Moving on, on the fast track

By Biprorshee Das , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | September 21, 2010
Launching a range of bags, wallets, belts and wristbands, Lowe Lintas has created a series of three television commercials for youth accessories brand Fastrack featuring brand ambassadors Genelia D'Souza and Virat Kohli, building on the brand thought of 'Move On'

After having established itself as a popular brand among the youth with its range of watches and eyewear, Fastrack has ventured further into the accessories space, launching its range of bags, wallets, belts and wristbands.

Building on the core brand thought of 'Move On', Lowe Lintas has created a series of three quirky television commercials for Fastrack bags, roping in its brand ambassadors, actor Genelia D'Souza and cricketer Virat Kohli.

One of the films has the two brand ambassadors getting intimate in an ATM. When Kohli signals at the security camera, D'Souza empties her Fastrack bag to cover the same with it. The second film shows Kohli getting ready to head out, when he finds a 'hickey' on his neck. He covers the love bite with the strap of his bag. As he heads out, he bumps into D'Souza, who spots the mark on his neck again and haughtily covers it up again with the bag strap.

The third TVC has the duo checking in baggage at the airport. On being asked if there is any more luggage, D'Souza cheekily points at Kohli as she exchanges a mischievous smile with the attendant.

A common music score runs through the films and each TVC ends with a product showcase and a voiceover introducing the product.

Talking to afaqs!, Arun Iyer, national creative director, Lowe Lintas says that the task was to introduce the new category of bags with the ambassadors, while keeping the communication in the personality of the brand.

"This is a segment that is fairly large and unbranded. The films show how we interpreted the brand thought of 'Move On'. Bags are being cleverly used in every situation to 'move on'," says Iyer.

The creative team behind the campaign at Lowe includes Iyer, Rajesh Ramaswamy, Rimona Ganapathy, Lohith Chengappa, Sharon Nayak, Mishti Srivastava and Adarsh Atal. The films have been directed by Vivek Kakkad of Curious Films.

Simeran Bhasin, head, marketing and retail, Fastrack says that the venture into the category is a part of the plans that were drawn when Fastrack was re-launched in 2005 as a fashion accessory brand.

"We realised our strength is in the small front accessories and market research, too, showed that there is a huge potential in this category. There are small players but no national brands to talk of," Bhasin says.

On the campaign, Bhasin says that Lowe was briefed to break the clutter of advertising to youth as well as the Fastrack clutter and keep it cheeky and flirtatious - as is signature of the brand.

"The product category had to be the hero of the campaign," says Bhasin.

The product range will be available at Fastrack's 40 exclusive stores across the country and various multi-brand outlets.

The television campaign is being supported by outdoor promotions. The digital medium is also being exploited, with a strong presence on social networking sites and interactive activities on the brand's website.

The campaign will continue well into the next year, until February, 2011. Maxus handles the media duties for the band.

Moving on to the views

The TVCs have met with a mixed response from advertising experts. While the slick and youthful nature of the films have been appreciated, some complain about the lack of product integration.

Nitin Pradhan, executive creative director, Leo Burnett says he has lukewarm response to offer. He says that the attempt to do something fresher is apparent and the films are different from the general ones in the category. However, he would have liked it if the product integration was stronger, especially since it is a launch campaign.

"The engagement, situations, performances are all nice. The tone, too, will cut ice with the target audience. However, if the product could have been integrated a bit more with the script, it would have worked better," says Pradhan.

He picks the airport film to be his least favourite, where the bag seems to have very little role to play. "It is so incidental," he observes.

Vivek Dutta, business director and national planning head, Hakuhodo Percept, on the other hand, gives a 'thumbs up' to the campaign.

"According to me, Fastrack as a youth brand stands out. The brand is being true to its TG (target group). The TVCs are honest and they manage to catch the I-give-a-damn attitude of the youth. They are bold, naughty and fun at the same time," he says.

Dutta finds the execution interesting, with the music adding to the irreverence of the TVCs. He also finds the characters appealing, which he thinks would ring well with the target audience.

"Genelia and Virat are interesting characters. You really do not know their relationship and yet, somewhere, their naughty sexy appeal gets you at the end of it. I am sure the TG would really connect and take notice of the commercials," he notes.

On a cheeky note, Dutta remarks that there seems to be a message for all those who do not like the commercial... 'Move on'!

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