'Lighten up', urges the ad for the new entrant into the men's ethnic wear category.
The latest work from the house of Taproot Dentsu, (a dentsuMB company and the creative agency from dentsu India), is a campaign for Tasva, a new men’s ethnic wear brand created by Tarun Tahiliani & Aditya Birla Group.
The campaign is titled ‘Sada Mast Raho’, and at the beginning, it features a stiff newly-wed couple being directed by their photographers. As the ad progresses, we see him break into a song and encourage other guests to dance and loosen up too. Men’s fashion in India has come a long way owing to a plethora of boutique labels offering out-of-the-box and trendy looks, cuts and fits for men across western casual and formal wear.
Today, there is ample choice for men to pick from and make a statement or express themselves through fashion. However, when it comes to ready-to-wear wedding wear, they are limited in style, fits and quality. Besides, in India, the choice of the groom’s outfit is often a consensus between his mother, sister or bride-to-be, if not more. Often the grooms find their style and taste compromised and their expression confined when it comes to their wedding.
Titus Upputuru, Creative Head, Taproot Dentsu Gurgaon told afaqs that the brief that the team at Aditya Birla and Tarun Tahiliani gave the team is that they want to launch a new brand in Men’s ethnic wear category. "There was no name or anything. We just knew about the ambition. Thereafter, we spent a lot of time decoding the category and understanding men," he says.
He adds that there were several 'mad' and 'crazy' brain storming sessions. "I even sang in one of the meetings! We didn’t know we were heading in this mad direction. But once we cracked it, we knew, we hit gold and we just went with it with full conviction," he affirms.
One thing that's hard to miss about this campaign is that it breaks a lot of advertising codes when it comes to ethnic wear. Upputuru points out that it started with the product itself that Tahiliani had created.
"The fabrics, the cuts, the styles, everything defied the heavy, gaudy world of men’s ethnic wear. I was made to try the Tasva collection and the competition’s. As I slipped into the sherwanis, the achkans, the bandh galas and all, I not only saw the difference but felt the difference. For instance, the bandhgala was not ‘bandh’; there was room for the Adam’s apple. The fabrics were softer, the inner lining did not hurt. When your hand brushed against the garment, you didn’t go ouch. So we wanted to celebrate this freedom and that set us thinking," he explains.
Trying the products led the team to eventually realise that the reason why a man walked like a starched mannequin after wearing a sherwani is because of the garment itself - which offers no room for movement.
"We saw the competition and we saw some very serious images of Virat Kohli, Neil Nitin Mukesh, and many others standing upright with piercing looks as if they were out to save the world. We wanted to break that code. Also the usual ‘sada sukhi raho’ or ‘sada suhagan raho’ wishes during weddings seemed passe. Just because a guy gets married, it doesn’t mean he is suddenly becoming this very serious, matured man. The concept of ‘settling down’ with marriage is also so outdated," he signs off.
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