Rashmi Menon

Fastrack: Dispelling Taboos

The latest campaign, using graphic visuals and Daft Punk music, asks the young not to be pressured by societal taboos.

Provocation seems to be the underlying theme of Fastrack. The watch and accessories brand from Titan, through its 'move on' tagline, has in the past come up with attention-catching TV commercials. The new lot of TVCs don't disappoint when it comes to shocking the senses of viewers.

Fastrack: Dispelling Taboos
Fastrack: Dispelling Taboos
Fastrack: Dispelling Taboos
Fastrack: Dispelling Taboos
The 20-seconder films, sans dialogue, explore societal taboos through suggestion and graphic visuals, which the viewers are 'free to interpret'. And, the French electronic music band Daft Punk's 'something about us' song sums up the mood perfectly.

The campaign has been conceptualised and created by Lowe Lintas and has four creative films - Closet, Dining, Live in and a fourth one, which is still underway.

The first, 'Closet', shows two girls, dressed for a party, coming out of a closet, adjusting their attire. The ad ends with the super - 'Come out of the closet...Move On'. It leaves little to the imagination, the taboo in this case being homosexuality. The Dining TVC, has a girl, her parents and her boyfriend having a meal. While the girl is shown showering attention on the boyfriend, he is busy playing footsie with her mother who responds. The super in this one states - Mature is in...Move On. The third TVC, Live in, has a couple pumping up a bounce house and anxious to get in. The shaking house shows the super - Live In, Move On.

Speaking about the creative, Arun Iyer, national creative director, Lowe Lintas, says, "The brand's thought 'Move On' has become an iconic tagline. So, we thought how do we refresh it and make it more relevant for the youth?" While brainstorming, the team hit upon the fact of youngsters having to live with many taboos. The idea: let the brand help the young to break out of society's notions of morality.

Apparently, the brand was clear that the ads had to be crisp in its communication, as it would be aired during IPL with limited ad space.

According to Iyer, the brief given by the brand was to make Fastrack part of the youth lingo. Considering that there are many brands in the youth space right now, there was a need to keep Fastrack ahead in terms of its looks, feel and music in a way that the youth would identify with it. "It's a thematic brand campaign with subtle cues of the brand's range of products," Iyer says.

The execution style is graphic with certain elements (like the yellow landline phone) adding to the overall effect. As for the music, Iyer says, "During the pre-production stage (executive creative director) Akash Das suggested Daft Punk's song. We felt it was perfect for the campaign. So, we bought the rights of the song for the ads." Fastrack targets 18-21-year-olds.

The campaign, which is currently limited to TVCs, went on air in the first week of April, coinciding with IPL 6. The TVCs have been directed by Bharath Sikka from Flying Pigs Production.

Brand consistency

Fastrack: Dispelling Taboos
Fastrack: Dispelling Taboos
Minakshi Achan, co-founder, Salt Brand Solutions, feels this is a lovely continuation of the Fastrack series - contemporary and progressive stories about young people which make for a telling commentary on life. "The provocative stories will connect with the youth of India. I thought Daft Punk's 'something about us' was apt and captured the spirit of the brand rather well," she says.

Achan believes that the TVCs capture stories about young people, who want to live in the moment, uninhibited and unconcerned with social sanctions and society's old rules. "The brand's point of view life is stated rather well in the inimitable fashion it always has," she opines.

Dheeraj Sinha, head, planning, south and Southeast Asia, Grey, says Fastrack is one of the few brands in India, which is sharply focussed on youth and consistent about it. "I like the thought of bringing these issues out of the closet. The act of bringing them out offers some sort of social nod, albeit with a wink and may be a few raised eyebrows."

Sinha feels that the campaign is brave and the youth, today, like that. However, he's not sure if the campaign falls in the brand's interpretation of 'Move On', which has, thus far, been about the disposability of relationships amongst youngsters. Having said that, it's a fairly relevant youth space to be in, he opines. "I am, personally, not a big fan of how advertising stereotypes youth by casting them with strange hairstyles, tattoos, piercings etc. Would it have helped if the casting was more real? May be," he thinks.

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