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Shazé urges people to join the rebellion against labels

Conceptualised by Grey Group, the campaign stresses that labels do more harm than good, and borrows from our current societal truth and shines light on the innumerable bans, protests, stereotypes that are imposed on us

Aanchal Kohli | Mumbai | October 5, 2015

Shaze Click on the image to watch the TVC.

Shazé, a premium lifestyle brand, has unveiled its new campaign that borrows from our current societal truth and shines light on the innumerable bans, protests, stereotypes that are imposed on us. It aims to address and give voice to the simmering discontent we’ve all been feeling.

Operating in the luxury and lifestyle space, for Shazé the initial task was to make its presence felt in a world that is otherwise dominated by labels. The insight identified was the fact that labels subsumed one’s identity, took away one’s sense of individuality and simply reduced one to being part of a herd. Hence, a call to join a rebellion against labels and the baseline ‘Join the Labellion’.

The campaign comes from the belief that labels do more harm than good. They suppress everything that is bold and fearless. As a society we’re better off without labels altogether. The campaign, therefore, speaks out against not just people who label, but against labels themselves.

Samrat Zaveri, Managing Director, Shazé, elaborated, “As a brand, it is important for us to stand for a purpose. Since we are about uniqueness in design, our purpose has been to stand out against the herd mentality relevant in our society. Taking this a notch above, we make a statement at a deeper societal level as a brand and speak out against labels that confine us into these small herds. As a fashion and lifestyle brand, being able to express freely is key. Through this campaign we want to bring to light the futility of labels and the growing need to stay true to ourselves and stand our own ground.”

Grey Group India, the agency behind the campaign, has used the digital platform to launch the film ‘Against Labels’, which talks about this need to rebel against a society that is constantly curbing our self-expression under the pretext of various labels and quickly pronounced harsh judgements. With the recent raid at a hotel in Madh Island, the ban on porn sites, on beef, the rage against open letters – the ad exposes the society we live in and the need to let ourselves be.

Dheeraj Sinha Dheeraj Sinha

Dheeraj Sinha, Chief Strategy Officer, Grey Group South & South East Asia, explained, “We are trying to bring together a sense of bold self-expression and fashionability – a space where you can speak your mind, and that’s a mark of fashionability. The mood of our times is such that brands need to have a point of view on what’s going on in the society. This allows us to root a fashion/ luxury brand such as Shazè into something deeper and meaningful. The line-up of Shazè adds to this uniqueness and sense of bold self-expression.”

The print/ outdoor campaign takes a slightly different cut. As a society, we are often too quick to judge and confine people to stereotypes, making us equally responsible for this repression of expression. What we don’t realise is that when we label, we become a label ourselves. When you call someone an outsider because they differ in their facial features, you’re allowing yourself to be prejudiced.

With its digital campaign, Grey got many of the influencers and opinion leaders to participate in this movement against labels. By striking the many labels in their own Twitter bios, they expressed their solidarity, urging people to do the same and ‘Join the Labellion’.

Commenting on the campaign, Sujala Martis, Vice-President and Business Head at Grey, said, “I think the timing for a campaign like this couldn’t be more right. At a societal level there has never been more stifling of expression and opinion. Also, from a cultural lens ours has forever been a country where we are more interested in what the neighbour is doing and how we can judge/ label that. It’s about time that this suppression is lost and boldness and fearlessness are celebrated for the virtues that they are.”

Does Shazé’s ‘Labellion’ work?

KV Sridhar KV Sridhar

KV Sridhar, Chief Creative Officer, SapientNitro India, found the campaign quite quirky and different, with a completely different point of view. He said, “I personally loved the attitude of the brand, therefore, a very different and impactful approach. In today’s world, it is really important for a brand to have a point of view and Shazé has taken a good stand.”

Saurabh Dasgupta Saurabh Dasgupta

Along similar lines, Saurabh Dasgupta, Chief Creative Officer, Innocean, said, “The advertisement seems to be quite interesting and different and this seems to be a good way to start with. The whole idea is to question the established ways of looking at something. It also questions the existence of advertising as advertising is also about labelling and branding. Overall, the campaign is thought provoking, unconventional and a brave move.”

Ajay Gahlaut Ajay Gahlaut

On a different note, Ajay Gahlaut, Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather, said, “The fact that Shazé is against labels is a noble thought. No quibble with that. The film is reasonably competently made too. But who are Shazé? And why are they against labels? These questions remain vexingly unanswered.”

According to Arijit Ray, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Paperboat Brandworks, “Although the video is nicely shot, the whole approach of going against the tide is not differentiated anymore. The industry has seen various cuts from ‘un-box’ to ‘anti-convention’ in various shades. Anti-label is another one in that series.”

He further said, “However, for a lesser known brand like Shazé it might be an interesting route to getting the right traction and visibility. Since consumers don’t evaluate advertising like practitioners such as us. If the product offering is good, things will fall in line. The longer term success will depend on how interestingly they can interpret Labellion going forward and how relevantly it can be contextualised to their product line.”

Nisha Singhania Nisha Singhania

Nisha Singhania, Director, Infectious, commented, “It is different, interesting and even bold. For a brand to go out there and take on topics that bother people, but are not openly discussed for the fear of the backlash, is refreshing. Its commentary on society and what’s wrong with it definitely participates in a debate that is ongoing in the country today. It had me interested and hooked till the end to see where the brand-connect would come in and then again when it says they are against labels, it made me go to the site and check it out. So, thumbs up from me on this communication. Bravo.”


OR Radhakrishnan OR Radhakrishnan

adhakrishnan OR, Executive Creative Director, Enormous, also felt that it was a good way to take a stand like this as quite a few people did not like labels or logos on their clothes. “These labels define an individual’s status and personality, thus giving a chance to others to judge an individual. If Shazé also has a thought of not putting labels on their brands, then I feel it is a great step and strong approach. Overall, the campaign has a broader approach and showcases the fact that this brand is rebellious and stands against wrong norms,” he added.

The TVC:



Company: Shazé Luxury Retail Pvt Ltd.

Client team:

Samrat Zaveri, Managing Director, Shazé

Shilpa Rathi, Head - Marketing & Public Relations

Namrata Bharti, Assistant Manager - Marketing

Vipul Arora, Head – E-commerce

Creative agency: Grey Group India

Creative team: Sandipan Bhattacharyya, Goral Ajmera, Sukanya Subramaniyan

Client Servicing team: Sujala Martis, Prithviraj Shetty, Alethea Dmello

Planning team: Dheeraj Sinha, Sonya Misquitta Films/ Grey

Works: Samir Chadha

Production House: Future East

Director: Ashim Ahluwalia

Producer: Priyanka Banga

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