This is probably Bata's most glossy ad yet

By Suraj Ramnath , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | June 13, 2017
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A look at the brand new, minute-long film released by Bata Woman.

When was the last time you saw a footwear brand coming up with an ad that looks glossy and has an international look and feel to it? Global footwear brand Bata has recently launched its new campaign, 'Me. And comfortable with it.' The ad, conceptualised by Ogilvy Delhi, can't be easily associated with Bata because one has always had a perception of Bata as a comfortable and an affordable footwear brand.

Rajeev Gopalakrishnan, president, Bata, emerging markets, South Asia, says in a press release, "Celebrating 123 years of iconic status, we are thrilled to share the new outlook of Brand Bata, which is a reflection of the modern Indian woman. Bata's latest Indian TVC campaign - 'Me. And comfortable with it.' highlights the brand's admiration for women in a very special way. Being one of the most recognised brands in India, we feel that it is important for us to have a point of view."

Rajeev Gopalakrishnan

Ajay Gahlaut

He adds, "Our research and insight reveals that the modern Indian woman is comfortable with her choices, her emotions, her feminity and with challenging gender roles; in essence 'comfortable in her own style and shoes'. The Bata fashion show today, featured some of our most exciting collections, all painstakingly researched, designed and crafted to define comfort and style. We welcome India, to step into Bata and step out in style."

Talking about the campaign, Ajay Gahlaut, executive creative director, Ogilvy Delhi, says in a press release, "When we saw Bata's fantastic women's range, we were stunned! Because what we saw had no resemblance to the imagery of Bata that we had in our minds. It was then that we realised that what we had to do was replace the old Bata imagery in our minds and in the minds of our consumers with one that reflected the Bata of today! And to do that, we also thought of using the women of today - the ones who were comfortable in their own shoes."

Ad Review

Upasana Roy

Upasana Roy, head of strategy - India, DigitasLBi, says, "Their global campaign this year wants to address the dilemma between beauty and comfort; telling women that they don't have to compromise on comfort to look beautiful and stylish, and that their comfort is the most important thing to care about. The proposition of 'comfort' is a great conversation to have with the woman of today, who is not just busy but also leading a hectic life with multiple balancing acts. Therefore, the proposition of comfortable clothing and footwear, which also looks fantastic, is highly desirable to this new age Bata woman."

Roy feels, When it comes to the latest Indian TVC, the upgraded look and feel is fantastic and will surely help elevate the perception of the brand in terms of premium imagery.

She says, "The message however feels a bit layered, primarily because it attempts to address labels, stereotypes, women empowerment and gender roles, all at the same time, while the main theme of the struggle between style/high-fashion and comfort is somewhere lost."

According to Roy, the brand has tried to capture the essence of 'comfort' through the above angles, but has only ended up scratching the surface with a very generic message of empowering women in their own ways.

She adds, "Unfortunately, this format of prescriptive storytelling has been pretty much in vogue since last year with multiple brands deploying similar styles of 'Femvertising', and nowadays you can hardly tell the difference."

Roy feels that the treatment could have been more interesting if the functional tension between the notions of beauty and comfort was the main underlying thought. "For women today, the struggle is real - it's a constant choice between 'look beautiful and fashionable' vs 'feel beautiful and comfortable'. And I don't think this film addresses that at all. However, if the attempt was to associate Bata as a brand that celebrates the new-age / empowered woman, then I think they may have succeeded in that sense," she adds.

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Delhi

Account Management
Kapil Arora - President, Ogilvy Group Companies - North
Siddharth Bhattacharya - Vice President
Chandini Ahuja - Account Director
Aashish Pahwa - Account Executive

Creative
Ajay Gahlaut - Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy Group Companies - North
Vikash Chemjong - Group Creative Director
Basabjit Majumdar - Group Creative Director

Planning
Rasika Fernandes - Senior Vice President, Planning

Production House - Asylum Films
Director - Razneesh Ghai

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