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AdStand: Rise of Self, Be You

Naresh Gupta, Managing Partner & CSO, Bang in the Middle, writes that in the competitive world of fashion, it is unexplainable that a lot of the recent campaigns are a me too of the Jabong ad of last year

Delhi | November 17, 2015

Adstand by Naresh Gupta

Style is the new driver of the youth today. There is a big fashion movement that is blowing across India. People across income strata and demographics are spending time and money to get stylish. The rise of social media and the images they beam into the phone you hold is driving this movement further and deeper. We are seeing a fundamental change in consumer fashion trends, the work place is breaking the mould of ultra-formals, colleges are breaking the mould of ultra-casual; there is a new fashion consciousness on the rise.

Most fashion brands while realizing the new fashion wave crafted appeals that were not meant to be inward driven. Brands created appeals that were more about how the world sees those who are stylish (or unstylish). The appreciation that you get by being the epitome of style was the key in many brand messages.

Last year, Jabong used the same insight to launch a campaign that was driven inwards and that urged the audience to define their own fashion statement.

“This world has too many people living other people’s lives. Be real, be true, be yourself. Being yourself will never go out of fashion.” The campaign worked well, leapfrogged Jabong in the most fashionable brands listing of The Economic Times ahead of older established players.

The success of the campaign, or the use of the insight, triggered a host of campaigns with similar themes and same base line. In the competitive world of fashion where brands have to work hard to create differentiation, this is unexplainable.

Craftsvilla.com signed up with Kareena Kappor and launched an online beauty contest with the tagline “Believe in You”. The brand worked hard to create an event, signup a celebrity and then hand it over to a competitor.

It’s Myntra that did what can be called lazy. They launched a line with Deepika Padukone with the baseline “All About You”.  The campaign is inspired by the shift in popular culture where people are investing a lot more in themselves, but to craft it in language of a competitor is a bit of lazy marketing. Why would Myntra lend a hand to Jabong otherwise?

There is a new commercial just launched by Peter England. “Be Everything You Love” is the campaign inspired from the same insight of people investing more in themselves and doing things that excite them. Jabong did the same earlier this year with a series of commercials on how people chase their passions, about being a coder but also bringing dead tree to life, about telling stories through words and pictures, about wanting to be a film director and see stories everywhere. Peter England’s campaign is expansively mounted, the story is well told, even rubs the oldies in the interview panel in a cheeky way. But it somehow ends up replaying a competitor’s brand message. If only the brand had crafted the message a little more sharply.

The brand that has done this sharply and with a different tone of voice is LP Denim. LP Jeans’ “Born of Passion” is a series of stories on how people chased their passion and made a difference to their lives. They have leveraged the same popular culture trend that other brands have tapped into, and crafted a brand voice that is uniquely LP’s.

As it happens in advertising, insights are not unique, they are everywhere, but the brand voice is. When brands tap into a popular trend, it’s imperative that the brand also gives the trend a differentiated, ownable voice.

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