Titan watch's latest ad that tries to portray the quintessential new-age man is reminiscent of the deo category ads that ironically use the age-old formula of wooing the opposite sex with a particular product.
"This man, he knows.." goes the new ad for Titan Watches as it introduces The Titan Man. He knows every second of his day through his Titan watch, his constant companion and inspiration throughout.
Conceptualised and executed by Ogilvy & Mather, Bengaluru, the ad begins with The Titan Man getting ready for the night. The camera follows him as he takes one last look at himself in the dressing mirror and puts on his Titan watch. He heads down the crowded streets, through a dim-lit subway, all the way to the hottest party in town. So far, so good.
The ad, however, starts to tread the beaten track towards the end when it hints that the Titan Man, his attitude and probably his Titan watch, can help him win the drummer's 'hot girlfriend'. The thought is punctuated by a remixed version of the Titan soundtrack. The film closes with a wink from the man implying that there's much more to him.
Sirish Chandrasekhar, head, marketing, Titan Watches, Titan Company, says, "Titan has always looked at cultural and social trends with an alternative lens. There is a certain confidence that the new-age man has. This confidence emanates from his belief in himself and the fact that he knows he can make a difference."
'Use this product and get the girl', the rather sexist formula in advertising was started by bikes. Later, the perfume/deodorants category followed and predictably enough, men's fairness creams and other grooming products joined the bandwagon. But, when one thinks of brands using what is now symbolically called the 'Axe Effect', Titan is not what comes to mind.
As a brand, Titan's communication has traditionally revolved around individuality, achievements and relationships. Some memorable ads by the brand such as the Joy of Gifting, Titan Celestial #YourTimeToStartUp, A Titan Moment, and Titan Raga's When is the right time to get married? have used such themes. The Titan Man, however, seems to be a departure from the rest. The brand justifies the evolution by saying that over the years, there have been many avatars of men. After gliding through an era of machos and metrosexuals, we're now in the age of the quintessential man, whose manliness is not defined by his physique, but his attitude. In fact, the model (Augusto) used in the ad is not a big built macho guy. He seems to be in touch with his feminine side, and is confidently so.
"Titan watches are coveted fashion accessories and they are worn by men who have style and swagger. In this ad, we have focussed on the cool head that the modern Indian man keeps, and the exciting pace of his life beyond the realm of his work," explains Tithi Ghosh, senior vice-president and head of advertising, Ogilvy & Mather (South).
The ad has been directed by Shashanka Chaturvedi. Maxus is handling the media duties for the campaign that will be supported by print and outdoor mediums.
The quintessential evolution?
Appreciating the execution of the ad, Vistasp Hodiwala, founder, Underdog, says, "The quintessential man seems like a good promise for a brand that has steadily evolved over the years and worn modernity as a badge of honour through its stories across the sexual divide."
Hodiwala feels that while this particular story suffers a bit on that account due to its 'superficial modernity' and departs from its traditional space of achievements and relationships, it does have an eloquent breeziness about it that makes it pleasing to watch without the familiar cringe that follows such stories. "But, with Titan, the bar is set rather high and hence, it may suffer by comparison.
Talking about a brand such as Titan going the Axe way, Hodiwala says he is glad that it had the good sense to leave the 'getting the girl' bit unsaid.
Vandana Katoch, founder, Clayground Communications, calls it "a slickly made film that's quite watchable". However, she quickly adds, "You will be forgiven if you thought you were watching a deo film with all the girls falling for the guy."
"It's clear that Titan is trying to connect with the new man (something we've seen Raymonds do recently), but the shift in brand tone and language is too sudden, especially for a brand as old and well-entrenched as Titan. A better way would've been to launch a new range under Titan and execute this campaign for that," states Katoch.