N. Shatrujeet

Bombay Dyeing renews bid for 'lifestyle brand' platform; appoints St Luke's

The company is staking a claim for consumer mindspace by unveiling a multimedia campaign aimed at reinstate Bombay Dyeing as “an international-quality lifestyle brand”

Having stayed away from mainline media for close to a decade now (sporadic advertising notwithstanding), premium homecare fabric-manufacturer Bombay Dyeing is staking a strong claim for consumer mindspace by unveiling a multimedia campaign aimed at reinstating Bombay Dyeing as "an international-quality, aspirational lifestyle brand". The campaign - created by St Luke's India, which was appointed on the brand in August following a head-on pitch with ex-incumbent SSC&B - is scheduled break in the media in a week's time.

And in a bid to put its money where its mouth is, the company has also launched a new range of home linen designs - comprising bath towels and bed sheets - which, as per the company, meets the evolving needs and aspirations of the new-age consumer. In addition to all this, the company has also launched a new face for the Bombay Dyeing brand - model Dipti Gujral. Maureen Wadia of Bombay Dyeing introduced Gujral at a press conference hosted in Mumbai yesterday. Gujral, who features in the soon-to-be-aired campaign, follows in the footsteps of Karan Kapoor and Lisa Ray… who, even today, are the most-recalled ‘faces' of the Bombay Dyeing brand by virtue of having been the mainstay of Bombay Dyeing advertising through the late eighties and early nineties.

In fact, the current campaign is an attempt to recreate, in part, the Bombay Dyeing imagery from the eighties and nineties. Imagery that made the brand synonymous with style, sensuality and individuality. Imagery that was absent in the last campaign for the brand, focused as it was on the ‘family unit' as opposed to the ‘individual'. So the new commercials (there are two, one each for towels and bed linen) once again have a lone model (Gujral) in the spotlight, and portray the heightened experience she has with the brand. While the ad for towels focuses on the "intimacy of the experience", the ad for bed linen "is a visual representation of the woman's spirit and style flowing on to the bed sheets", says Anil Nair, senior vice-president, St Luke's India.

Bombay Dyeing's need for a new campaign is self-evident. While the brand, supported by advertising, attracted the ‘premium-linen consumer' through the eighties and early nineties, the top-of-mind it enjoyed tapered off towards the later part of the nineties. For a variety of reasons. Advertising reduced to a trickle, while competition from store brands and fashion labels increased. But perhaps what proved even more costly was Bombay Dyeing's inability to connect with the younger generation, be it in terms of the product, the brand promise or the communication. "The mother is coming in fine, but the trick is to get the daughter to step into a Bombay Dyeing showroom," opines one industry watcher.

It's something that the company has obviously cottoned onto. "Today's consumer is exposed to a lot more, so her expectations have increased correspondingly," observes Ninu Khanna, managing director, Bombay Dyeing. "We have to meet those expectations, which is why we have initiated this market activation programme. We are focusing on understanding the changing lifestyles of the consumer, so that everything we offer is more contemporary, more today and more world-class." He adds that the company has made "significant investments" to bolster its retail presence, and points to "the new designs which would be updated every quarter" as proof of the company's seriousness. "Bombay Dyeing has to be top-of-mind."

For St Luke's, the task of putting Bombay Dyeing back in a position of eminence started with the challenge of appealing to the younger consumer (the target audience being women in the 25-to-35 bracket, from the higher SECs). "Having tracked Bombay Dyeing advertising over a period of time and having tracked related categories, a few things emerged," says Nair. "While the brand DNA was style, sensuality and individualistic attitude, we also saw that home décor has evolved as a concept, and is a reflection of a woman's style and personality. What we did was recreate the brand DNA in the advertising by making it more contemporary. And because Bombay Dyeing, as a brand, has to be future-proof, we positioned it not as a brand of bed linen or towels, but as an international-quality lifestyle brand."

The one thing that is certain about Bombay Dyeing's comeback bid - Maureen Wadia's closer involvement with the brand, be it in product terms or the advertising. "I am happy to be working with a small but very enthusiastic agency like St Luke's," she says. "The agency has done a great job on the campaign, and Ravi Udyawar has shot a very stylish film for a stylish brand." Turning down the notion of Bombay Dyeing having been dormant, Wadia maintains that the company has been "incubating".

"We've been doing some restructuring, and a lot of things have fallen in place under the able leadership of Ninu, Ness (Wadia, deputy managing director) and Aloke (Banerjee, head, domestic business). You are going to see a lot more of Bombay Dyeing," she promises. © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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