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Raymond makes the sui-dhaaga cool again

By Aishwarya Ramesh , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising
Published : February 05, 2019 06:06 AM
In its latest ads, Raymond tries to get men to opt for tailor-made suits. Will it work in the era of fast fashion?

Take the complete man out of his suit and what is he? Well, he's still the owner of a well-tailored Raymond suit. Raymond's new campaign titled "Tailor Your Style" is a modern take on the age-old art of custom stitching the perfect suit. We're told that tailoring is one of Raymond's biggest services and they have big plans on how to take this service and make it appealing across the board. We caught up with Mayuresh Dubhashi, Executive Creative Director at Grey Worldwide to know more.

"The brief of the campaign was to make tailoring a choice again. In the world of fast-fashion with Myntra, Jabong etc., it's more RTW (Ready to Wear). The actual prowess of tailoring is a massive amount of customisation - the sheer number of possibilities when it comes to styling even basic pieces. In no way are we trying to replace RTW, that's a whole different market."

He also addresses the convenience of getting a suit stitched. "With Raymond's tailoring hub, you just have to log in, book an appointment and the stylist comes to your home, takes your measurements to makes the perfect suit," he explains.

Mayuresh Dubhashi Mayuresh Dubhashi

Rajeev Raja Rajeev Raja

"While looking at how best to present tailoring, one thing that we agreed on was that the act of tailoring is an art in itself. If you look at a foot on the pedal of a sewing machine, it looks like the foot on a drum pedal. The (sewing) threads look like the strings on a fretboard...," says Dubhashi. And indeed, it's the music that maketh the ad as brand Musiq, a sonic branding company, does all of the music for brand Raymond.

"We started working on the concept before shooting because the music had to be conceived first for it to sync. We worked very closely with the creative team at Grey as well as the director to understand the mood of the film, the approach and the idea. Music is not an afterthought; we're part of the process on every commercial from the storyboard stage onward to understand the mood and what the creative idea is so we can work on sounds that'll be different and retain the 'thread' of consistency," Says Rajeev Raja, founder of Brand Musiq.

We asked industry experts for their take in the ads...

Siddhant Lahiri, head - strategic planning, Rediffusion

Siddhant Lahiri Siddhant Lahiri

For most of India, a suit is the gold standard of haute couture for men. However, in recent times, there seems to have been a shift towards readymade suits, especially in metros. The idea seems to make custom stitching look so cool and glamorous that an 'off-the-rack' garment appears positively dull by comparison. It is possible that Raymond's traditional audience has moved towards readymade suits - and this is an effort to make them re-think of custom stitching.

I wish the strategy had introspected a little more on the reasons why people moved away from custom stitching. My assumption, without any data, is that they may have to do with convenience and affordability. If that is the case, then making custom stitching more glamorous and aspirational is not the answer. The problem isn't the imagery - so, trying to solve it by dialling up the imagery, seems a little odd.

ALSO READ: "I believe in simple, clear creative briefs": Madhu S Dutta, Raymond

My bigger worry would be a cannibalisation of their own readymade range. However, they are not necessarily saying that custom tailoring is the only way to go - this is not a competitive stance.

I don't see competition from e-tailers because their customers are driven by cost. However, it may be able to lure premium customers who can afford it. And those looking for that one fine suit for, perhaps a wedding will certainly find it attractive.

Ruchita Zambre, Senior creative director at What's Your Problem

Ruchita Zambre Ruchita Zambre

It's a very functional strategy to show a range in tailor-made clothes. Raymond has always stood for the best quality cloth and perfectly stitched suits. It definitely feels like the brand intends to retain that image and lure newbies into the trend of custom-made garments. I think it is the feeling of wearing a 'perfectly stitched suit' that can connect with today's youth more than selling products in such a blasé manner. Brands like Raymond should not even try to beat the trends of Myntra, Jabong etc. Its apples and oranges! Raymond has its own fan following and to extend that to the younger audience, they need to change their mindset towards customised fashion.

Megha Sadhwani, senior vice president, Dentsu Impact

Raymond's offering of customised tailoring is known to everyone. However, the brand probably started being seen as mature and old-school and thus, not very relevant for the millennials. With this campaign, it seems that the brand is trying to contemporise itself and make it relevant for today's audience. Raymond's offering of stitched suits is relevant as people today are clear about their personal style statement. Customisation is what should help the brand against other players. The execution is young and fresh (I love the music treatment) and would surely make one look at the brand as well as the offering differently. However, it would have been even nicer had they capitalised on a strong insight and showcased a lifestyle angle, rather than pure functionality.

For feedback/comments, please write to newsteam@afaqs.com

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