In a first, Titan launches new campaign for fragrance brand in French

In a bid to ‘create intrigue’ and emphasise the ‘French connect’, the Titan commercial was initially aired without subtitles


A still from the Titan commercial for its fragrance brand Skinn.
A still from the Titan commercial for its fragrance brand Skinn.

Mumbai: In what is a first for the brand, and probably a first for the Indian advertising industry as well, Titan launched a new campaign for its fragrance brand Skinn, entirely in French. The television commercial was initially aired without subtitles, in a bid to “create intrigue” and emphasise the “French connect” said a statement from the company. And ends with a helpful tag line, “Skinn, born French” just in case you missed the point.

The ad showcases the playful and flirtatious banter between a young man and woman at a fragrance store. While the attire and the background score are French inspired; the voiceover is what unfalteringly delivers the #BornFrench message. There are many things to love about the French, but the elegance and charm with which they flirt is perhaps the most coveted of all, which is rightly captured in the ad film, said the company in a statement.

“With Skinn, we aim at making fine French fragrances accessible to men and women with our sweet price point. We have seen that perfumery as a category is well accepted among the young, contemporary and well-travelled audience. By showcasing a witty and flirtatious conversation in the ad film, we are appealing to a category of modern consumers who are confident in their own skin and celebrate the nuances of life. The film establishes the French connect of Skinn fragrances which are crafted by master perfumers and bottled in France, which is a testament to the products’ quality,” said Kalpana Rangamani, business head—fragrances, Titan in a statement.

What probably works for the brand is that the use of a foreign language helps it break through the clutter in a highly crowded category. “With this ad film in all French, we believe the brand will evoke the desired intrigue at launch, which will then be followed by a version with English subtitles on TV and online. It is a very bold and gutsy move by the brand to launch an ad film in a foreign language – a decision we are thrilled and excited about,” said Azaz Haque, executive creative director, Ogilvy and Mather, the agency that created it.

To be sure, such branding is fairly common among companies looking to associate with a country brand or borrow the values naturally associated with it. So it’s not uncommon to see brands use, languages, music, imagery usually associated with a certain country to create that aura of values around their brand. For instance, German auto maker Volkswagen AG uses the tag line “Das Auto”, meaning “the car” in German, to highlight the brand promise of German engineering. Foster’s lager uses the tag line “Australian for beer”. Retail coffee chain Barista uses Italian phrases on most of its packaging. And Cobra Beer used Indian imagery on its packaging and communication to stand out in the crowded British beer market. In this case the brand is looking to highlight the romance and sophistication associated with the French.

“It’s a clutter-breaking ad because of the language (French). Moreover, they have positioned themselves as a distinctive brand in the market. The French are known for their romance, poetry and sophistication and that comes through. The only thing off is the brand name – Skinn—the double n is a very local thing to do. They could have done better with something else. But other than that, the ad stands out,” said Titus Upputuru, national creative director, Dentsu Marcom, a Dentsu Aegis Network company.

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