Suraj Ramnath

Blind protagonist in Raymond's new TVC

The Indian branded fabric and fashion retailer has recently launched its new ad 'It All Begins with Black'.

Raymond, the Indian branded fabric and fashion retailer, recently launched a campaign called 'It All Begins with Black' to promote its new range, the 'All Black Collection'. The ad has been conceptualised by Grey India, directed by Lloyd Baptista and produced by Method Productions.

Blind protagonist in Raymond's new TVC

Raymond's new TVC - It All Begins with Black

The new TVC stars Indo-Canadian singer and writer Jugpreet Singh Bajwa, who has been visually impaired since he was six months old. Bajwa narrates why black has more hues than one can imagine as the background crew, dressed in shades and textures of black, enact his words. It is this realisation, that the film is a visually impaired person's interpretation of black, that takes the viewers through the real journey inside the narrator's mind.

Blind protagonist in Raymond's new TVC

Madhu S. Dutta

Talking about the brief given to the agency, Madhu S. Dutta, head - marketing, lifestyle business, Raymond, says, "The brief was very clear. How do we bring out the versatility of black by keeping the authenticity and honesty of the colour and giving it a completely different twist; and that's where Grey India came up with the concept of how we retain the core of what black stands for and then narrated the story."

Talking about the new collection, Dutta says, "Black, as part of the fabric collection, is a perennial line which is available in our portfolio. We have introduced a lot more in the black collection which means experimenting with a lot of textures and different materials. There is an expandable price-point where this collection is available and, therefore, we thought that there is a certain opportunity in terms of talking about this collection from the versatility point of view and availability of it under Raymond's fine fabric."

The core target audience for the 'All Black Collection' is SEC A, Male, 30 years and older. The brand is promoting the new TVC through infotainment, English movie channels and English news channels. Raymond is also promoting the new collection through digital, in-store visual merchandising as well as outdoor and theatre ads.

We asked our experts to review and this is what they had to say:

John Thangaraj, national planning director, FCB Ulka, says, "My first reaction to this campaign was - 'wow, that takes courage'. Courage on the part of the agency to come up with something this brave, and far more courageous on the part of the client to actually believe in it and approve it."

Blind protagonist in Raymond's new TVC

John Thangaraj

Blind protagonist in Raymond's new TVC

Chandrashekhar Mhaskar

Talking about the execution, he says, "While slam poetry is an admittedly fresh concept here in India, I'm not quite sure how accessible it is for a large majority of consumers; Raymond is, after all, a fairly mass premium brand. For me, the magic of the film lays in its core idea - a visually impaired man talking about the power of black. It's a big, brave, category-disruptive thought and one that could have been executed in a number of different ways. A slightly more straightforward execution may have elevated this idea to even greater heights."

He adds, "I think it's fantastic. Kudos to Grey and Raymond for having the guts to make this. Creative courage is an exceedingly rare commodity in advertising today - we need more films like this."

Chandrashekhar Mhaskar, vice president, Isobar India, did not realise that Bajwa (the blind narrator) was part of the TVC. He says, "The execution overpowered the cast and was way too overwhelming and captivating. I think the TVC definitely talks to the TG, for its exuberance. The connect with Bajwa being blind, which is apparent only at the end, does make me think of the deep connection that is seemingly present, but it is not very clear to me."

He adds, "I think the execution is brilliant; the special effects, voice, music, basically the entire ensemble of elements. I got hooked on to it right from the word go and was immersed. It has set a benchmark, only to be excelled by Raymond itself or any other brand for that matter."


Client: Raymond Brand Team

Ensemble: Raymond Design Studio

GREY group India:

Chief Creative Officer and writer: Sandipan Bhattacharyya

Executive Creative Director: Mayuresh Dubhashi

National Planning head: Arun Raman

Sr. VP GREY WORKS: Samir Chadha

Sr. VP and Office Head: Vineet Singh

Director: Lloyd Baptista

Executive Producer: Coburn Machado

Producer: Ravneet Mahajan

Production House: Method Productions

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