Closet comedy?

By Shibani Gharat , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | April 10, 2012
Created by Ogilvy India, the second TVC of VIP Skybags' Graffiti range with brand ambassador John Abraham targets the younger age band.

A husband returns home, enters the bedroom to find a man sitting in the closet. Sounds familiar? A plot used in many films now helps explain the features of VIP Skybags' Graffiti range, attempting to tickle the funny bone.


Created by Ogilvy India, this is Skybags' second TVC with brand ambassador John Abraham, created for its latest range of products.

The film opens on a husband coming home early to find a man (Abraham) hiding inside his cupboard. While he is still in a state of shock, the man introduces himself as a Skybags salesman and, with the help of the bag, devices an escape plan while he convinces the husband that Skybags luggage is really good looking and stylish.

The objective behind the campaign was to reinforce the positioning of Skybags as the 'stylish luggage brand', while showcasing its attractive new range of bags.

Abhijit Avasthi

Apparently, the brief shared with the creative team was to bring alive the importance of stylish bags in the life of today's younger (23-30 years) age band. It was also important to highlight the new Graffiti designs which make this range of bags the first of its kind in the category. The new range features bags in attractive colours and prints.

Speaking about the TVC, Manish Vyas, vice-president, marketing, VIP Industries tells afaqs!, "In order to showcase this strong product offering, we went ahead with a script that was bold." Vyas feels that it was an interesting way to connect with the target group.

The TVC is directed by Prashant Issar and the production house is Tubelight Films.

The TV campaign will be supported by print and digital. The company also plans to explore various youth touch points in order to engage the target audience.

Abhijit Avasthi, national creative director, Ogilvy India, says, "It is a nice little wicked commercial about a man who gets away from a misdemeanour, owing to the stylish good looks of the bag."

In April 2011, VIP Skybags launched a TVC that opened on the shot of a bear which is sad because it thinks that it does not look good. After driving around with an old and worn out bag, it walks into a Skybags store. Later, with a stylish Skybag, the 'bear' walks out of the store as John Abraham, and exudes confidence about his appearance.

A feeling of déjà vu?

This TVC bears a striking resemblance to the Canal Plus-Screen Writer Commercial (The Closet). In 2009, the Canal Plus Group launched a TVC that had a statement 'Never Underestimate the Power of a Great Story'. The ad showed a half-naked man justifying his presence in the closet of his mistress by telling an incredible story.

Chraneeta Mann

Sambit Mohanty

Bear v/s affair

The industry feels that the TVC is a letdown, as compared to the earlier one.

Chraneeta Mann, executive creative director, Rediffusion-Y&R feels that the grizzly bear commercial, besides being well-executed, was a refreshing take in the category and had immense repeat viewing value. "There was less of John Abraham of course, but he was more intelligently used. The current commercial, on the other hand, tries too hard to be funny. The plot of the wife with a lover tucked away is a hackneyed one, the storyline quite predictable," she says.

Mann also feels that the 'chalupanti' space is one that is being exploited by every youth brand across the country. "While the brand message is hammered in through the ad, and the commercial does try to be a lot more functional than the earlier ad, would I watch it the second time around? Not so sure," she adds.

Sambit Mohanty, executive creative director, Bates feels that the ad isn't a patch on the earlier one featuring John Abraham in his bear avatar - that was chic, witty and fresh. "In this one, however, the humour is forced and John is hamming. Also, the 'Arrive in Style' statement that was so well justified in the Bear ad is totally lost here - it's more like departing in a huff!" he adds. Mohanty says that he felt like seeing the earlier ad again and again. "This TVC is just attempting too hard to be funny," he says.

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