Whenever I think of VIP luggage bags, the 2008 ad here featuring Shahid Kapoor comes immediately to mind. The ad was simple, well-executed and rolled the product & the celebrity equity of Shahid in one nice package. The ad brilliantly combined playfulness in the ad theme without once losing the focus on the product. Next came the lineage of ads featuring John Abraham. While John is a more glamorous brand ambassador, did VIP need someone glamorous to endorse their brand? To me, someone like Shahid is a better brand fit. The first misstep was here. The product was overshadowed by John (no offence to him. He is one my favourites). The ad here tells us that a bear-like unattractive person can immediately transform into John-like attractive simply with a switch in choice of luggage. I was thinking the very same ad would have worked with a switch of product from luggage to perfume, apparel or even a hair gel. I doubt whether it resulted in any significant jump in sales numbers or least of all, store walk-ins. I though was kicked with the idea of terming it ‘Skybags’. To me, it was an evolution of the mundane boring luggage. It was trendy, cool and keeping with the times. Now that was lost with the last ad theme. This time around, I was hopeful to see a better product positioning.
On the good note, what also catches attention are the trendy & fashionable designs on the luggage which is definitely a distinguishing factor. But overall, the ad was big let-down. What struck me first about the ad was did it really need a tacky theme? The same logic comes in again – use the same ad theme, same brand ambassador, replace the product. Would it have worked? I am guessing yes.
In comparison, the American Tourister campaign here was a much better campaign in terms of positioning, creativity and product focus. It didn’t even need a brand endorsement. Brand endorsement is vital and surely adds mileage to the brand but only when the fit is good and the association is planned long-term. The ad theme should use the celebrity as a carrier with the product always in focus. For example, I couldn’t imagine a better fit than Aamir for Tata Sky or Titan, Abhishek for Idea and Saif for Asian Paints. All through these ads, the celebrity factor were used brilliantly. Remember the 2008 launch ad here where Aamir dual-plays as a man & woman for Tata Sky? Now that’s what brands should aim at.
Last word: VIP as a brand enjoys an enviable equity in the market. It should leverage that in its ads with the right ambassador, a creative ad theme and a signature sign off.
- American Tourister – Survive the World (brands-india.com)