Sunit Roy
Advertising

"Men today are not bound by definitions of 'masculinity' set by previous generations": Suparna Mitra, CMO, Titan Watches and Accessories

Titan Octane's latest campaign breaks the 'Macho' myth.

For centuries, we defined a real man: to be strong, to be in authority and to be the ultimate decision maker. But times are changing. In the wake of recent conversations around feminism and equal opportunities, even the codes of masculinity are being redefined. The new campaign from Titan Octane - Be A Sport, is a light-hearted take on masculinity, and aims at busting the macho myth.

"Men today are not bound by definitions of 'masculinity' set by previous generations": Suparna Mitra, CMO, Titan Watches and Accessories

Titan Octane's #BeASport campaign

Through the #BeASport campaign, the watch brand from the house of Tata celebrates men who are comfortable in being a man - and not being a 'Macho', a 'Cowboy' or a 'Casanova'. They don't take the tag of being a man so seriously, and can laugh at their failures; they aren't the alpha male.

It pins the fact that the modern day man also has shades of colour beyond grey and brown in his closet. He is open to freely express his emotions, is man enough to laugh at himself, isn't intimidated by the success of his female counterparts and has evolved to become a man who doesn't take himself (and his masculinity) too seriously.

So we asked, 'what was the idea behind showing the protagonist (The Man) define the new meaning of masculinity?'

"Men today are not bound by definitions of 'masculinity' set by previous generations": Suparna Mitra, CMO, Titan Watches and Accessories

Suparna Mitra

"The strategy was formed as a result of a fair bit of consumer understanding of the modern men. Men today are not bound by the definitions of 'masculinity' set by their previous generations. They are at a point in their lives when they have the freedom to create their own path that reflects the values and rules that make sense to them in today's time - whether that is letting go of the ideal responsibilities and do something of their own or decide to 'not act' in situations where men are expected to act. They aren't afraid to fall down and learn whatever comes their way. The real man today is work in progress and the brand aims to create a world where he can truly express himself," explains Suparna Mitra, chief marketing officer, Titan Watches and Accessories.

For this, a formal research was conducted with an objective to understand the modern man and his world. Brand Titan did a study on what Indian men aspire to be - their likes and dislikes, the way they conduct themselves, and the creative brief emanated from that. The target group for the brand is between the ages of 25-35 living in urban/semi-urban cities.

Conceptualised and created by Ogilvy - Bangalore, the campaign is produced by Storytellers Production. The ad film is directed by Arun Gopalan.

Breaking the Stereotype

People still remember, and easily recall, Titan's #TheTitanMan campaign, released in 2015, which tried to portray the quintessential new-age man using the age-old formula of wooing the opposite sex with a particular product. Ever since, the brand released ad films such as Titan Raga #BreakTheBias (released in 2016) and #MomByChoice (released in 2017) - aimed at breaking stereotypes. In fact, Tata Pravesh - another brand from house of Tata - recently released an ad film titled #StrongLikeMom, positioning the woman as strong as steel.

"Men today are not bound by definitions of 'masculinity' set by previous generations": Suparna Mitra, CMO, Titan Watches and Accessories

Titan Raga #BreakTheBias campaign released in 2016

"Men today are not bound by definitions of 'masculinity' set by previous generations": Suparna Mitra, CMO, Titan Watches and Accessories

Titan Raga #MomByChoice campaign released in 2017

So, we asked if any ground work was conducted to understand and roll-out a creative communication with a different perspective for the #BeASport campaign as well.

"Men today are not bound by definitions of 'masculinity' set by previous generations": Suparna Mitra, CMO, Titan Watches and Accessories

Azaz Haque

"Titan has never approached humour or wit as a tone for the brand. With this campaign, for the first time, we decided to keep a lighter-witty tone for the campaign," says Azazul Haque, chief creative officer, Oglivy.

"Brands nowadays want an 'A for Apple' kind of fool-proof communication. So, agreeing to do a clever campaign also means to question the way Indian advertising has become off late. By design we avoided soppy storytelling. A thorough behaviour study of the target audience was done that made the creative team come up with a campaign that not just questions the male stereotypes but also the advertising storytelling stereotypes. It's a bold, intelligent and witty campaign that reflects the mindset of the 'New Man'," he adds.

#BeASport is a two-phase campaign - the first phase, which is currently on air, will continue until mid-November, and the second phase will be launched in December. "We've focused on high affinity properties such as sports, movies and news with a multimedia approach of TV, DTH, cinema and digital," informs Mitra.

Speaking about the challenges in executing the campaign, Haque says, "It was a complicated brief as we needed to redefine man and let the brand take on masculinity. We used sports as the context since Titan Octane is a sporty looking watch. So, marrying the two was a task. But 'Be A Sport' beautifully did the job as it defines the thought and has the sports connect."

Well Executed?

"Men today are not bound by definitions of 'masculinity' set by previous generations": Suparna Mitra, CMO, Titan Watches and Accessories

Abhik Santara

According to Abhik Santara, CEO, Famous Innovations (North), the format of the ad is not new, and therefore may have some optical similarity in the style of narration and storytelling - but the ideas are very different. He says, "Advertising and brands have created the image of a unique kind of macho man, and the way Titan is turning this on its head is fairly interesting."

He adds, "Product is fairly well integrated - it's a sporty watch but not for teenyboppers. So I can perfectly see it being relatable to young jobbers. Sonic branding of the tune could have been there, but I think even without it, it is very well branded."