Samsung hits a master stroke: Gets Cricket's poster boys to set LIFW stage afire

NEW DELHI: It took the last show on day three to truly bring the Lakme India Fashion Week (LIFW) alive, as some unusual suspects- the poster boys of Indian cricket- set the ramp afire.

It was also this marketing master-stroke from Samsung India Electronics Limited (SIEL) that wrested the initiatives from others also clamoring to ride the fashion bandwagon.


BAJI ON THE RAMP: Harbhajan Singh

As Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh and Mohammed Kaif scorched the ramp- amidst whistle-blowing female fans in the audience- at the Samsung 'Spark the Night' show, it was quite apparent that the marketing and promotional activity had been well planned out. It was well received too.

As the girls in the audience (including some from the event management) shouted and lusted for more of the cricketers, who walked the ramp with a professional elan, the usual heavy duty supermodels like Jessie Randhawa, Sheetal Malhar and Noyonika Chatterjee almost faded into insignificance. Surprisingly, even Chatterjee's rare appearance in a live show could not fetch the model frat any applause.

Zaheer and Kaif even unbuttoned their jackets at the end of the walkway for shutter bugs. The model clan looked like props for the likes of Pathan, who could give any of the male models on the horizon a run for his money. Maybe, a run for the latest edition of Samsung cell phones.


The show, where cricketers flashed the flashy SGH-X600 handset, also marked the product's formal launch amidst a frat that believes in changing their mobile sets every two weeks, if not one.

No wonder, an elated top honcho of SIEL, R. Zutshi, said, "The cricketers were superb. One is sure the company would gain lot of mileage of this event." He could sense the effect that Team Samsung - even a handful of them - could have on Indians, which could all start getting reflected in the bottomlines of the company itself.

The show for which five leading fashion designers like Aparna Chandra, Rana Gill, Priyadarshini Rao and Shantanu-Nikhil, had come together to create club clothes based on various features of Samsung's latest offering, highlighted what a bit of innovation and adventurism could do for the promotion of a product.

In the end, as a regular to fashion week said, before dashing off to a party being hosted by Raymond's perfect man Gautam Singhania, "The cricketers really did bring life to the fashion week." Zutshi and gang at SIEL would be hoping that the support shown for the cricketers would also get translated into some business.

FLANNELLED FOOLS TURNED COOL DUDES? Men in white Mohd. Kaif, Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan and Zaheer Khan 'walk the walk' for Samsung.

The Samsung show could actually act as lessons on innovative promotional initiatives for many a people present at LIFW.

Take, for example, fashion designer Manish Arora, who unveiled yesterday some funky creations at another show at LIFW, but is loathe to talk about marketing aspects. Asked by indiantelevision whether he has thought of marketing himself properly or getting

corporatised, though he was planning to tap the global market, Arora said, "My forte is creativity. Marketing should be or could be done by others. I really haven't bothered about those things."

That's another reason why the fashion week, which may get a new event management company next time as IMG's contract is expiring this year, had to be brought alive by cricketers and is more of just showcasing of creativity (or lack of it) and less of an trade activity.

Quite a few designers are still unsure whether trade enqueries have been generated from foreign buyers, while some others like Arora said that they'd start concentrating on that business aspect once their

respective shows are over. By the time that happens, the buyers who would really matter - at the end of the day, how much can a limited set of Indians spend on such designer wear - may have actually left.

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required