Suraj Ramnath
Advertising

"Why do men wear white shirts to an important meeting?" asks Raymond in its new spot

We spoke to Madhu S Dutta, head -- marketing, lifestyle business, Raymond, about the new brand campaign that promotes its latest range 'Raymond Whites'.

What is white? A colour, of course.

Or is it even a colour, might ask the naysayers.

Well......it's a lot more.

White is the colour of hope. The colour of the end of the tunnel.

White reflects light. Sometimes, the light that comes from within.

Does the soul have a colour? It's probably.....white.

So why do men wear white shirts to an important meeting?

To the start of something big and new.

Because it is actually the same thing as a blank page.

And we all know how powerful a blank page can be and all that it can start off.

By the way, white doesn't always mean peace.

Sometimes, white means conquering the boardroom. And looking serene while you're at it.

The world sees it as a symbol of purity.

Only a few know it to be a symbol of pure....power.

There are many things therefore, that go in to perfecting a white shirt.

But one thing's for sure. It is not cut out of white flags.

Presenting Raymond Whites. 100 styles one colour.

Raymond, the Indian branded fabric and fashion retailer, recently launched a campaign to promote its new range Raymond Whites. Raymond Whites offers 100 different styles of shirts to consumers in one colour - white.

"Why do men wear white shirts to an important meeting?" asks Raymond in its new spot
The campaign has been conceptualised in-house by Raymond. A 30-second TVC is on air as is the 1.34 minute digital film on YouTube. The target audience for the product is male, 25 years and above, SEC A and A+.
"Why do men wear white shirts to an important meeting?" asks Raymond in its new spot
There was a time in the '90s when men wore white shirts either for a job interview or for board meetings. We asked Madhu S Dutta, head -- marketing, lifestyle business, Raymond, if the brand's trying to change that perception and convey that white shirts are for all occasions.
"Why do men wear white shirts to an important meeting?" asks Raymond in its new spot
"It is correct that white shirts were used when a person went for an interview as it had a formal kind of feel, but today, the proposition for this entire campaign is that white is for all occasions. The offering of the campaign is like that. White colour has a lot of lifestyle conversations," says Dutta.
"Why do men wear white shirts to an important meeting?" asks Raymond in its new spot
Dutta feels that today, wearing white is not restricted to just formals. "White can be for everything, be it formal wear, casuals, semi-casuals, and at Raymond, we offer entire wardrobe solutions for customers and that's what we wanted to bring in. We wanted to bring in the feel that white can be worn on all occasions so it is a statement of lifestyle. We didn't want to convey a corporate kind of feel," she says.

According to Dutta, people have a special love towards the colour white. She says, "White caters to every person's wardrobe. There is an emotional attribute to it. There is a special love for white. You take more care of white and are conscious about wearing it. We have multiple designs and that's the offering from our merchandising point of view. If a customer walks in, it is not white for the heck of being white."

There is no predictable kind of a formal outfit that men wear in an office, feels Dutta. "A white can be worn even with denims. Today, people experiment with different wardrobes. Even if you walk into a corporate setup, it's kind of semi-formal, so now you don't see people wearing formal in office," adds Dutta.

Elaborating further on how sartorial preferences have changed over the years, Dutta says, "Five years ago, it was different. When you walked into an advertising agency, a media house, or a television company for instance, people would be wearing a stiff-collared shirt. But, that has changed. Today, people are playing with more colours, styles, and accessorisation. It is these insights into the changing mindsets of customers that we have picked up."

We asked our experts about the execution of the ad and if it is a great idea. This is what they had to say.

Saji Abraham, executive director, Lowe Lintas, says, "It's an interesting ad and quite well done. An unusual topic to be taken on, especially in India, where we haven't paid too much attention to the white shirt. Raymond's focus on it will give it expertise credentials especially because of the 100-styles claim. It's a simple thing, the white shirt and Raymond have elevated it well."

"Why do men wear white shirts to an important meeting?" asks Raymond in its new spot
"Why do men wear white shirts to an important meeting?" asks Raymond in its new spot
He adds, "However, there seem to be multiple messages in it. The first part talks about the various dimensions of white, followed by an abrupt descent into boardrooms. It's as though the brand wants to prove that white means power. That part seems to be a different film altogether. Then the ad closes with 100 styles."

Abraham feels that rather than deny the aspects of white (the white flag) or box things in and make it all tunnel down to the boardroom power play, it could have been simpler. "A link that white has many dimensions and that in our 100 styles we capture it all?" He wonders.

Mark McDonald, head of creative, DigitasLBi, Mumbai, a digital agency from the house of Publicis.Sapient, says, "Clearly, the classic blue jeans and white shirt combo isn't what Raymond is targetting here. This is all about boardroom battles and power plays, and therefore, all about its formal/business white shirts. Which is fine, except that the VO (voice over) - which is a tad too long and convoluted - spends quite some time to let us know that white is also about purity, hope, peace, and everything in between."

He adds, "You can't help but think that the brand's trying too hard. Perhaps a stronger tie-in with the 100 styles and how each is a different expression of white could have helped. In fact, the 100-styles bit offers great potential to use digital formats and interactive videos to highlight the 100 expressions of white."

McDonald finds the execution nice, but nothing we haven't seen before. "Classic black and white - clean, tight shots, etc. Overall, I think a shorter film with a more focussed VO would have made this far better, and dare I say, much more powerful."