Myntra: Redefining Tradition

By Ashee Sharma , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | June 10, 2015
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Myntra's contemporary ethnic wear brand Anouk captures the spirit of a woman in the new 'Bold is Beautiful' digital campaign executed by Ogilvy and Mather.

Ethnic wear is not seen as being bold. It is associated more with being a safe option. With this being the prevalent thinking, a plethora of ethnic brands occupy the safe space and are mutually indistinguishable. Myntra's contemporary ethnic wear brand, Anouk challenges this narrative in a fresh campaign, 'Bold is Beautiful'.

The digital campaign executed by Ogilvy and Mather aims to break the established norms set by society for women and highlight their real-life experiences. The long-format ads depict the story of three women who made some deliberate choices in their life. As the story unfolds, they are seen defending these choices and braving the question posed by society, emerging a winner each time.

Anouk's 'Bold is Beautiful' digital campaign

Anouk's 'Bold is Beautiful' digital campaign

Anouk's 'Bold is Beautiful' digital campaign

Manish Aggarwal

With the launch of the 'Bold is Beautiful' campaign the brand wants to craft its unique voice and space in the ethnic wear segment. "We wanted to give Anouk a sharply defined identity in this crowded category describing it as an ethnic wear that is bold, vibrant and stylish, even edgy at times. The campaign symbolizes the Anouk woman as free spirited, but someone who is still connected to her roots," says Manish Aggarwal, VP marketing, Myntra Fashion Brands.

Aggarwal also informs that currently digital is the only platform that's being used to build the brand. Describing it as the most suited medium for storytelling, he adds, "This medium allows you to create interesting storylines, engage with consumers and get a feel of consumer responses real time. Given that we wanted to encapsulate real life situations in a short film format and showcase three short stories simultaneously, digital became the most apt choice."

Before this, the brand created a similar video as part of the 'Bold is Beautiful' campaign, which featured women in different roles, sharing their experiences of making unique choices and doing things differently.

Tasked with establishing Anouk as a line of bold and contemporary ethnic clothing for the modern Indian woman, Ogilvy and Mather exploited the opportunity they saw in the indistinguishable ethnic wear market. According to the agency spokesperson, wearing Anouk is not a compromise. It's a choice. "We realised that the modern Indian woman takes her choices very seriously, she defends them - in life and in her apparel," says the response. This thought was carried forward in the online campaign and it translated into real stories about "fiery Indian women who wear their choices on their sleeves."

The communication was designed such that the brand could be identified with the natural choices of a free spirited, modern Indian woman and everything that defines her identity, persona and world-view.

Anouk also has on-board renowned designer Masaba Gupta who is the brand ambassador and chief creative officer for the brand. She is currently working on a signature collection for the next season called 'Masaba for Anouk' which will be exclusively available on Myntra.

Launched in 2013, Anouk is a contemporary ethnic wear brand from Myntra's fashion portfolio, which celebrates a woman, her existence, beauty and most importantly her freedom. It offers a range of apparel: anarkalis, sarees, kurtas, skirts, topwear, and palazzos in a variety of fabrics and techniques. The style varies from traditional to quirky and contemporary for the new age consumer. Today, it is the largest ethnic wear brand on Myntra.

At present, the company has a total of 10 in-house brands including Dressberry, Roadster, Anouk (ethnic range for women), Mast & Harbour (casual wear), Kook N Keech (graphics-inspired T-shirt range), Yellow Kites (for kids), Invictus (premium, formal-wear for men), HRX (by Hrithik Roshan), Harvard University Ivy League Clothing and ETC. In the days ahead, it plans to beef up its private brand portfolio by launching more labels.

In a recent development, Myntra also closed down its website and went on to become a mobile-only platform from May 15. It claims to have more than 10 million app downloads so far. Myntra was acquired by Flipkart last year and has been ramping up its tech capabilities in the mobile domain. Of late, it has also acquired m-tech start-up Native5 Software Solutions.

The online fashion destination claims to offers 200,000 plus styles in partnership with over 1,000 national and international brands. It aims to hit the $1 billion mark in revenues by 2016.

A bold statement made?

Kiran Khalap, co-founder and MD, chlorophyll Brand and Communications Consultancy believes that it is of utmost importance for an ad to meet the brand's objective and Anouk's digital campaign does exactly that. "These ads effectively communicate the new attributes of boldness. There is a faint connect with the boldness of the product; and I only hope this gets strengthened over time in order for the brand to get differentiated," he says.

Kiran Khalap

Jagdeep Kapoor

Maintaining his stance that the brand's skill will lie in sticking to the theme and enriching its meaning for larger sets of women, Khalap opines "There is a section of society that is no longer afraid to exercise its choices even if they are socially not mainstream. This could hold as true for men also." According to him, the stories are more about individualism than feminism.

However, he thinks that there was an opportunity to make some music or an actual song the anthem of this breed of women. "The casting is bang-on; the acting restrained... but the only executional aspect undifferentiated here is the music," rues Khalap

Concluding with the thought that creating an online brand is a long journey and advertising is only a fraction of the experience, he says he would like to see how this 'boldness' is extended to everything else Anouk does.

Jagdeep Kapoor, chairman and managing director, Samsika Marketing Consultants, has a similar opinion. But he feels that while the product could be common, the thinking is uncommon and "it would cut the clutter." Speaking about the use of unconventional concepts in the ads Kapoor says, "Different individuals have different values and lifestyles, and in today's society as long as one does not push one's point of view upon another, that is accepted and respected." He also points out that the emphasis in these ads has been on 'bold' and another set of ads accentuating 'beautiful', would make the campaign more balanced.

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