Ashee Sharma
Digital

"Who you date is your business": TrulyMadly and All India Bakchod to single women

Vigyapanti's digital ad for the dating app has caught a fair amount of attention.

After the witty 'Creep Qawwali', All India Bakchod's advertising wing Vigyapanti is back with yet another digital video 'The Watchboyz Feat' for dating app TrulyMadly. As with all the brand's previous campaigns including 'Man Parade' and 'Boy Browsing', this little over four-minute video also tries to break the various barriers that discourage single women from dating online.

"Who you date is your business": TrulyMadly and All India Bakchod to single women
"Who you date is your business": TrulyMadly and All India Bakchod to single women
This time, it addresses the uneasiness of being judged through a hummable apology "Tu chahe..." of the 'Watchboyz', the 'know-it all' watchmen and Kamla Bai(s). After falling in love, these self-appointed spies realise they were wrong to complain and judge females who chose to date, and hence, decide to sing and rap for them.
"Who you date is your business": TrulyMadly and All India Bakchod to single women
"You can invite anyone to your home, you can smoke and drink, you can abuse, you can dry your 'Lingry' on the window....Who am I to judge you," goes the chorus.
"Who you date is your business": TrulyMadly and All India Bakchod to single women
What's more...the ad follows another dating app, TrulyMadly's competitor
which tried to Indianise the brand by getting elders involved. In the film, a mother pretty much gives her young daughter her blessing to go out and meet people through Tinder, thus positioning it like a near-matrimony app.
"Who you date is your business": TrulyMadly and All India Bakchod to single women
In sharp contrast is TrulyMadly's message to single women, 'be unapologetic and care not of anybody's approval'.

From women first to women only

"Who you date is your business": TrulyMadly and All India Bakchod to single women
In an
, Sachin Bhatia, CEO and co-founder, TrulyMadly, told us that the brand's TG comprises boys and girls in the age bracket of 18-34 years. But, curiously, all communication has been women-centric so far.

We asked experts what they make of TrulyMadly's strategy.

According to Samit Sinha, managing partner, Alchemist Brand Consulting, the ads, extolling the virtues of dating in various ways, are clearly aimed at getting girls to download the TrulyMadly app. While the 'Man Parade' talked of the variety of choice in boys, 'Boy Browsing' was about the serendipity of finding the right one. Creep Qawwali addressed the issue of keeping out the undesirable ones, and finally, the Watchboyz are urging girls to not bother about what others think of them dating.

"Who you date is your business": TrulyMadly and All India Bakchod to single women
"Who you date is your business": TrulyMadly and All India Bakchod to single women
"The success of the app is hinged on enough girls subscribing. Getting boys on it is easy, but considering our country's cultural and conservative milieu, the challenge lies in attracting a critical mass of girls. Even if the ads alienate males, I wouldn't worry about it as they will arrive in droves once the girls are on board," notes Sinha.

Kaustav Das, CEO, Ralph and Das, echoes a similar sentiment. Calling the strategy "brilliant", he adds, "Even if this fails to get a large number of females, it will get men registering in the hope that this is a dating app that will have lots of women users."

On the brand's media strategy, Sinha says, "I like the idea of an agency specialising only in advertising films for digital. Thoughts and executions on digital are not restricted by limitations that television imposes. The medium, being contextual, creates its own sensibilities as far as what is acceptable and what is offensive is concerned. Digital is almost always consumed privately, and therefore, the communication can push the boundaries of boldness and irreverence much more than on television without doing damage to the brand, provided it does not deviate from the brand's core identity and proposition."

On what Vigyapanti brings to TrulyMadly

While both Sinha and Das agree on Vigyapanti making the brand's communication more humorous, edgy, and entertaining, Sinha finds it somewhat superficial.

"It could have reflected deeper insights on what the barriers to dating really are from the point of view of the middle-class teenage Indian girl," he says, adding that girls who are ready and willing to date in India (as opposed to seeking a husband) comprise a minuscule fraction of the total population. This is a largely urban, affluent, and westernised phenomenon.

"The ads could have taken on some of those social influences to legitimise dating, rather than make it an act of rebellion. It would have given the brand wider traction," he suggests.

Differing slightly, Das says that for a transactional brand such as TrulyMadly, as long as the messaging can get more and more people to register and use the app, brand owners would be happy. "It's a real representation of young Indians wanting to break free and live their life their way," he points out.

The way forward

Refraining from dubbing the brand's communication irreverent, Das adds that TrulyMadly has the opportunity to build a real brand if it takes a consistent stand against "India's false sense of morality". He states, "The watchman execution is in the right direction. It remains to be seen whether they begin owning that stand or it is just a one off execution."

Sinha is sceptical though. "The brand does try to speak the language of what we with our urban, westernised sensibilities, imagine the Indian youth of today to be. But, we can't say how well the message connects with them as far as the target audience's ground realities are concerned," he remarks.