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Raymond shows that Black is Back

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MUMBAI: In every man's wardrobe, his suits have a special place. They are nicely dry-cleaned, neatly hung and are properly matched with accessories from top to bottom. There is an extremely high possibility that in every man’s wardrobe, at least one of the suits (if not all) is a Raymond suit.

Incorporated in 1925, Raymond has always been known for its ‘the complete man’ tagline. However, sensing that the consumer has evolved and the market conditions have changed significantly, the brand hasn't used the tagline in its communication since late 2015. Raymond has now adapted a new way of communicating with the audience with refreshed ads that don’t speak about being the perfect, sensitive, caring man anymore but talk more about dressing up for all occasions (summers, autumn) and being comfortable in what you wear and being a go-getter.

In its latest campaign, to push the boundaries/perception of black colour, Raymond has introduced its all-black collection with a film that’s quite unlike any fashion film you’ve ever seen. The 75-second online film is a poetic ode to black fabric that’s deep, raw and surprising with an unexpected revelation in the end. Raymond’s new collection is perhaps the most comprehensive range of black suiting fabric that’s ever been launched, with over 1000 styles that challenge the notion that black is uni-dimensional and boxed up.

Created by GreyWorldwide, the film delves into the versatility of black with slick fashion colliding with a narrative that’s just as intriguing as it is lyrical. The narrative has a consistent progression, building human attributes into the colour black and leading up to a striking touch of authenticity in the end.

The TVC features Jugpreet Bajwa, an Indo-Canadian singer and writer who’s visually impaired since the age of six months, talking about why black has more hues than one can imagine. It is this realisation — that the film is a visually impaired person’s interpretation of black - which makes it go beyond the domain of fictitious, glorified fashion and into a real journey inside the narrator’s mind.

Raymond head of marketing Madhu Dutta says, “People tend to take the colour black for granted as it is one of the most common colours and hence it's difficult to create a communication for such a product.”

It took two and a half months for the brand and agency to get the casting right as it was an extremely special campaign for Raymond. Dutta mentions, “We made it very clear to the agency that the casting is very important as we want to talk about the entire narrative through the lens of somebody who understands and has different vocabulary about what black is. We didn’t want to just pick up somebody and ask him to pretend to be a blind man as it would make the entire communication very frivolous.”

Raymond will use a 360-degree marketing strategy for the campaign and it will run across television, digital, on-ground activation and OOH. The company will also leverage influencer marketing and cinema-advertising to promote the whole campaign.

Although Dutta didn’t wish to reveal the allocated budget for campaign, she did mention that this is an important campaign for Raymond as it is not just a product advertisement but highlights the entire black collection from the house of Raymond.

It is also learnt that there will be other initiatives in the next few months around the black theme which might not necessarily be on television.

Typically, for the brand, advertising expenditure on television is always higher than other platforms and since Raymond’s target audience is male, television plays an important role in the media mix. The brand usually divides its ad spends between news, sports and infotainment channels on television.

Today, when print and magazine shares are dying considerably, Raymond continues to consider it a good investment. Dutta says, “Fashion and lifestyle magazines are very important for us as we have premium consumers that like to look best. We also have our own editorial pieces in magazines about fashion and dressing up.”

Although the brand faces stiff competition from Van Heusen, Blackberrys, Arrow and Louis Philippe in the space, Raymond still commands a major share in the market. The brand is one of India's, and the world's, leading producers of worsted fabrics, claiming around 60 per cent of the Indian worsted suiting market and has a retail network of over 1000 stores across 400 towns in India.

Going forward, Raymond's endeavour will be to focus on full wardrobe collection and accessories. The brand already has shoes, ties, socks, pocket squares and leather accessories including wallets and laptop bags along with suiting and shirting portfolio.

Lately a fair share of women are increasingly buying formal wear but Raymond does not plan on launching women’s ready to wear collection anytime soon.

Raymond is a major supplier to the global textile industry and provides fabrics and ready-to-wear garments to more than 50 countries, including Middle East, North America, Europe and Japan.

Also Read :

Raymond undertakes employee engagement program

FabIndia sets aside 40% on digital advertising

Competing with consumer activities not brands: Kingfisher's Sheikhawat

Cinema advertising begins to take centre stage

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