Indian advertising is no stranger to the subject of women's empowerment. Raga, Titan's watch brand for women, has launched an ad film along similar lines. It is an ode to what the brand calls the 'new Indian woman'.
The film has been directed by Vivek Kakkad from Curious Films, an ad film production house. Uploaded on YouTube on December 10, it has fetched over 1.4 lakh views so far.
Asserts Rajiv Rao, national creative director, Ogilvy & Mather, "Raga has to be different from all the other sub-brands of Titan." The women of today - who constitute the brand's main TG - are feminine, yet independent, says Rao.
The agency, we learn, based this campaign on the brand's research findings, according to which, popular culture equated femininity with beauty and sensuality until some time back. However, that has now changed. The new-age woman, finds the study, is independent, confident and secure; she enjoys a fulfilling relationship with herself.
This campaign serves to add a layer to Raga's previous films that were largely centered on beauty alone. Rani Mukherjee, in 2007, famously stripped off her jewellery, only to bejeweled by her Titan Raga - promoting the watch as an accessory. In 2009, the brand took the sensual route, which it continued till 2013, through ads that featured Katrina Kaif.
Sure, in 2012, the brand did launch a film in which Katrina takes a holiday with her mother, when her plans for a trip with her partner fall through. While that film scratched the surface of a new stance, the current film takes the plunge.
"Raga is a brand about women's self-expression. We had to be contemporary in our thinking," explains, Tithi Ghosh, senior vice president and head of advertising, Ogilvy & Mather, adding that the brand needed to evolve in order to keep up with its changing customer profiles.
"Exploration and a free thinking attitude give a woman her confidence. At the same time, the leading lady here is graceful and elegant, much like the watches," she says, going on to clarify that while the female protagonist in the film is confident and sophisticated, she is not at all anti-marriage.
A Detailed Report Card
We asked professionals across disciplines to share their thoughts on the film.
The subject and script, Suresh feels, are "encouraging" and will stir many. "However, I feel the brand connect goes missing," he says, "It is a bold move against stereotypes, but the brand doesn't have a role to play."
Appreciating the way in which the watch has been inserted into the film, Manoj Bhavnani, senior creative director, DDB Mudra West, says, "It has been subtly introduced just when she is about to put the guy in his place. This brings alive the fact that times have changed, and that some people have not." To Bhavnani, the ad is more about self-respect, and standing up for one's choices, than about empowerment per se.
Brand ideation consultant, Vinay Kanchan, calls dubs the film "a sign of the changing times." According to him, the film offers an endearing philosophy - value your relationship with yourself above all else.
"Appropriating philosophies these days is not a new thing in brand strategy," Kanchan says, adding about this particular case, "The approach is grounded in the primary association of the brand and category - keeping track of time." With this film, Raga, he notes, has kicked off a "fascinating new tale," the long-term success of which depends on how the thought is manifested over time, across media channels.
According to Raj Nair, chief creative officer, BMB India, a message like this, will provoke, get discussed, and will be liked and hated, perhaps in equal measure. "The man comes across exactly the way he is portrayed - a male chauvinist pig. And the woman comes across as a self-assured, confident, clear-minded personality who has made her life choice - that of leaving her man rather than her work," Nair says.
Most women, he is sure, will love this ad, and most men, he says, will hate it. "Feminism 1. Machismo 0," Nair says, adding, "But that's what works for the ad. Who cares if the men aren't going gaga as long as the women are buying Titan Ragas?
Notes Mahuya Chaturvedi, managing partner, Cogito Consulting, independent consulting division of the FCB Ulka Group, "In a market where there are many beautiful watches, Raga now gives women a reason for choosing this one." According to her, the film has given new meaning to beauty.
"It is beauty accentuated with grace, elegance, poise, and the ability to carry oneself in all situations," decodes Chaturvedi.