REVIEWER: SOUMITRA KARNIK

The national creative director at Dentsu India Group, Soumitra Karnik has previously worked on Pepsi’s Youngistaan campaign, Canon’s What Makes You Click campaign and Slice’s Aamsutra, among others.

Campaign

The ad campaign by Jack in the Box Worldwide for FabAlley, an online fashion retailer, stresses the need to “unfollow". The films feature stand-up comedienne Radhika Vaz ranting about how various fashion trends are uncomfortable and one need not follow them blindly. In one ad, titled What The F**C Should I Wear?, Vaz is standing on a stage naked, the nudity blurred out, and addressing the one problem most women face every morning—what they should wear. She talks about the exhausting pressure of following the rules set by the fashion police—look “effortlessly chic", dress according to your “body type", which is determined by various quizzes in fashion magazines, and think about the image you want to portray. Vaz ends her rant with the ad’s tag line: I choose to unfollow.

What are your first thoughts on the ad?

I feel that the ad did the job of disruption. Even after trying to thread the logic on why anyone would do this, the only point I understood was that it’s a clothing e-tailer so the person (is) without any clothes on. That was as much disruption as I could understand. However, hats off to Radhika for being a part of someone wanting to do something different.

What would you have done differently?

After I saw the ad, I went to their website and saw the display counterparts of this campaign. It very strongly reminded me of Diesel’s Be Stupid campaign. If your tag line is “unfollow", then why on earth would you follow another brand’s very successful ad campaign? I would have demanded from the client that their product deliver on the unfollow/rebel route. The clothes, however, are as normal as any other clothing brand present in the country.

Is the theme of being a rebel becoming a cliché with brands?

I think so because the theme “unfollow" is ingrained in the DNA of every youngster. The theory of unfollow does not apply because every individual now has his own distinct and unique style as well as opinion on things.

Any international ad in the online fashion retailer segment that has stayed with you?

Every Harvey Nichols campaign. It consistently surprises me with very insightful work. Even the Diesel Be Stupid campaign, while it is witty and cheeky, it’s truly inspirational by trying to tell us stupid is the new smart.​

As told to Vidhi Choudhary.

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