The campaign created by Ogilvy & Mather Bengaluru, is based on the insight that one can no longer tell the difference between a person from urban India and a small-town dweller by the clothes they wear.
"Dressing is a way of life," said the legendary French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. People often tend to judge others by their appearance and sartorial choices. This held true earlier, especially for people hailing from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and towns in India. One look at their choice of clothes, and they were branded as small-towners. But, with the advent of international fashion brands on the Indian landscape, perceptions have changed and sartorial differences are no longer as pronounced. The gap has been bridged to a considerable extent.
Woven around this thought is online marketplace Amazon's latest 360-degree campaign titled 'Citizens of Fashion', created and conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather Bengaluru, and directed by Arun Gopalan of Storytellers Productions. The campaign consists of two ad films shot in Varanasi at Raiganj and Kamlapur which would be quite unknown and nondescript to viewers at first. These places have shot into the limelight thanks to the Amazon smartphone app. Notably, this campaign reminds us of the recent Rajasthan Tourism campaign 'Jaane Kya Dikh Jaaye', also done by the same agency, Ogilvy & Mather.
It is the Amazon smartphone app that helps non-metro city dwellers turn into 'Citizens Of Fashion', as seen through the course of both films which are 40 and 45-seconds long, respectively. The films point towards updated style and fashion preferences of people in non-metro cities.
The 360-degree campaign will be leveraged across the brand's digital, print and out-of-home (OOH) platforms.
Kiran Ramamurthy, senior vice-president, Ogilvy & Mather, Bengaluru, shares, "The concept of 'Citizens of Fashion' comes from the fact that the fashion aspirations of the Indian consumer is today truly global, irrespective of where the consumer comes from. And, Amazon is a great enabler, getting the best of fashion brands to these consumers in a friction-free manner.
Arun Sirdeshmukh, head, Amazon Fashion, informs, "Amazon Fashion is one of the fastest-growing stores on Amazon.in, with a wide selection of over two million fashion products available across categories. Our fashion store has now become a one-stop destination that offers engaging fashion editorials, curated selection, and a wide range of top national and international fashion brands. The new campaign reinforces our transformation vision in India as we bring the latest and exclusive in fashion to the doorstep of our fashion-savvy customers across the country, including Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities."
"While the campaign shows a semi-urban setting, I think it may appeal more to the urban consumers. The fashion stands out in stark contrast with the setting and that is what makes it striking. As for targetting the next Tier 2 or Tier 3 cities, it is essential to do that as the growth will come from there. The campaign definitely drives home the point that there is high fashion available on Amazon," he says.
But, Abraham isn't sure if this is the right campaign to get Tier 2 and Tier 3 consumers as "the imagery, and the concept may be pitched a bit too high."
Arun Sharma, executive planning director, Hakuhodo Percept, finds the musical and lyrical expressions to be more powerful than the visual execution which seems "trapped in cliches and unlikely to be memorable".
He says that youth aspirations in small towns are the same as those of youngsters from metros. "It's just that the means are limited and this is where e-tailing democratises this deficiency. Amazon is leading this trend for quite some time now at the marketing level which is visible in their delivery cities data," he says.
Sharma is of the view that Amazon, in its true form, has stuck to its category's leading codes by having identified a category level insight, finding a colloquial phrase for it, saying it through music, and ending it by having made it a part of the language. Here, the message being conveyed to the youth is clearly to make every street and every city fashionable. "Raiganj ko bana de 'Rio'ganj" would catch on if propagated through films and music. It has the power to become an equivalent of 'Selfie Le Re'," he says.