The Economic Times
English EditionEnglish Editionहिन्दी
| E-Paper

    'Complete Man' advertising for Raymond, the oldest campaigns, still not too different


    Today there are other brands like Reid & Taylor and Siyaram in the space, but Raymond still commands a lion's share.

    In a man's wardrobe, his suits have a place. Nicely dry-cleaned, neatly hung and properly matched with accessories from top to bottom. So what are the chances that at least one of the suits (if not all) in the wardrobe is a Raymond suit? An extremely high probability in case of Indian men (excluding those high net worth guys who get their Polo Ralph Laurens and Giorgio Armanis from overseas).

    Sitting pretty on top of the Rs 1,600 crore worsted textiles market with 60% share, Raymond always had an imagery of being premium. Today there are other brands like Reid & Taylor and Siyaram in the space, but Raymond still commands a lion's share. The premium positioning also makes it aspirational, which is why Raymond has a wide variety of products across price points. From common man to the rich one,Raymond has a suit for all men.

    The Singhanias took over The Raymond Woollen Mills in 1940s, and the first exclusive retail showroom, King's Corner, opened in 1958 at Ballard Estate in Bombay. "Raymond was the first brand to start over-the-counter sales of suiting. Many of our retailers have been with us for a very long time and today are the third or fourth generation from the family," explains Aniruddha Deshmukh, president (FMCG & Textiles), Raymond Ltd. Today the brand boasts of 650 The Raymond Shops across India and 40 overseas. It is also available in around 20,000 multibrand outlets.

    Not much is known about the brand's advertising in the early years except that the late adman Frank Simoes created the first ads for Raymond. In the early 90s, Nexus Equity received the Raymond mandate. "Frank Simoes was doing great advertising for Raymond. All we had to do was continue the positive and take the brand forward in the new millennium," says Rajiv Agarwal, founder,Nexus Equity.

    Agarwal created 'The Complete Man' for Raymond, a metrosexual, caring, family man who was very different from the way men were portrayed in the 70s and 80s. "That was the angry young man era. But the Raymond man was softer, and every communication created showed the changes happening around the Alpha male," says Mrinmoy Mukherjee, director - marketing,Raymond.

    Thus the protagonist of Raymond was born — sometimes a caring father, at other times a doting husband or a sincere friend and,yes, always looking dapper in a crisply ironed Raymond suit. Some of the advertising made by Nexus even did away with the mandatory product shots in the ad and just concentrated on the man and his qualities.

    Agarwal says 'The Complete Man' came about because he wanted to create something that could "look at the brand over a decade’s horizon and still be relevant." Today, two decades later 'The Complete Man' lives on, and is now the mandate of R K Swamy BBDO.

    But there have been shifts. Shekhar Swamy, group CEO, RK Swamy BBDO says: "When we took over the advertising, the man was at the centre of all ads, the focus from clothes had moved. That was something missing." Thus the line 'Feels like Heaven…Feels like Raymond' was added to Raymond ads. "The fundamental idea was anchored in a basic human truth — that a man values his family so there was no need to change that at all," says Swamy. The current ad on air shows a tender interaction between a mother and son.
    Besides the man, another constant in all Raymond ads since the 90s has been the signature tune playing in the background. The absence of spoken words in the ad makes it easier for adaption to local TV channels without translation.

    The milieu for every Raymond ad is upper middle class. But despite its premium imagery Raymond has patrons across all social economic strata. "We have always taken care to not showcase Raymond as an elitist brand. Emotions and relations are the same across people and that is why the ads connect well," says Shailen Sohoni, COO, RK Swamy BBDO.

    The intent to cut across is also the reason why Raymond ads have never used a celebrity. RK Swamy BBDO has been handling the brand since 2002 and today has a team of 30 people working on it. While the team keeps changing the key people handling the brand have always remained the same. "This ensures that the core of the communication is always the same as well as there is freshness every time to the new execution," says Swamy.

    Like virtually every brand today,Raymond is also present on Facebook and uses the platform to connect with its customers. The 87-year-old brand does this by either putting up regular styling tips on its page or activities like the recently concluded model hunt.

    So what's the difference between the past campaigns and the current ones? "I distinctly remember the well dressed male campaign created by Frank (Simoes), it was brilliant advertising! It showed textiles in a very sophisticated and well designed manner," says A G Krishnamurthy, ad veteran and chairman, AGK Brand Consulting. AGK (as he is fondly called) is equally bowled over by 'The Complete Man' advertising created by Nexus and calls it "spectacular, aspirational and very elite conscious."

    Though he is not critical of the present communication, AGK feels there has to be a new way to interpret The Complete Man. "The dignified feel that was present in the earlier ads is missing today. It now feels like any fashion brand campaign," he says. It needs to be more contemporary, more novel and more cerebral says AGK.
    Download The Economic Times News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.

    Also Read

    4 Comments on this Story

    S. Agarwal3052 days ago
    It was a nice article. Definitely we can relate to Raymonds but the new ad now is taking the fun aspect apart from cultural and emotional aspect as well. Thats a step forward for our Raymonds!
    ashu3054 days ago
    we should support this indian brand by using raymonds clothes, not only is the quality of the products excellent but it is at par to the western brands , which btw are now manufacturing all their stuff in china, so it is much better to use this indian brand
    null3054 days ago
    Only quality and Price nothing else made this...long way!!!
    Every Indian who's first suit will be undoubtedly
    "The Reymonds"
    in other words it is proud to have one suit and that too Only Reymond's
    The Economic Times