Deepti Karthik, SVP, marketing, believes that the world of innerwear advertising is plagued by regressive ideologies.
Most men’s innerwear ads are all about masculinity, sensuality and related themes. But premium men’s apparel brand DaMENSCH’s recent campaign is a refreshing break from such themes. The digital-first campaign, titled ‘The Innerwear Therapy’, features comedians Rohan Joshi, Aadar Malik, Jordindians and Nirmal Pillai.
The ad series focuses on an often neglected and challenging part of the male wardrobe – ‘innerwear’. In these ad films, the comedians can be seen reacting to themselves while playing a role in them.
“These ads take a different route, as DaMENSCH doesn’t stand for theories like dressing to impress a girl or dressing to impress one's boss or having the perfect six pack abs. There is so much toxicity in this philosophy that we want to steer away from it,” Deepti Karthik, senior vice president, marketing, DaMENSCH, tells afaqs!.
Karthik says that the reason the brand took so long to come up with the campaign is because innerwear advertising is plagued by regressive ideologies. “The insight of the campaign came up from the product itself. The brand’s research found out that it (DaMENSCH) had products that fit a consumer’s body type.”
The campaign has been created and conceptualised by the brand’s partner agency Talented. The brand’s brief to the agency was to have product-centric ads that don’t pander to toxic masculinity, and show the quality of the products through the ads.
Before the Talented team started working on the campaign, they ordered the products, reveals Karthik. This is what makes the campaign rooted in the agency’s personal experience of the products.
DaMENSCH offers a 30-day free replacement warranty, which means that if a consumer doesn’t like the product, he can keep it, but get his money back. This kind of policy in a country like ours, can easily be exploited by consumers. However, Karthik says that the brand hasn’t seen more than 3% claims.
Speaking about the campaign’s digital media mix, Karthik mentions that on YouTube, the brand has undertaken sequencing. It will enable the audience to see the ads in their designated sequence to make sense of the entire narrative.
On platforms like Facebook and Instagram, the brand has partnered with influencers, who are a part of the campaign. They have shared the ads on their respective social media handles. The campaign’s overall strategy is, ‘discover on YouTube and share on social media’, reveals Karthik.
Sharing a few trends in the male innerwear industry, Karthik mentions, “An older millennial would just go and pick out a brand of his liking, but young millennials and Gen Z do a lot of research online, even for a category like innerwear. They are the ones who are discovering newer brands.”
She adds that innerwear is something that defines one's personality. Innerwear used to come in just a few solid colours - black, blue and grey. That is not the case anymore. There has been an evolution in terms of the design and innerwear has now become colourful, with prints, abstract designs and logos.
While the brand is available on all major e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart and Myntra, the majority of sales still comes from its own website. The brand intends to continue to grow its own channel and pass on the benefit of being a D2C brand to its consumers by providing them with good quality products at affordable prices.
Launched in 2018 as an innerwear brand, DaMENSCH has also introduced T-shirts, hoodies and pyjamas for men. The brand now deals in categories like athleisure, sleepwear, winter wear as well as casual wear.
50% of the brand’s revenues come from innerwear and the remaining from other categories, inform Karthik. As per her, this is proof that once consumers latch on to a brand, it is easier for them to try other products.
The unbranded category isn’t a challenge for the brand, as it caters to a premium target audience. According to Karthik, the challenge for DaMENSCH is to move the consumers from popular pricing to premium pricing. Especially because for Indian consumers, value for money is important, when it comes to making a purchase.
“How does the brand get those consumers (the ones buying branded products) to try DaMENSCH’s quality products at a (slightly) premium price? Similarly, it is a challenge to convince the consumers of premium pricing products to try the brand's products that it provides at a much lower price. These two challenges are also avenues of growth for us,” says Karthik.