Lingerie Talk: Clovia

By Aakriti Shrivastava , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | September 29, 2015
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Lingerie and nightwear brand Clovia's new digital campaign makes fun of the women's innerwear scenario in India even as it promotes it online.

A fairly new entrant in the nascent online lingerie category, Clovia, has released a new digital campaign about women innerwear taboos, that features copywriter-turned-comedian Neeti Palta. This is the brand's first audio visual campaign, that has been conceptualized in-house and produced by Creative Warehouse.

Clovia is a lingerie and nightwear clothing brand that was founded in 2012. Other than an exclusive website, the brand also has a presence in other online marketplaces like Myntra, Flipkart, Jabong and Amazon. In June 2015, the brand received an investment from Ivy Cap Ventures. Prior to this, it had also raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Zurich-headquartered global asset management firm, Mountain Partners, and other angel investors in 2012.

Neeti Palta

Pankaj Vermani

The brand's latest campaign fuses humour with social commentary in an attempt to generate relatibility with its TG of women in the age group of 22-35 with an annual income of Rs 4 lakh. Palta, in a series of four videos, touches upon topics such as buying bras from awkward male shop owners, highly priced innerwear, sizes and the social stigma over women's innerwear. The campaign will be promoted on various social media platforms. E-commerce website FabAlley had also done a similar campaign called 'Unfollow', featuring comedian Radhika Vaz.

Says Pankaj Vermani, founder and CEO, Clovia, "We started with the thought that we will change the world, but the world is changing itself. Things have changed a lot in the past three years. Online lingerie as a category is growing at 55-60 per cent annually."

Explaining the reasons for this growth rate, he adds, "Internet penetration and privacy are the two reasons this platform has worked well." The preferences seem to be changing too. He adds, "Earlier, women preferred the basic blacks, whites and nudes but today, we see the colourful and fancy stuff getting really popular. And this change has come not only it big cities but in tier II and III towns as well. When shopping online, there is no fear of being judged for your preferences."

Pankaj is happy with the way things are turning out but the category he operates in still faces taboos. And he feels that Clovia's campaign will entertain the viewer, while creating a presence for the brand - a win-win situation."

Palta talks about her experience on working with the brand, "The idea that they had in mind blended very well with my thinking, hence it was a good fit. The content related back to the brand very naturally, which is why people will connect to it."

Clovia's competes with portals such as PrettySecrets and Bangaluru-based Zivame. Pankaj adds that 60 per cent of the website's sales come from tier II and III while half the traffic is via the mobile website. The overall lingerie segment is growing at the rate of 17-22 per cent per year, one of the highest in the apparel category.


Arijit Ray

Rohit Raj

Arijit Ray, co-founder, Paperboat Brandworks finds the attempt to move lingerie buying online a good one. "It is a nice straight-up commentary on the taboo that lingerie sales in India is associated with. Although a lot of it has started breaking in the last few years specially in light of brands like Zivame being widely available online, it does amplify the awkwardness women have to face in the context of offline lingerie purchase. The act is quite sharp and some of the facets have been brought well, the humour quite spot-on. At times it gets a bit contrived."

Rohit Raj, co-founder, The Glitch, disagrees, "I find the campaign a Big 'Me too' of sorts of another campaign recently by FabAlley where they used Radhika Vaz. That one had much more risque content and kept in tune with the image of the the comedian." He continues saying, "The content is cleverly trying to communicate the various problems that the brand is solving and accomodating the nuances in the script. But the point is that the content itself is a little weak. It is like you have constrained the performer by giving them strict boundaries to operate within brand parameters. The greatest risk I feel to a brand is to sit on the fence. You are neither going all out to shock and awe, nor are you blatantly throwing the brand around. So in an attempt to tone things down and yet be cool, it fizzles out."

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