Grasim Suiting: Anadi paves way for Khiladi

Akshay is the new brand ambassador for Grasim Suiting, which earlier was endorsed by Saif Ali Khan and his parents Mansoor Ali Khan, Sharmila Tagore

The anadi - Saif & #BANNER1 & # Ali Khan has paved way for the khiladi - Akshay Kumar. The latter is the new brand ambassador for Grasim Suiting, the textiles division of Grasim Industries, a flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group.

Till 2000, Grasim Gwalior had the Pataudi family - Mansoor Ali Khan, Sharmila Tagore and Saif Ali Khan - as its brand ambassador. The same year, as a virtue of repositioning itself as a fashionable brand, the word 'Gwalior' was dropped from the name. Since then, the advertising for Grasim did not feature any celebrities for long. Instead, the company chose to focus on pageants such as 'Grasim Mr India' and 'Grasim Mr International' to connect with the young consumers.

Akshay Kumar
Akshay as a brand ambassador was a natural choice for Grasim, one who, according to S Krishnamoorthy, president & unit head, Grasim Industries (Textlies Division), "can make a fashion statement and at the same time command a mass appeal that cuts across SECs and from tier-I cities to tier-III. That said, we also intend to make inroads into smaller towns and cities as well, where consumers find a strong link between fashion, style and icons like Akshay."

Grasim would be making use of its association with Kumar not just through TV, print and outdoor but on-ground activities as well, which would involve retailers (All India Retailers' Conference) and consumers.

Grasim also launched its Season's Collection 2007 with five new brands namely, Medova, Caramel, Cottonlife, Venetia and Plural. The company had been aggressive in the past few years with its innovative brands such as 'Ice Touch' and 'Uncrushables'.

It also plans to launch an exclusive 'Akshay Signature Collection' soon.

While O&M is handling the creative account for Grasim, its first TVC featuring Kumar is only expected to be on air by July this year. Krishnamoorthy does not rule out a possibility of in-film placements of the brand as well. "We'd like to use that possibility for sure. However, it's too early to say, as both the company and Akshay would take time to know each other," he says.

Grasim will be spending about five to seven per cent of its annual turnover for 2006-07 (Rs 175 crore) on advertising for the current financial year.

It currently has 45 exclusive retail showrooms across the country, of which five came up this year. Krishnamoorthy hopes to add 25 more by the end of the year. Grasim claims that it has 12 per cent market share in the branded over-the-counter ready to stitch segment.

For the record, Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan have done many a films together from Main Khiladi Tu Anadi to Yeh Dillagi and Tu Chor Main Sipahi, where Khan mostly played second fiddle to Kumar.

2007 agencyfaqs!