years of being silent on television, jeanswear brand Lee has finally broken its first TVC created in India. What's more, the ad has been created by a start-up ideas agency that's barely six months old.
Happy, as it's called, is an agency founded by its creative directors Praveen Das and Kartik Iyer, both ex O&M-ites. Barely two months after its launch, the agency won the Lee account nationally (it was earlier with Alok Nanda Communications), after having done some projects for the brand.
When the account went to Happy, Lee came with its baggage - the brand was facing the problem of losing its youthfulness. Despite its international lineage, the brand was seen as one meant for the 30+ age band. "Lee had begun to lose its top of mind recall amongst the early 20s crowd," says Iyer of Happy. To revive the brand amongst this age group, the agency has attempted to bring an element of love/sensuality in Lee's advertising.
This pair of jeans follows her wherever she goes. When she talks on the phone, her pair of jeans (hanging out to dry) 'stares' at her playfully. When she goes to a pub wearing them, she meets a boy with whom she ends up spending the night, even as her tossed jeans witnesses the act like a jealous lover. The next morning, she has an argument with her boyfriend, who storms out of her house, hurling her jeans across the room in a fit of rage. Left alone to her devices, the woman looks across the room at her faithful friend, and wraps herself around her jeans. The film concludes on the thought, 'Lee Jeans. Sticks to you like it loves you'. (Submit your opinion on this ad.)
All the while, a romantic song ('I wanna touch you', penned by Iyer and Das, and composed by Rupert) plays in the background, signifying the relationship of a pair of jeans with her owner. The film has deliberately been crafted with all the ingredients of a romantic saga: infatuation, passion, lust, jealousy, drama and reunion.
"The idea was to do a charming film that brings back the magical relationship between the youth and denim," says Das. Lee wittingly stayed away from 'rebellion' and 'roughness/toughness', two major focus areas for denim brands.
Interestingly, although the film is a 90-seconder, Happy has unleashed only 45 seconds of it on television, with a super towards the end prompting viewers to enjoy the complete film on www.leelounge.com (the film can also be visited on YouTube, where it is being promoted as a viral). This will serve several purposes: it gives people the option of watching the complete film, thereby creating a 'pull' rather than a 'push'. Further, only those interested in the brand will log on, ensuring a dedicated TG response for Lee. Lastly, links of the TVC will do the rounds of young persons' email inboxes, spreading the word around.
A 60 second version is also playing in movie theatres.
As the song track carries no brand name, it almost sounds like a music album number, which is why the track is also playing on radio stations, with details about Leelounge.com towards the end.
"Our idea was to create a film that leads to a viral viewing pattern," says Vipul Mathur, marketing head, Lee. As the film has nothing particularly Indian about it, the aim was to give it an international look and feel. "We have a film that is set for anywhere in the world, and can be viewed anywhere in the world. We're hoping to set benchmarks with a global brand such as Lee," says Chakor Jain, business head, Lee.
The film has been directed by Prakash Varma of the production house, Nirvana Films.