"Not because they're not talented! It's because they don't think like men," clarifies the witty adman.
19 years back Ogilvy & Mather cracked a tagline which in a way is true, 'Men Will Be Men' for Pernod Ricard's 'Music CDs' brand - Seagram's Imperial Blue. The brand came up with its first TVC in 1999 and has been advertising on TV and other multimedia platforms with the famous tagline. The ads made by Ogilvy & Mather are funny and relatable that it focuses on how men actually think.
The brand's primary target audience comprises men across all age groups.
About the now famous ghazal he says, "I have written the ghazal 'Pyaar Ki Rah Me Chalna Seekh'. It is just two lines but the fun part is people have just loved those two lines and they search for the song and they have discussion forums. This year I am going to complete the song and will launch it."
The other two ads too, have insights from real life incidents, says Gahlaut. "Every ad that we have done resonates with real life incidents. For instance, the aircraft ad could have happened to any guy. Right from adolescence, boys dream of a really good-looking and sexy woman sharing space with them and it never happens. It just never happens. You only keep dreaming about it. It is a very male thing that all men will relate to."
Interestingly, most of the ads under the 'Men Will Be Men' campaign make fun of men and the way they think without showing them in negative light. About the challenge, Gahlaut says, "The challenge lies in treading the correct path and that comes from having done this for so long. So you know this territory is nice and will get people to smile and laugh without offending anyone."
What about offending the womenfolk? "You got to be very careful," he warns, adding, "The idea is to keep it tongue-in-cheek but stay away from being sexist and offensive.. The richness lies in the territory that makes them entertaining so that even women love the 'Men Will Be Men' campaign."
According to Gahlaut, only a man can write the best Imperial Blue film. He says, the best Imperial Blue films are those where the woman gets a little upset and a woman cannot write these. "Not because they are not talented enough but because they are women and they don't think like men. Hence 'Men Will Be Men'," guffaws the adman.
We asked Gahlaut about whether the 'Men Will Be Men' tagline is too strong and whether it overshadows Imperial Blue as a brand.
He says, "There is always the risk. People remember what they are interested in and what they are engaged by. They remember the song because they are entertained by it and identify with the story. It is not like nobody remembers Imperial Blue. It is just that a lot of people remember and some people don't but that's a risk with any brand. There are a lot of ads which people say "Acha hai par kiska hai yaad nahi" (Nice ad but don't remember the brand). We try and make sure that we guard against that but you will never get 100 per cent. With Imperial Blue I haven't found it to be that much of a problem."
Talking about Imperial Blue's positioning compared to other brands in this category, Gahlaut opines, "Each brand in this space has a different character, it has a different price point, therefore it has a different target audience. As each brand has its own space, Imperial Blue has its own space in the category."
Time to show different shades of men
Pops adds, "The time has come for the brand to refresh the angle of portraying men as men because there are so many emotions they have. They can explore men not in just a sexist view but in the various emotions of a man."
"ICICI Prudential had done an ad Bande ache hain, which showcased the different shades of men," he remembers.