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Biba changes the conversation again

Biba has launched a new digital film, conceptualised by Brandmovers, addressing the issue of dowry in India

Aanchal Kohli | Mumbai | March 16, 2016

Biba Click on the image to watch the TVC.

Biba, an ethnic apparel brand, has always been a pioneer in setting trends in ethnic wear. After its powerful message on gender prejudice in arranged marriages, it has come up with yet another gripping digital film on dowry, a social iniquity which is still prevalent in our society. The film was launched on the eve of International Women’s Day.

Even as the brand stands for changing mindsets in order to establish a forward-thinking society, its communication has also managed to show that change is always beautiful and better. The digital film is an impactful portrayal of the beauty which lies in embracing change and BIBA is undeniably going to strike yet another chord with this new film. As Biba heads towards not only pioneering innovations in ethnic wear, it is aiming to become the face of the modern Indian woman. This film is another step forward in that pursuit.

To get more insights, BestMediaInfo.com caught up with Siddharth Bindra, MD, Biba, and Suva Ghosh, Chief Creative Officer, Brandmovers.

The campaign:

The new film draws attention towards the mindset of the older generation, who still believe that dowry is the birthright of every groom on account of merely being a man. It showcases an average age couple who just have fixed a match for their son and a grandmother who still believes in seeking dowry. The reaction of the couple to this demand will leave the audience amused.

The film subtly talks about the change that is slowly occurring in the minds of people as they realize that deep-rooted practices like dowry are archaic in value and hold no relevance in today’s vastly progressive world. This change in attitude has not just transpired in the bride’s family but also in the groom’s family.

Bindra said, “After the tremendous success of our previous digital ad film where we addressed the issue of gender inequality in arranged marriages, we thought of taking this initiative to the next level. Our fans and followers contributed in brainstorming the idea #ChangeTheConversation, where we have highlighted the evil practice of dowry. The actual credit for this idea goes to our Facebook followers. After the first film’s release, we asked our followers to suggest the 'change' they want to see in society. Most women strongly voiced their opinion against the evil of dowry and we shaped this thought and here is the final result.”

“Biba always caters to women's fashion need and contributes to strengthen women's existence in our society. All of these defined our path in going forward with Change is beautiful series,” Bindra added.

Speaking about the idea, Ghosh said, “Following the unexpected success of the previous digital film for Biba under the ‘Change Is Beautiful’ series which addressed the issue of arranged marriages and the expectations that come with it, we at Brandmovers decided to keep the conversation flowing and take it to another level with the new digital film. #ChangeTheConversation was conceptualized with the idea of making a witty statement about a more serious social evil – dowry. The narrative set-up was similar to the earlier film and was relatable by most.”

The brand asked the agency to give an interesting twist to dowry while keeping the idea of ‘Change’ intact. The basic objective of the campaign is to address the serious issue of dowry without hurting anybody's sentiments and to leave a message for the society.

“The evil is so deeply rooted in our society that it has become a culture to follow. To bring about a shift in mindset, we had to introduce something which wouldn’t hurt age-old sentiments but make them go through an all-new transformation in a subtle yet effective way. As India is a secular country, in some religions dowry is decided at the time of marriage; we can't temper the beliefs of some religions. But we need to fill in such gaps, and that wa?s the big challenge,” Bindra added.

Responses and Challenges:

The film has been going viral on social media since the time it has been launched. So on asking about the response, Bindra said, “The #ChangeTheConversation campaign has already seen two million views. The video beautifully portrays the change that has already started. People are appreciating it; that means they are ready to accept the change. Dowry has long been outlawed in India. But the evil remained. Biba's step towards changing social and institutional perceptions about Indian marriage culture will swipe out all these evils.”

According to Ghosh, the major challenge that they faced while scripting and conceptualizing the campaign was to make a subtle yet effective statement about a subject as hard-hitting as dowry while at the same time making sure that they don't in any way trivialize the issue. The campaign clearly shows an ideological difference between contemporary and old-school thinking and through the help of humour manages to show the gaping holes in the dowry system.

Expert scorecard:

Naresh Gupta Naresh Gupta

Naresh Gupta, CEO, Bang In The Middle:

Biba gets it right this time around. Arranged marriage is a subject under huge scrutiny. There are auto brands that do play to the dowry market, that too overtly. It’s nice to see a women wear brand speak from women’s perspective. What I liked is that this time around they refrained from showing the usual boy meets girl kind of set-up, and went a lot deeper in their approach. They could have become activism oriented or even preachy, but they kept it conversational and matter of fact. That works for the brand.

Nisha Singhania Nisha Singhania

Nisha Singhania, Co-founder & Director, Infectious:

I feel the concept is dated. In today’s time and age even having a conversation on dowry is regressive. There are many, more relevant and current issues on women's empowerment that the brand could have taken.

Saurabh Dasgupta Saurabh Dasgupta

Saurabh Dasgupta, NCD, Innocean:

I think the idea is nice. From bespoke salwar suits to readymade couture is a big change. So celebrating change is definitely a good strategic direction for the brand. The execution is organic and small layers in storytelling add endearment for the viewers.

The TVC:



Client: Ekta Dutta

Brand: Biba

Creative agency: Brandmovers India

MD and CCO: Suvajyoti Ghosh

Account Director: UnniKrishnan Pillai

Account Management: Saurabh Sharma

Social Media Manager: Sreya Bose

Production Controller: Chetan Jhadav

Production house: Chalk and Cheese

Director: Ruchir Arun

Creative Producer: Achowe

Executive Producers: Zico & Neil

Cast: Sulbha Deshpande,Shirish Sharma,Sheeba Chaddha

DOP: Sylvester Fonseca

Production designer: Diya Mukherjea

Costume stylist: Indrakshi Ria Pattanaik

Makeup stylist: Deepak Surve

1st AD: Monica Sanghani

2nd AD: Ashoye

Line Producer: Manoj Singh

Production Manager: Avinash Nikam

Casting: Kavish Sinha

Post Producer: Nagesh

Post studio: After

Editor: Aniket

Online editor: Ritesh & Dev

Colorist: Nicola Gasparri

Music: Gaurav Chatterjee

Sound engineer: Prathmesh

Sound studio: Orbis


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