In the ad world, few brands have mastered the art of trimming their communication with sharp, hard-hitting content each time they decide to tell a tale on screen. Fewer still, if any, exemplify getting over the fuss of the perfect body image, at least in the Indian ad space. Raga, Titan's watch brand for women, most certainly deserves mention in this context especially with their new TVC crafted to celebrate a woman's ability to embrace who she is and the way she accepts every bit of herself. The new ad film for Titan Raga is conceptualised by Ogilvy.
The time also seems ripe for questioning the conventional codes of beauty in the ad space as beauty is no longer about meeting a definition set by society.
Suparna Mitra, CMO, Titan Watches, has this to say about the TVC, "We wanted a campaign or rather, a toast to the Raga woman who believes that beauty is not an ideal, but a belief that starts with being comfortable in one's own skin."
Interestingly, the Raga proposition of 'Khud se Naya Rishta' has earlier lent itself to empowering narratives, keeping it real. A woman should wear her scars/supposed 'imperfections' with pride as it is a testimonial of her perseverance and sense of self.
At a time when there's a considerable amount of (much awaited, indeed!) attention given to body positivity globally, the brand, hands down, has our heart for doing its bit of highlighting the non-superficial imperfections that were attained in the pursuit of a purpose.
"Titan Raga I Am, both in its product and communication, is an ode to the beauty and resilience behind 'imperfections'," Mitra sums it up.
"Consumers have started demanding greater attention to detail from products. You can see that reflected in our brand experience, design stories and premiumisation journey," she shares.
The brand's journey from style statements to personality statements:
Being in the business for some 30 years now, Titan's (originally a joint venture between TATA Group and the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation - TIDCO) watch division has come a long way and has taken a timely leap from being a watchmaker to becoming a lifestyle company housing various brands (one targeting youth - Fastrack and another targeting women - Raga). The company addressed the need to mmove beyond portraying sensual reality to paying attention to the requirements of its evolving consumers.
Campaigns like '#HerLifeHerChoices' in 2015, questioned the societal norm of getting married by a certain age and '#BreakTheBias' the following year, led a conversation about the way society looks at a woman's success. And in 2017, '#MomByChoice' challenged stereotypes around motherhood.
Now, with #FlauntYourFlaw, which takes the conversation forward, we also asked Mitra what made the brand (which managed to do some evocative advertising in the past) tweak the format, i.e. ditch a popular face and focus more on the regular faces with real stories behind them.
"Near-perfect celebrities talking about #FlauntYourFlaw may seem to akin to tokenism; we wanted to take the essence of the campaign forward by celebrating every woman," was her quick reply.
The fact is, historically, there has been a sense of 'correcting' or masking of the 'imperfections' that women are sensitive about as they are deeply personal and may affect their self-image and sense of femininity. In this regard, the brand, in this new campaign, chose a disparate set of stories that adds to the whole-women celebrating their own stories and feeling beautiful motif.
Shifting back to the advertising perspective, Mitra talks about assessing the different media vehicles (OOH, Digital, TV) while parking media money, "While our Mainline continues to build reach and salience, we find that Digital is really helping us engage in conversations like never before. It has also given us a real-time pulse of what works."
So, is it creatively satisfying?
Azazul Haque, chief creative officer, Ogilvy South responds, "We needed to create an ad that resonated with the woman of today and it had to be about an 'imperfection' that should empower her and instil a sense of pride."
Haque shares a glimpse of the brainstorming phase, "We cracked the idea of #FlauntYourFlaw and then the word "flaw" was discussed and debated... a lot. Finally, we all agreed to go ahead with it, but once again, we faced a deadlock because these scars could not be superficial, they had to mean something. We eventually concluded that it had to be about a scar or a flaw that a woman attained because of a conscious decision she made.
"The casting was most important in this film, getting faces that fit the role was paramount. Next was the writing. We needed words that are powerful, yet poetic; strong, yet beautiful. And then the music; the music had to capture the mood of the film," he recalls.
Unsung survival tales are always heartening to watch because they connect with most of us (whether dark circles or C-Section scars) who emerge as heroes in our own way.
The scars/marks of a mother, a breast cancer survivor, an army officer or a performer are all results of achievements representing hard work, triumph and passion. Sunila Karir, founder and creative partner, Boing!, thinks the ad is spot on and refrains from picking a favourite. "Actually, in my mind, each story had a different survival tale, some everyday occurrences and some rare and life-changing. No matter how simple or difficult the struggle, they are all winning tales," she reasons.
But when was the last time you spotted a flat chested woman being part of an ad narrative and getting applauded as a warrior eventually? Isn't that the last thing to expect in a mainstream Indian ad format?
Independent advertising and marketing consultant Vibha Desai finds it a brave ad that's well-executed. With regard to it standing apart from the array of other ads depicting 'beautiful people doing amazing activities', she elaborates, "When you set out to flaunt your flaws, as Titan has chosen to do, what you end up doing is making everyone else look fake. The confidence depicted by all the women coaxes all women viewers to accept and hold their head held high, irrespective of their flaws."
While she believes that all the situations in the ad work well, Desai personally likes the cancer survivor depiction the most. She agrees with our sentiment that there are, indeed, very few women who are comfortable showing their bodies post-treatment, let alone being featured in an ad.
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