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Ray-Ban back to brand-building mode

By , agencyfaqs! | In | January 30, 2001
Ray-Ban is working on a new advertising campaign to revive its relationship with the Indian consumer



agencyfaqs!
NEW DELHI

Ray-Ban, which was lurking in the shadows so long, has found its place under the Sun. And to win the market share it lost to more aggressive competitors, it is now working on a new advertising campaign, slated to break out in March. "This campaign would be an adaptation of the global ad campaign, modified to make it more relevant to the Indian context," says Lakshmi Dutta Gupta, client-servicing director, Capital Advertising, the agency servicing the Rs 1.5-crore Ray-Ban account. Currently, the company plans to concentrate on print to deliver its message.

Globally, the Ray-Ban 2001 marketing campaign celebrates the individuality of the Ray-Ban user and the authenticity of the brand proposition. According to Marco Pirani, regional manager director, Luxottica group, "The individuality associated with Ray-Ban communicates the 'American' nature of the brand in international markets. People all over, who wear the Ray-Ban brand, are cool, confident and believe in themselves."

Talking about the objective of the new campaign Lakshmi says, "Ray-Ban is positioned as an aspirational personal accessory. Through the base line 'Genuine since 1937', we would try and reinstill consumer trust in the product by stressing on the brand heritage." The campaign essentially targets young executives in the SEC A, SEC A plus and SEC B category, in the age bracket of 24-35 years. However, Pirani told agencyfaqs! that to make it more affordable to the youth, and thus widen its reach, the prices of sun glasses in the Classical collection will be slashed by 20-25 per cent."

This sudden burst of activity assumes importance when one looks at the backdrop against which the new phase in Ray-Ban's life is unfolding.

Italian eye-wear major Luxottica acquired Bausch & Lomb India's eye-wear division on November 1, 2000, following the worldwide acquisition in June 1999. Thus Bausch & Lomb became Ray-Ban Sun Optics. Post acquisition, Luxottica put the Ray-Ban brand under review to figure out why it was floundering in the Indian market despite the tremendous equity it enjoyed. The research became doubly important with competition lurking in the form of Harley Davidson of U.S and Balli from Italy, which were all set to flex their muscles in the Indian market.

This research gave the company some interesting insights. The most disturbing finding was that Ray-Ban failed to measure up to the consumers' expectations for two specific reasons. While Ray-Ban offered a very limited range to choose from, the easy availability of inexpensive Chinese and Korean sunglasses, that were no less stylish, made them an equally attractive option. Nonetheless the survey also showed that the user always associated Ray-Ban with quality.

"The task therefore is to re-establish the lost equity as well as recoup the vanishing shares by cementing our relationship with the consumers," says Harsh V. Chopra, managing director, Ray-Ban India. "The main thrust of the new campaign will be to revive the Ray-Ban brand as a quality and premium product which now offers a wider range." Therefore the launch of 160 new models under five categories - Hi-Fashion, Classic, Girl's, Driving and the Action collection. Reinforcing Luxottica's commitment to the Indian consumers is also high on the agenda.

In addition to this, the Sum Tamers range from the Luxottica stable, which was priced at Rs 700, lower than Ray-Ban, will be pulled out from the shop shelves. "Because it was undercutting the premiumness of Ray-Ban as a brand," says Pirani. The other brand from the company stable, Killer Loop, will also see some serious promotional activity in some time, he added.

© 2001 agencyfaqs!