Only Vimal returns to TV after 8 years

By Aditi Srivastava , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising
Last updated : September 15, 2016
Does the campaign cut it?

The first impression is the last impression, goes the old saying, and what better way to create it (be it in college, office, or elsewhere) than through one's sartorial choice? Hinged upon creating a distinct superior technology positioning in the men's wear category, Only Vimal, the iconic textile brand from Reliance has returned to television advertising with its latest campaign 'Man of Action' after a hiatus of eight long years!

Created and conceptualised by IBD, a Percept-Hakuhodo company, the campaign comprises of three television commercials (TVCs), which attempt to portray the fabric as the 'hero' in the eyes of the consumer.

Expressing his views on the latest campaign, Vivek Mehta, head -- marketing, Reliance Industries, (Textiles), says, "IBD has successfully created an aura for Only Vimal and delivered a differentiated brand story through outstanding creative work. We are very happy with the campaign outcome."

Vivek Mehta

Rahul Gupta

Titled 'Protector', 'DEO2', and 'D Creased', the three 30-second ads feature an international cast and crew, including a model who plays the protagonist, as well as the director of photography along with IBD, all of whom together shot the films in London over a period of three days. The brand has attempted to project itself as a technology-focussed one, inspired by today's youth. The Only Vimal 'Man of Action' juggles with ease multiple roles in everyday life with the help of the brand's unique products.

The TVCs will predominantly be visible across sports and general entertainment channels (GECs).

Commenting on the new campaign, Rahul Gupta, managing director, IBD, says, "Only Vimal carries a global aspiration, and the TVC stayed away from the clichés of portraying a man as attractive and successful. The fabric is the hero of the story, and the campaign effectively delivers Only Vimal's 'technologically superior' brand values. The campaign aims to create relevance with the modern-day life of people and build a completely different brand persona as compared to the other competing brands in the category."

The campaign presents the fabric as a combination of class, style, and sophistication for young achievers, targetting the Indian aspirational male across the country, particularly those within the age bracket of 22-35 years, who have just passed out of college and have taken up, or are in the process of taking up their first job.

When asked about the challenges of advertising on TV after a gap of eight years, Gupta says, "Over the years, the brand's equity had completely eroded, and hence, the challenge for us was to create a suitable imagery that our target group could connect with."

Interestingly, one can notice only limited in-office visuals of the protagonist while he's seen mostly outdoors. "Today's executives are always on-the-go, and few people like to just sit down and work in offices and want to look great and make a good impression even as they reach out to customers and clients while being dressed in formals," says Gupta.

Below is a list of Only Vimal ads through the years:

The ads from the 1970s to 1990s featured celebrities such as cricketers Ravi Shastri and Vivian Richards and actor Kabir Bedi; in the early 2000s, the ads focussed on featuring young men at work, leisure and beyond, making the right impression through superior fabric quality. The ads are listed in order as below.

Classy Enough?

Titus Upputuru, national creative director, Dentsu One, likes the fact that the brand has brought back the song. Commenting on the same, he says, "It's one of the most iconic melodies of our times. Perhaps, one of the rare instances when you have a song with just the brand name repeated and yet you don't feel you that you are being sold something."

But, do these ads make the cut in case of a comeback campaign?

Titus Upputuru

Damodaran Krishnan

"A lot of dynamics are at play when you launch a campaign, especially in the absence of using overt marketing tools such as advertising for a long period. The textile market, today, is facing a lot of challenges with even small town consumers moving towards readymades. Only Vimal may be trying to make itself relevant by showing distinctive product benefits while retaining certain lifestyle-related aspirations," says Upputuru.

From an execution standpoint, he feels that while in most categories, we have done away with the need to cast international models, fashion is still one sector where foreign models are often used. "Photographers and directors often say that international models, especially males, have the body and the body language that Indian men do not," says Upputuru, though he doesn't agree with that completely.

According to Damodaran Krishnan, group creative director, Cheil India, the ads do not make much for a comeback as 'they are but a pale shadow in front of the iconic Only Vimal ads that featured personalities such as Vivian Richards, Ravi Shastri, and Kabir Bedi. Moreover, Damodaran finds the current TVCs more feature-driven and trying a little too hard to sell.

Expressing his views on the execution, he adds, "From the casting to execution, the attempt is clearly to make sure the ads look a lot younger and cooler, which is also the reason for the choice of a foreign location (London). The attempt is to target the younger lot who are not tied down by rules and office spaces, hence the conspicuous absence of boardrooms. The international treatment adds a bit of spit and polish to the ads, but is not essential to the plot as in the Siyaram's ads which is all about 'coming back home to...'. I failed to see any specific idea in the ads especially when it is competing against Raymond and Siyaram's," says he.

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First Published : September 15, 2016


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