Seagram’s Imperial Blue rolls out new ‘men will be men’ ads

Made by Ogilvy and Mather, Seagram’s Imperial Blue has rolled out three new television spots


A still from one of Seagram’s Imperial Blue ad.
A still from one of Seagram’s Imperial Blue ad.

New Delhi: “Men will be men”, a 19-year old tagline associated with Pernod Ricard’s (the holding company for Seagram’s distilled brewery business) whisky brand Imperial Blue is back in a set of new campaign. Made by Ogilvy and Mather, the brand has rolled out three new television spots.

The first ad features two colleagues curiously looking at each other as they listen to the sound of the footsteps across the hall. As one of them peeps out of the cubicle, his hope is doused as he sees a male colleague walking across the bay. The second spot features a young man trying to woo his date by playing classical music in his car but as soon as he drops the lady home, he switches to a Punjabi bhangra number. The last commercial shows a young man offering his aisle airplane seat to a beautiful young woman only to realize eventually that her grandfather will sit next to him.

“We constantly try to find nicer insights which people have not thought of but they instantly relate to it once it is being depicted in a campaign. Our objective is to make these as engaging as possible. Men will be men tagline along with the signature two-line ghazal is the strongest branding for Imperial Blue,” said Ajay Gahlaut, executive creative director, Ogilvy Group of Companies, who is also behind the popular two-line ghazal, “Pyaar ki raah mein chalna seekh, ishq ki chaah mein jalna seekh.”

Seagram’s Imperial Blue was launched in 1997. It targets male consumers between 25 and 35 years of age. A blended whisky, Seagram Imperial Blue combines Indian grain spirits with imported single malts. It is available in sizes of 1 litre, 75cl, 37.5cl, 18cl and 9cl and competes with brands such as United Spirits Mc Dowells Green Label Whisky, Bagpiper, Haywards Fine and Directors Special, among others.

The company declined to comment on the story.

Talking about the ads, Shilov Mani, senior vice-president, The Social Street, noted that the tone of the campaign reaches out to the right group of consumers with its tongue-in-cheek humour and catchy ghazal.

“It’s a good take on the overall strategy, and nicely brings out the ‘been there’ reaction from most men. When you watch these ads along with a woman, you can almost hear the eyes roll,” he said.

However, he added that although popular, the ads lack brand connect.

“Granted, it is a surrogate ad, but where does it fit specifically with the brand Imperial Blue? Also, the ‘Men will be men’ ads, while they are still fun, they become slightly repetitive, there is no sense of surprise anymore. I think the brand would benefit from pushing these ads further, the premises need to be changed or refreshed, to enhance the intrigue,” he explained.

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