Sumita Vaid

Mario Puzo's The Godfather inspires Grasim's Venetia

The three print-ad campaign, conceived by Nitin Srivastava and Titus Upputuru of O&M, has been shot by photographer Prasad Naik

Mario Puzo-Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather invokes myriad forms of memories. Of good-looking swarthy men, dressed in sharp suits, going about casually in the business of crime. Generations have grown up idolizing the anti-hero in Don Corleone and his illustrious son Michael.

Such has been the enduring charm of the Corleone family that even Ogilvy's Mumbai team found it hard to resist. The Godfather, thus, makes a comeback through Grasim's new suiting brand, Venetia. The three print-ad campaign, conceived by Nitin Srivastava and Titus Upputuru of O&M, has been shot by photographer Prasad Naik.

The first ad shows a man holding a butter knife covered with a reddish gelatinous substance against a beheaded bust. The other hand holds a slice of bread.

In the second, it appears he is strangulating the man on the cover of the magazine.

The third shows a dead man in TV, and the Venetia man on the couch is holding the remote like a gun.

All the images are an _expression of his state of mind. The strap line of the copy reads 'Infamously Italian'.

The reason for evoking the Italian connection was the brand's Italian heritage. "Venetia, a fine polysynthetic fabric has been brought to India from Italy. And Venetia offers a range of designs, which are in vogue all over Europe. Since the Indian consumer is exposed to world fashion, it was only imperative for Grasim to launch this collection,"says Abhijit Ganguly, brand manager, Grasim.

With Grasim ready to launch Venetia, the O&M team got cracking on the brand character. Above all, it had to be striking, distinct and a far cry from the me-toos.

"Today, the corporate world is moving to a flat non-hierarchical structure. Bosses are being addressed by their first names. The atmosphere is relaxed and has moved from a pat-on-the-back to a slap-on-the-back kind of work style. Which is why every other suiting brand is asking the consumer to relax, loosen up, roll around in the grass...we simply did not want to do that. To our mind, Venetia had to tell a story; its brand attributes had to stand out..." says Upputuru.

To that end, Venetia's designs came in handy. Its razor sharp pinstripes, bold windowpanes and grim solids in dark, moody colours such as classic black, brown, grey and blue conjured up the dark world of the Mafiosi. Of a certain Al Capone or Don Corleone.

"We wanted the campaign to showcase power like it has never been shown before, both visually and through the copy. And the advertising stems directly from what Italy has long been famous for - or rather infamous for, as the ad campaign puts it. The Italian Mafia, perhaps one of the most powerful cartels in the world, is well known for organised crime. It's dark. It's evil. It's wicked. It's anything but endearing - very contrary to the product, which is precisely where the message lies," points out Upputuru.

Even for the lighting, photography and look, the team was inspired by The Godfather. "There is no better manifestation of it than the Italian Mafia. Ultimate power can't be without a streak of evil. Power corrupts, sooner or later," concludes Upputuru.

A word of caution for men out there. It's not for the weak-hearted. If Venetia is the choice, get ready for a world of adventure that awaits in the shadow of darkness.

© 2004 agencyfaqs!

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