Ready to marry for Tanishq

By Antara Ghosal , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | May 12, 2010
In its new TVC, Tanishq shows a woman changing her mind about marriage, mainly for the sake of owning the brand's wedding jewellery. Is the brand going over the top in portraying today's women? afaqs! explores

What do women want? As the question continues to remain a bit of an enigma for men, Tanishq, the jewellery brand, attempts to provide the answer in its new campaign. Jewellery, it says, is the way to her heart; so much so that it can even swing the ideological compass of today's young, ambitious, successful and independent woman, towards the idea of an arranged marriage.

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The campaign, conceptualised by Lowe Bangalore, aims to establish the brand in the wedding jewellery segment, an area that has traditionally been ruled by family jewellers. The creative brief given to the agency was to use the brand as a catalyst in decision making.

Talking more about the strategy, Vikram Satyanath, executive vice-president planning, says, "We spent a lot of time with the consumers and realised that when it comes to wedding jewellery, people prefer buying it from family jewellers. The first challenge, therefore, was to establish the brand as a serious player in the segment. For that, Tanishq came out with a pretty comprehensive collection of wedding jewellery. That's the tangible part of it."

"We also realised that a wedding, in itself, has a lot of emotion involved in it. So, the second challenge was how to appeal to the ladies emotionally, who are actually going through the process of marriage, so that Tanishq gets on their shopping list. This is the reason behind adding the emotional angle to the communication," he explains.

Accordingly, the TVC tells the tale of a mother, who uses Tanishq's range of wedding jewellery to persuade her daughter to see herself as a bride; which consequently, makes the daughter open up to a marriage proposal.

Presently, advertising in the jewellery segment is either celebrity-driven, or direct in approach, showing a model decked up in jewellery, or portraying something abstract and aesthetic. This is where Tanishq wanted to do something distinctive.

"Earlier too, we have tried to explore interesting storylines in our communication; for instance, the one for Tanishq's traditional jewellery range, where we showed a Bengali family and their love for traditional jewellery. But now, for the first time, we have explored a modern-day storyline, straight out of our everyday lives," explains R Balakrishnan (Balki), chairperson, Lowe Lintas.

The insight and execution in the TVC, adds Deepa Geethakrishnan, executive creative director, make the campaign stand out. "Especially the way the characters have performed makes a statement. The music too is really exceptional," she says.

The team at Lowe that worked on the campaign includes R Balki, chairman and chief creative officer; Deepa Geethakrishnan, executive creative director; Vikram Satyanath, executive vice- president, planning; GV Krishnan, executive vice-president, servicing; Litna Das (print and TV) and Sharon Nayak (print) in art; Sudir Rajshekar, associate vice-president, servicing; and Mohit Khambhoj, brand services director. The ad has been produced by Footcandles and directed by Vinil Matthew. The music director is Anand.

The TVC, which has a North version and a South version, will run till the end of June. Both versions have the same storyline and protagonists; but the jewellery used is different -- polki kundan has been used in the North version, while plain gold is showcased in the South version.

The ad has been shot in Mumbai and Chennai. "The plan was to do the car sequences in Mumbai and the store sequence in the Chennai store, as it is the largest Tanishq store. It was a particularly gruelling shoot; as we did it over four nights across two cities. And I must say the store managers at the Chennai store were incredibly patient and supportive, despite the two days and nights of disruption," shares Geethakrishnan.

This is a 360-degree campaign involving print, TV, digital and BTL initiatives. While TV dwells on the emotional space of weddings; print showcases the width and range of the specific wedding jewellery for different occasions across ethnic groups. From 16 page ads to cover ads, Tanishq has done it all in seven magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Femina and Grihashobha.

While talking to afaqs!, a spokesperson from Tanishq informs that the campaign, which has been running for three weeks now, is generating great response. "We have a loyalty programme called Anuttara, where we have 8 lakh loyal customers. A majority of them liked the campaign and have said that they would like to buy our new offerings," he adds.

He further informs that apart from TV and print, Tanishq has also launched a BTL campaign, 'Tanishq dulhan' in Tier 2 and 3 cities, where the winning brides are given gifts and styled by the brand on their wedding day. There is also a programme for older couples, who have completed 25 years of marriage.

The brand will also launch a big-budget campaign in the digital space.

According to research conducted by Tanishq, the size of the Indian jewellery market is estimated to be Rs 80,000 crore, of which the wedding jewellery segment comprises 40-50 percent. Tanishq, India's largest jewellery brand with Rs 3,500 crore in sales, holds only 3 percent of the total market; while the maximum share remains with the unorganised sector. The brand, therefore, is banking on an aggressive marketing strategy to fight competition from the local jewellers.

Reading it right?

The creative idea and the execution of the TVC get full marks from the fraternity. However, questions are raised about the message being communicated.

According to Sujay Nanavati, chief strategy officer, Percept/H, it is a well-produced TVC. "Technically, it seems nice. It has the right amount of emotion, fun and seriousness from an execution point of view."

But he disagrees with the message of the ad. "The brand seems to be taking a very condescending view of its role and importance in the life of the consumer. While I agree that jewellery plays a very important role in the life of a woman, even in the life of a modern woman; but for it to make a woman reconsider her priorities in life seems a bit over the top."

He feels that after seeing the communication, women with a modern outlook would feel that their life decisions are being trivialized; while conservative women might feel that the brand is being patronising, by objectifying them as being fickle and prone to temptation.

He further points out that the insight that only a woman fully understands another; while men are blissfully ignorant of how a woman really feels and reacts, is also a bit clichéd. "I'm sure a lot of young, modern women might relate to the situation portrayed at the beginning of the film -- that of the father trying hard to persuade them to consider matrimony. Also, the mother being the mediator and peacemaker is also quite prevalent in most households. Hence, while the situations seem real, relatable and factual, the jewellery becoming the game-changer in her life seems difficult to swallow," he explains.

Similar views are expressed by Rajesh Gola, creative director, Bates 141. "As far as look and feel goes, it's nice. This ad reminds me of the Titan Wedding Collection ad (Zohra Sehgal and Aamir Khan), where the same thing is presented in a funny manner."

But he is not sure if the ad would produce the desired results for the brand. "I can't say anything, even after listening to the French (if I'm right) in the ad. I think most of us (creative) start a job with a good idea and execution; but what comes out finally is very different, due to many reasons."