaign definitely succeeds in grabbing attention owing to its bold headlines. But the creative makes one reminiscent of the campaign released by Levis for its Curve ID campaign with ‘All asses were not created equal’ as the tagline. We wonder if playing with different connotations of a body part is a good strategy to appeal to the well educated, mature and aware girl, the TG, as the brand claims. Would it give confidence to women with all shape and size that the product will flatter their body – not sure! But the fact is - sensational advertising always serves the sole purpose of advertising - make people talk and this one succeeds in doing that too....
The ad instantly draws attention and is arresting for Priti Nair, Founder, Curry Nation but she doesn’t seem to be inspired by the idea of showcasing women’s carefree attitude as according to her, that attitude is pretty old and has been used by many people in advertising before.
She added “It grabs attention but I am not too sure whether I like it .The play on words is clever but it then gets linked to something else....I don’t mind if you talk about ass but then it looks like the butt retone for reebok. This creating something for scandal and then going hey look we were not talking about that - I personally think becomes too clever. But I liked the way it’s laid out, the pictures, the headline. It’s designed well and images have been shot stylishly. So I would give it a 5 out of 10.”
The ads confuse Anindya Banerjee, Executive Creative Director, Scarecrow Communication, as he is not sure if the target group for the ad is men or women. He explained, “Looking at the ads, I feel the art director and copywriter are obviously working at cross-purposes. In one of the ads, the line says, “My ex always wanted a size zero” or “The woman who insisted I always go on a diet,” and then the picture shows the torso of a gym-toned, diet-toned, size zero woman. It would have worked better if they showed a more (pardon me ladies) curvaceous woman. And I wonder if the strategy was - let’s do an ad for the woman of attitude? That is so 90s - over and done with! Looks to me this is getting more eyeballs from men. So is this a product for a woman but the male is TA? Man, I am confused.”