Ashwini Gangal
Advertising urges men to shop online

Through its new multi-media ad campaign, positions itself as an apt online shopping option for men who characteristically loathe shopping.

Having established its presence in the men's fashion segment in South India, Hasbro Clothing has now launched a nationwide campaign to expand its footprint across the country. The company's e-commerce store is the centre of this campaign. The shopping portal is being promoted through a campaign spread over viral and offline media. urges men to shop online
Titled 'Shop like a Man', the campaign speaks to and for the men of the world. It aims to promote online shopping for men and is based on the insight that men hate physical shopping.

Explaining how Happy Creative Services, the brand's creative agency, cracked the insight, Karthik Iyer, co-founder and chief executive officer of the agency, tells afaqs!, "It's no discovery that men hate standing in lines and elaborate shopping experiences. We realised that no woman could have invented online shopping because they love window shopping and experiencing the ambience. We had a good laugh and realised that we had an idea. And, since BasicsLife only offers menswear, we decided on the line 'Shop like a Man'. The line was actually cracked at the planning stage." urges men to shop online
The core TG (target group) comprises men in the 16-28 years age bracket belonging to SEC A and B.

In addition to a viral film, the media mix comprises activation, digital engagement programmes and two TVCs that are scheduled to go on air across 28 channels (niche as well as news) soon. The signature anthem in the viral video or 'The 'Man'tra', as the agency calls it, is also being released as a standalone three-minute song supported by a two-minute video on YouTube. Written by Happy's Iyer, in collaboration with Mikey McCleary, the song celebrates all the basic things that make men, men.

"The time is right to push for a national presence. The communication and the reach with this new creative will put us on the map in the country," says Hanif Sattar, co-founder, Hasbro Clothing.

Does the insight work? urges men to shop online urges men to shop online
According to Yutaka Kamoshita, digital strategist, Dentsu Digital, the success of the insight is a function of the market saturation level of the service. "In India, although e-commerce is a promising business, majority consumers are still sceptical about it," he says.

"One superiority that physical shopping has is that it happens spontaneously and people can purchase on impulse. E-commerce, on the other hand, is great for research and comparison of products. If the brand can create a 'surprising discovery moment' for men with their products, then we can say the insight has worked well," adds Kamoshita.

Rating the ad high on the creativity scale, he nonetheless points out that it lacks a technical perspective regarding what the service actually offers its TG.

Similar execution formats have been adopted for several products in the recent past. For instance, the viral film for reminds Brijesh Jacob, managing partner, 22feet (and managing partner, White Canvas) of Vodafone's film to promote its Facebook phone. Is it something about the digital space that tempts creative folk to take to musicals? Or is the online medium more conducive to such execution as opposed to TV, which is presumably better suited for ads with regular formats such as conversations and testimonials?

Jacob answers, "The online medium will pick up anything that is interesting, be it musicals, JPEG, cats, sound -- there's no formula as such. While the BasicsLife ad somehow reminded me of the 'I'm always on Facebook' film, it is interesting and will make for a second or third viewing."

He however adds that the insight used in the ad is not entirely true. "Men hate long shopping sprees. They just know what they want, head straight for it, try it out and if it fits, go on and buy it," he says.

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