New Delhi: Only Vimal, the textile brand owned by Reliance Industries Ltd, has returned to television advertising after eight long years as the company prepares itself to connect with young consumers. Created by IBD, an advertising agency owned by Percept Hakuhodo, the ads continue with the tagline ‘Only Vimal’ in its series of three television campaigns.
The TV commercials cast the brand’s new-age fabric as the hero which caters to the needs of new-age consumers. Shot in London, featuring foreign models, the ads showcase the three ranges of fabric material including anti-dust (Protector ), anti-microbial (Deo2 ) and anti-wrinkle (D-Creased ).
Dressed in Only Vimal suiting, the young model in the ads is featured juggling work, travelling through dusty roads and racing against time to keep appointments. While his contemporaries struggle to keep up appearances, Only Vimal suiting helps him to be at his dapper best.
Vivek Mehta, head-marketing, RIL (Textiles), said in an official statement, “IBD has successfully created an aura for Only Vimal and delivered a differentiated brand story through outstanding creative work, we are very happy with the campaign outcome.”
Only Vimal was started by Reliance founder Dhirubhai Ambani after first building a textile plant at Naroda (Ahmedabad) in 1966. The brand dominated advertising space in the 1980s and 90s with ad campaigns featuring top models, Bollywood actors as well as international cricketers such as former Australian captain Allan Border and West Indian batsman Vivian Richards.
By the early 1990s, Only Vimal became a formidable player in suiting, shirting, sarees, home textiles and dress materials.
However, the entry of Reid & Taylor, Raymond, Siyaram’s and others dented the brand’s market share and popularity.
In the last few years, there seems to be a greater focus on reviving Only Vimal’s suiting portfolio. Apart from innovating the product portfolio, the firm is spending heavily to attract eyeballs, especially the young consumers.
The recent brand campaign aims to make Only Vimal aspirational and relevant to today’s youth, said Rahul Gupta, managing director, IBD India Pvt. Ltd.
“The campaign for Only Vimal is re-staging of an iconic brand. We are trying to position the brand as a fashionable, innovative and technologically superior brand for the young trendsetter. The idea is to rekindle the appeal amongst new age Indians as well as increase the visibility across the country and spread awareness about innovative products,” Gupta said, adding the brand’s key challenges include lack of good tailors, unorganized players and the duplication of goods under Only Vimal brand name.
The series of new ads target male consumers between 25-45 years from the middle-to-higher income groups. The brand’s annual advertising media plan across TV, print, out-of-home, cinema and digital is estimated at about Rs.35 crore.
Currently, Only Vimal is available through a chain of about 200 wholesalers catering to over 10,000 multi-brand outlets (MBOs) as well as 250 exclusive brand outlets (EBOs) across the country. The brand has a small presence on e-commerce sites with limited products on platforms such as Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon India, among others, which it plans to grow.
Advertising veteran and president of the Advertising Agencies Association of India, M.G. Parameswaran, noted that the latest series of Only Vimal TVCs are strongly product-feature-based and are bordering on hard-sell.
“The aspirational appeal has been left to the locale and casting. That said, it is good to see the category suitings coming back on TV with one more large national player becoming active. I wonder if these efforts will actually result in a greater uptake of bespoke suits and jackets. That is left to be seen,” he added.
Noting that there is a demand, although not in double digits, Pragya Singh, vice-president of retail and consumer products at retail consultancy Technopak, said that the men’s suiting market (suits, coats and safari suits) stood at Rs.5,310 crore in 2015. Growing at compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3%, it includes both ready-to-wear and ready-to-stitch segment.
“India is a young country and will continue to remain so in the next decade. Hence, the brand is trying to play the young and aspirational card while highlighting the functional features of the fabric. If you want to connect with new-age consumers, you have to hinge the communication around comfort and being trendy,” she said.
Singh believes that casualization of the workplace dress code has created immense demand for readymade garments such as trousers and shirts. But there is still a premium segment which is particular about fitting and cuts and likes to get suits tailor-made.
“People do tend to invest in a good suit,” Singh said, adding that Only Vimal must define its marketing objective to stay in the game for longer run.