Break­ing Beauty Myths

Cel­e­brat­ing woman’s abil­ity to em­brace who she is.

The Brand Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - By Deep­ashree Ban­er­jee deep­ashree.ban­er­[email protected]

In the ad world, few brands have mas­tered the art of trim­ming their com­mu­ni­ca­tion with sharp, hard-hit­ting con­tent each time they de­cide to tell a tale on screen. Fewer still, if any, set over the fuss of the per­fect body im­age, at least in the In­dian ad space. Raga, Ti­tan’s watch brand for women, most cer­tainly de­serves men­tion in this con­text espe­cially with their new TVC crafted to cel­e­brate a woman’s abil­ity to em­brace who she is and the way she ac­cepts every bit of her­self. The new ad film for Ti­tan Raga is con­cep­tu­alised by Ogilvy.

The time also seems ripe for ques­tion­ing the con­ven­tional codes of beauty in the ad space as beauty is no longer about meet­ing a def­i­ni­tion set by so­ci­ety. Suparna Mitra, CMO, Ti­tan Watches, has this to say about the TVC, “We wanted a cam­paign or rather, a toast to the Raga woman who be­lieves that beauty is not an ideal, but a be­lief that starts with be­ing com­fort­able in one’s own skin.”

In­ter­est­ingly, the Raga propo­si­tion of ‘Khud se Naya Rishta’ has ear­lier lent it­self to em­pow­er­ing nar­ra­tives, keep­ing it real. A woman should wear her sup­posed ‘im­per­fec­tions’ with pride as it is a tes­ti­mo­nial of her per­se­ver­ance and sense of self.

At a time when there’s a con­sid­er­able amount of at­ten­tion given to body pos­i­tiv­ity glob­ally, the brand has our heart for do­ing its bit.

“Ti­tan Raga ‘I Am’, both in its prod­uct and com­mu­ni­ca­tion, is an ode to the beauty and re­silience be­hind ‘im­per­fec­tions’,” Mitra sums it up.

“Con­sumers have started de­mand­ing greater at­ten­tion to detail from prod­ucts. You can see that re­flected in our brand ex­pe­ri­ence, de­sign sto­ries and pre­mi­u­mi­sa­tion jour­ney,” she shares.


Be­ing in the busi­ness for some 30 years now, Ti­tan’s (orig­i­nally a joint ven­ture be­tween TATA Group and the Tamil Nadu In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion TIDCO) watch divi­sion has come a long way and has taken a timely leap from be­ing a watch­maker to be­com­ing a life­style com­pany hous­ing var­i­ous brands (one tar­get­ing youth - Fas­track and an­other tar­get­ing women - Raga). The com­pany ad­dressed the need to move be­yond por­tray­ing sen­sual re­al­ity to pay­ing at­ten­tion to the re­quire­ments of its evolv­ing con­sumers.

Cam­paigns such as ‘Her Life Her Choices’ in 2015, ques­tioned the so­ci­etal norm of get­ting mar­ried by a cer­tain age and ‘#BreakTheBias’ the fol­low­ing year, led a con­ver­sa­tion about the way so­ci­ety looks at a woman’s suc­cess. And in 2017, ‘#MomByChoice’ chal­lenged stereo­types around moth­er­hood.

Now, with ‘#Flaun­tYourFlaw’, which takes the con­ver­sa­tion for­ward, we also asked Mitra what made the brand (which man­aged to do some evoca­tive ad­ver­tis­ing in the past) tweak the for­mat, i.e. ditch a pop­u­lar face and fo­cus more on the reg­u­lar faces with real sto­ries be­hind them.

“Near-per­fect celebri­ties talk­ing about ‘#Flaun­tYourFlaw’ may seem akin to to­kenism; we wanted to take the essence of the cam­paign for­ward by cel­e­brat­ing every woman,” was her quick re­ply.

Shift­ing back to the ad­ver­tis­ing per­spec­tive, Mitra talks about as­sess­ing the dif­fer­ent me­dia ve­hi­cles (OOH, Dig­i­tal, TV) while park­ing me­dia money, “While our main­line con­tin­ues to build reach and salience, we find that dig­i­tal is re­ally help­ing us en­gage in con­ver­sa­tions like never be­fore. It has also given us a real-time pulse of what works.”


Aza­zul Haque, chief cre­ative of­fi­cer, Ogilvy South re­sponds, “We needed to cre­ate an ad that res­onated with the woman of to­day and it had to be about an ‘im­per­fec­tion’ that should em­power her and in­stil a sense of pride in her.”

Haque shares a glimpse from the brain­storm­ing phase, “We cracked the idea of ‘#Flaun­tYourFlaw’ and then the word ‘flaw’ was dis­cussed and de­bated... a lot. Fi­nally, we all agreed to go ahead with it, but once again, we faced a dead­lock be­cause these scars could not be su­per­fi­cial, they had to mean some­thing. We even­tu­ally con­cluded that it had to be about a scar or a flaw that a woman at­tained be­cause of a con­scious de­ci­sion she made.”

“The cast­ing was most im­por­tant in this film, get­ting faces that fit the role was paramount. Next was the writ­ing. We needed words that are pow­er­ful, yet po­etic; strong, yet beau­ti­ful. And then the music; the music had to cap­ture the mood of the film,” he re­calls.


Un­sung sur­vival tales are al­ways heart­en­ing to watch be­cause they con­nect with most of us (whether dark cir­cles or C-Sec­tion scars) who emerge as he­roes in our own way.

The scars/marks of a mother, a breast cancer sur­vivor, an army of­fi­cer or a per­former are all re­sults of achieve­ments rep­re­sent­ing hard work, tri­umph and passion. Su­nila Karir, founder and cre­ative part­ner, Bo­ing!, thinks the ad is spot on and re­frains from pick­ing a favourite. “Ac­tu­ally, in my mind, each story had a dif­fer­ent sur­vival tale, some ev­ery­day oc­cur­rences and some rare and life-chang­ing ones. No mat­ter how sim­ple or dif­fi­cult the strug­gle, they are all win­ning tales,” she rea­sons.

But when was the last time you spot­ted a flat chested woman be­ing part of an ad nar­ra­tive and get­ting ap­plauded as a war­rior even­tu­ally? Isn’t that the last thing to ex­pect in a main­stream In­dian ad for­mat?

In­de­pen­dent ad­ver­tis­ing and mar­ket­ing con­sul­tant Vibha De­sai finds it a brave ad that’s wellex­e­cuted. With re­gard to it stand­ing apart from the ar­ray of other ads de­pict­ing ‘beau­ti­ful peo­ple do­ing amaz­ing ac­tiv­i­ties’, she elab­o­rates, “When you set out to flaunt your flaws, as Ti­tan has cho­sen to do, what you end up do­ing is mak­ing ev­ery­one else look fake. The con­fi­dence de­picted by all the women coaxes all women view­ers to ac­cept and hold their head high, ir­re­spec­tive of their flaws.” ■

“Con­sumers have started de­mand­ing greater at­ten­tion to detail from prod­ucts. You can see that re­flected in our brand ex­pe­ri­ence and de­sign sto­ries.” SUPARNA MITRA

The new ad film for Ti­tan Raga is con­cep­tu­alised by Ogilvy.

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