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'A watch, not a gizmo:' O&M's campaign for Titan's Juxt

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MUMBAI: From smart phones to smart watches, the gizmos are getting more and more compact. With increasing number of players like Apple, Samsung and Motorola and now Titan entering the smart-watch fray, campaigning for a new product in a market, which has already been impacted by other brands in the same category, is no doubt challenging. Therefore for the recently launched Titan Juxt smart watch, Ogilvy and Mather Bengaluru took the ‘not just a technological intrigue’ route when building awareness.

The Juxt ads don’t have flashy shots, text heavy screen explaining features, expensive locales, sexy models and difficult camera angles but resort to a simple laid back and nonchalant conversation between three friends - director Kabir Khan, music composer Pritam and actor Vir Das, which brings out why the new smart watch can become part of our lifestyle. The ads imply the fact that that besides being “stunning,” the Juxt watch is also “smart.”

With #SmartIsStunning being the core thought, the agency has released two TVCs, which sees the three familiar yet fresh faces getting into a banter where Juxt is mentioned in a matter fact manner that smartly brings out the need to adapt with technology.

“Smart watches brought to the market by tech companies have focused on technology. After the initial excitement of owning a tech loaded watch dies down, most consumers grapple with the role these watches play in their lives. Consumers still gravitate towards watches that are about craftsmanship and beauty. Herein was the big opportunity for Titan Juxt - a watch that bridges the gap between good looks and technology. The core thought was to make consumers evaluate smart watches on a new parameters of watch design and looks,” shares Ogilvy & Mather, Bangalore Senior vice president & head of advertising,Tithi Ghosh.

Aimed at the creative minded people -- and hence the choice of casting-- the agency wanted to reach out to those who realise the importance of staying networked in their professional and personal lives with a digital first approach.

“We looked at the world of the successful creative professionals who also have significant social presence and influence and chose Kabir Khan, Pritam and Vir Das. All three are hugely successful in their respective fields and would easily manage to start a conversation around Titan Juxt,” Ghosh points out.

Having said that, the Juxt smart watches are priced at the premium end of Titan’s product range.

Elaborating on the concept of Juxt as not just a gizmo but a timepiece, Ghosh further adds, “The next time a consumer is looking at a smart watch, he will certainly consider how desirable the watch is in its design aesthetics and the Titan Juxt also scores over competition in this respect. It is meant to be respected as a ‘watch’ and not a gizmo.”

But this very ‘by the way’ toned brand communication may be a hit or a miss with consumers, feel several creatives in the industry, who feel the new campaign for Juxt leaves something wanting.

“It’s a very Titan thing to do, this ad,” says a well known creative from the industry, who shares his take on the campaign on condition of anonymity.

“Without even seeing the credits I can tell it’s a Titan watch ad, and Ogilvy has done a very good job of tying this new product to Titan's essence. But is this a smart watch? I don't think so. The ‘matter of fact’ way in which the smart watch is introduced in the TVC is as if the brand is saying to the consumers: ‘We have a new watch out. Oh, and by the way, it is a smart watch.’ Judging by the campaign, I feel that the target market isn't the hardcore tech nerds who go gaga over new technology, nor is Titan competing with Apple and Google,” opines the creative.

“The ad doesn’t highlight the services that the smart watch can give, which my phone isn't already taking care of for me or why I need the smart features in the watch? While it would be unwise to comment without knowing the mandate for the campaign, but the ad takes a middle path when it comes to the target group -- watch lovers who may also like new features,” he further adds.

While Dentsu Aegis Network chairman & CEO South Asia Ashish Bhasin finds the advertisement informative enough about the new features, he feels the ad is a missed opportunity when it comes to upholding a product which is a first of sorts in the market.

“It is definitely the first time that an Indian watch maker has come out with a smart watch, but that doesn’t come through in the ad. So it's a bit of a missed opportunity because as a product Juxt is unique and therefore holds a huge scope that could have been capitalised upon better,” Bhasin opines. “I do feel it could have evoked an emotional connect with the consumers a little more. What I feel missing from the ad is the value addition to the product. The ad establishes the features but what doesthat do for the consumers?” Bhasin questions. 

“Despite the wave of headlines seen when several tech giants released their versions of smart watches, India as a market is yet to see a tidal wave in demand for the products, which hints at a need for an ‘X factor’ that the tech companies haven’t catered to. Titan as a watchmaker is armed with an understanding of the watch buyers in the market, which gives them an advantage,” observes Ghosh.

Whether Titan’s old world charm will work for a contemporary product like Juxt, or the brand will have to come up with a new strategy, only time will tell. That said, the #SmartIsStunning campaign definitely joins the ranks of brands with innovative campaigns from the brand - agency association.

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