Published : May 14, 2019 04:20 AM
When a man in an ad showcases his machismo, is sweating profusely and beating up the bad guys, you can almost be sure it's an ad for vests. Most vests and innerwear ads for men bank on selling hyper-masculinity using film stars. The ads tend to project the star as desirable, strong and tough and sometimes the ads even have elements of humour.
In Lux Innerwear's annual company report for 2017-18, there are some interesting facts. The innerwear textile industry is expected to reach Rs 595 billion by 2023 at a 13 per cent CAGR. In the innerwear market, mid and economy-range products contribute 85-90 per cent of the market, generally consumed in small cities and rural areas. The latest entry into the innerwear segment is an innovation that claims to keep the user smelling fresh all summer, irrespective of how hot it gets. The product comes from Lux Cozi and is a range of scented vests.
Pradeep Todi, managing director, Lux Industries, said, "Lux Cozi is one of the largest market shareholders in the economy in the mid-segment of men's innerwear. As part of our core business strategy at Lux Industries, we are open to innovation in our product range. The introduction of scented vests within the fold of Lux Cozi will allow users to remain fresh throughout the day in the scorching summer heat. The scented vests are made from 100 per cent cotton to ensure breathability and freshness."
82.5 Communications was Lux Cozi's creative agency for the campaign and chairman and CCO, Sumanto Chattopadhyay, had this to say in a press release, "It's rare that a product idea proposed by an agency, finds its way to the market."
On the phone, Chattopadhyay clarified that the idea of a scented vest was something that came up during an informal brainstorming session with the client. "There was no brief; it was just an idea that came up. Many a time, people in agencies suggest product ideas, but the client, in the end, has to be able to implement it. They instantly felt it was something do-able and had market value. They worked on it for a few months and actually implemented it."
He also pointed out that in hindsight, the idea made sense because of the weather in a tropical country like India. "India is hot and sweaty and we all tend to start smelling in the heat. A scented vest is a solution because instead of the vest being soaked in sweat and starting to smell bad, it would smell good because it's scented."
Anuraag Khandelwal, ECD and creative Head, 82.5 Communications, said in a release, "Vests as a category, has almost always focused on style and comfort as its driving force. With this innovation, we wanted to change the way the country looks at this age-old garment while keeping it relevant to the needs of the everyday Indian."
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We asked a couple of industry experts what they thought of the ad. This is what they had to say...
Tarun Singh Chauhan, partner, TSC consulting, says, "Lux is a big and powerful brand. A product like a scented vest is something like white cement; it's as good as regular cement, but it's white. For a product like this the advertising around it is aimed to create top-of-mind recall and to keep the brand exciting. A real innovation would be to launch a product like an odour-free or odour-resistant vest instead of a scented or perfumed one."
KV Sridhar, founder and chief creative officer of Hyper Collective (a cross-disciplinary innovations company), says, "Brands like Lux Cozi and Rupa, unlike a Calvin Klein, are massy and celebrity endorsements play a significant role because of their popularity. They are sold in hosiery shops and the celebrity's picture also adorns the packaging. That's the market the brands are talking to and that's also why endorsements matter."
Sridhar explains that talking about fragrant products is far more believable when a detergent brand does it. "Let's say when you wash clothes with a scented detergent, they smell like Jasmine. Now, talking of a scented vest, how long would the fragrance last when it's washed with a fragrant detergent? People may not take the claim very seriously," he explains.
"When it comes to undergarments, it's all about fit and comfort and that's why people stick to their brand of choice. It's another commodity with little differentiation across brands. The sellers will push the brand that provides the highest profit margin. So, brands need to provide handles to consumers. A new celebrity is a handle, new advertising is a handle, so is new product differentiation. Such a product will at least create some curiosity and consideration for the brand. Post that, it's all about product performance; the scent may last a day or a month," Sridhar signs off.
Communications Agency: 82.5 Communications (formerly known as Soho Square, an Ogilvy Group company)
Chairman and Chief Creative Officer: Sumanto Chattopadhyay
Executive Creative Director and Creative Head (Mumbai): Anuraag Khandelwal
Chief Executive Officer: VS Srikanth
President (West): Samrat Bedi
Account Management: Selvam Somasundaram
Creative Team: Anuraag Khandelwal, Ankur Jain, Sanjay Ujawane, Vikrant Markal, Pawan Pandey, Tiyasha Ray
Production House: Yellow Beetle Films Director: Rohit Dhawan
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