India is set to become the youngest country by 2020 and marketers are aware of this new emerging consumer set. This is the reason why most campaigns today want to target the youth. The best place to target them is to be where the youth is - which is on the social networks. But the sad part is that brands commit to connect with youth only on company press releases. In reality either they are not bothered or are running thesame old contest and tagging campaigns on social media.
Ecommerce brand Jabong did the same thing during the ‘Be You’ campaign. The brand launched three TVCs stating that these are stories of individuals who appreciate who they are in regular life. While the objective of the brand was to tell stories the brand opted to feature models in the stories, rather than telling inspiring stories of today’ youth. To add to it - the brand had no digital strategy to connect with the youth!
The latest brand to follow the road is Arrow, the apparel brand from Arvind Lifestyle. Arrow, which has always been synonymous with ‘Professionalism’, a term which in the past seemed to have certain rules to abide by is trying to break them and challenge them in its new campaign. Titled as ‘The Bold New Professional’, it celebrates the changing face of professionalism by targeting the youth who are breaking conventions and re-writing the rules of success.
Interestingly, Arrow has no intention to converse or connect with the youth on social media for the ongoing campaign.
At the heart of the campaign, Arrow has come up with an international feel TVC designed and conceptualized by Karishma Lintas and produced by Sniper Films. The TVC shows a young and successful executive who speaks about how the bold new professional does not need corner cabins or fancy sounding designations to be successful. This changing work culture is reflected in the clothes the professionals wear and Arrow set out to celebrate the statement they are making. The ad ends with the executive stating: “Out with the old, in with the bold”.
The biggest challenge that Arrow is trying to overcome with this campaign is trying to shed the classy and mature look which doesn’t resonate with the youth. Moreover, on a product level Arrow has been looked upon as a formal wear brand. While it is a challenge, this campaign tries to position Arrow as a brand that is trendy and appropriate not only at work but outside work too.
According to the press note, the campaign spans television, print, outdoor, cinema and digital. While digital comes at the last, Arrow’s target audience, today’s youth is spending time on social networks or messaging apps. Interestingly, Arrow has no strong digital leg for ‘The Bold New Professional’ campaign.
Apart from uploading the ad on YouTube and promoting on its social networking channels such as Facebook and Twitter, the brand has no serious thought process on digital to connect and converse with the youth.
Arrow may argue that it has initiated conversations on Facebook such as - “Ever wanted to have your buddies work with you? Tell us in the comment section what kind of work you would like to perform with them and why. #BoldNewProfessional.” and conversations like - “Tell us in the comment section which decision became a turning point in your career. #BoldNewProfessional ” are simply half-hearted attempts.
Twitter is a dead place with the brand just sharing YouTube videos and the same content it is sharing on Facebook.
With such a lacklustre digital effort, wonder how would the brand break the notion of classy and mature. Arrow needs a digital strategy makeover if it really wants to connect with the youth. Strategies like having a TVC with international feel just won’t work, specially when the target audience does not buy advertising.