Last week, Titan Industries decided to revamp its flagship watch brand, Titan, with the intention of making it more youthful and relevant to the changing times. The brand, launched more than 24 years ago, has undergone a major repositioning exercise only once before – five years ago, when Hindi film actor Aamir Khan was appointed brand ambassador. What followed later was the ‘What’s Your Style?’ campaign, which tried to increase watch consumption per person, by suggesting the use of different watches for different occasions.
Now, Titan wants to move from style statements to personality statements. According to Harish Bhat, chief operating officer, watches, Titan Industries, a watch ought to denote the wearer’s mood and personality. “With the explosion of options in a person’s life, our core consumer is changing. And to keep up with them, Titan has evolved too,” he says. On the adoption of ‘Be More’, Bhat says that that statement is supposed to denote the aspirations of consumers to make more of their lives and be whatever they want to be. “The watch allows for such imaginative travels,” he says.Titan’s agency, Ogilvy India, has devised a campaign featuring Aamir Khan that encourages people to find a new strand of their personality every day. It all started with a logo change a few months ago (the same font in a red and white combination), followed by a campaign rolled out now.
The ad film opens on a shot of Aamir Khan sitting alone on a roller coaster, stating, ‘Be born every day’. Next, he is seen chasing the shadow of an aircraft on a beach, then, sitting beside a truck driver, in the middle of nowhere, with a trail of chassis trucks behind him. Here, he asks the viewers to try the adventure of getting off at an unknown station, of exploring unknown lands.As he crashes his vehicle while go-karting, Khan waves to the others around him, while his voiceover explains the importance of making one’s own mistakes. Further on, he talks of not making your passport photos last longer than three months – you need to constantly reinvent yourself and adopt a new look every day (cut to shots of Khan’s varied hairstyles and looks in his movies, shown in an ambient way through posters and T-shirts). “Shock your reflection!” says Khan, as we see him with funny accessories framing his face. The next vignette has him practising meditation while slyly checking out a girl walking past (‘Explore’). Cut to a shot of children, with Khan explaining how we aspired to be different people as kids – “let’s revive that aspiration today”. Wearing armour (sword and all), Khan reiterates, ‘Be Born, Every Day. Titan. Be More’. Malvika Mehra, group creative director, Ogilvy & Mather Bangalore, says, “‘Be More’ pushes people to live many lives in one. We want to trigger people into questioning, ‘Why should we be single minded and boring? Time to be multi-faceted, just like Titan!’”Khan fit the bill as Ogilvy borrowed from his own life and work and his need to constantly experiment and reinvent himself. “Be it Mangal Pandey or Lagaan or Dil Chahta Hai, Aamir always manages to look different in every role,” explains Mehra. “So we showed him doing things that were spontaneous, such as exploring places or go-karting.” The idea, simply put, is to live life to the fullest – with Titan being the instrument of such expressive liberation. The film was conceptualised by Mehra along with Amit Akali, Anil Thomas, Kunj Shah (who wrote the script) and N Ajesh of Ogilvy. In a sense, says Mehra, the spontaneity in the ad is an indication of Titan’s gradual shift from the old to the youthful (from ‘My Dad’s Brand’ to ‘My Brand’). “That is the way many categories are moving,” she says.
The ad was directed by Prasoon Pandey of Corcoise Films; this is Pandey’s third Titan film, the earlier two involved Khan and his assistant, played by the late Vihang Nayak. The first film had Khan confused about which watch to match with each outfit he’s packing before a trip, while the second film showed him delighting a girl in a mall with a watch. “This third film has a much stronger script than those two,” shrugs Pandey. “It’s about bringing a mindset onto the screen with a better celeb-brand marriage.”Shot entirely in Chennai, the film has been shot in a way that suggests that multiple locations were used for the shoot, as opposed to one city. “We had fast paced shots to spread the look of the film,” says Pandey. When asked why Chennai, he quips, “Because it was raining in Mumbai then!” Several layers were added to the film. To show the aspirations of children, a young girl was shown staring at an object and, later in the frame, you see the object is a butterfly – the girl wants to fly. “Kids are freer in their thinking than adults and we hope this has been portrayed,” Pandey says. Even the last frame of the ad, which has Khan dressed as a mock warrior (with an impromptu utensil serving as his helmet), was made to look like the man had made use of things lying nearby in a spontaneous way.
The music track for the film, composed by Pandey’s relative, music composer Dhruv Ghanekar (of upcoming Drona fame), is a lively, carnival number. “The film would have been too introspective otherwise,” says Pandey. “We wanted an extroverted film that gives people a high.” The truck sequence was Pandey’s creation: “As a child, I used to see these stylish men sitting on truck chassis with their bandanas fluttering in the air, looking like the Indian version of Wild, Wild West! It created a sense of adventure that I have always wanted to capture.” The team didn’t want it to look like a hitch-hiking sequence, so Khan was given a look that helped him blend with the rest and made to sit in the front part of the truck. Every visual is aimed at giving Khan an edgy, no-restrictions look. The passport photo sequence is borrowed from a real life insight that, often, we’re unhappy with the way passport photos turn out (no smiles, dull expressions and boring backgrounds). To show the meat in his words, Khan is shown in wacko avatars – with weird looking glasses and a broken tooth. “People are scared to try out the new for fear of what others will think. Titan and this film hope to eliminate that fear,” concludes Pandey.
6 months ago