Monday, November 21, 2011

What creative advertising really means-3

In What creative advertising really means-2, Commits alumnus ARPAN BHATTACHARYYA (Class of 2010), a copywriter with Contract Advertising in Bangalore, explained exactly how copywriters and the art guys work their magic. Here, to help us understand the process better, he gives us examples from an ongoing campaign for Louis Philippe, a client of Contract Advertising:


There is more to advertising than just print ads, television commercials, and radio jingles. A brand communicates in a variety of ways. And every day, newer and more innovative ways to communicate the brand’s message are being discovered.

Given below are three examples of brand communication: a print ad, a few posters, and a brand catalogue. And, as is always desired, all communication from the brand is completely in sync: all these examples stay true to the brand image across media and execution in terms of the way the messages are conveyed.

LP Louis Philippe is one of the three sub-brands under the House of Louis Philippe mother brand.  The other two brands are Louis Philippe and Luxure. Louis Philippe is an extremely aristocratic brand, entrenched in formal wear. Luxure is an uber-luxurious brand that’s aimed at the crème de la crème of society. And LP is more of a youth brand aimed at a younger crowd, as is evident in the kind of clothes that the brand offers.


Here are a few examples of how these three sub-brands communicate differently. I don’t have any Luxure communication with me now but here’s a double-page ad for both Louis Philippe and LP.

The one on the left is the Louis Philippe ad. It’s for Louis Philippe shoes but if you read the copy you’ll see the tone that is set: very elitist, fancy language, big words. They have established themselves as a brand that only the best of the best possess, hence the tagline ‘The upper crest’.  On the other hand, LP is a lot more casual and sporty, since it’s aimed at a younger crowd.  The LP tagline is ‘Sport Luxury’ and the brand portrays itself as one that allows the young adults to wear their passions on their sleeve and do so with panache.

However, and this is critical in all communication for anything that comes from the Louis Philippe stable,  the communication has to have an element of consistency across all three brands. In simple words, even when we talk to the younger crowd, a certain sense of refinement is essential. (This is evident in the catalogue, which you can check out later in this post.)

Ideation of shoe ad
Louis Philippe Shoes: We got the brief about the product from the client. This included all the details about the product benefits and how it was different from others in the same category. In this case, we already had the product shot and because the client was keen on showing the image of the shoes, we decided that the copy would have to do the job of communicating the message. We also needed to communicate the product benefits so the body copy does just that, and in a tone that is in tune with the Louis Philippe style. The headline idea came from the fact that this was a shoe that had been painstakingly created by master craftsmen and was meant to adorn the feet of only those who would understand the value of such a creation.  

LP Shoes:
Since the campaign thought (Play Up Your Passion) was already established in earlier communication and the client didn’t want any details about the product, we pretty much left it at that.

Another example of the different communication styles of Louis Philippe and LP is the difference in the kind of language and imagery that is used in their in-store posters. Given below is a poster for a collection from Louis Philippe. The collection is called the Marrakech Collection. The name of the collection suggests the inspiration for the collection and the poster communicates that in the signature Louis Philippe style.

Ideation of Marrakech poster
The client told us about the inspiration (Marrakech) and we already had pictures from a photo shoot that we had done for the campaign. The task was to communicate the inspiration with the help of the image and copy and to also connect this inspiration to the brand’s image of aristocratic menswear.   The idea for the headline came from the meaning of the name ‘Marrakech’. The body copy talks about how the beauty of the place inspired the clothes in the collection. 

Below are two posters for LP. The collection is called Big Apple, inspired by New York City. This year, the campaign thought for LP was ‘Play Up Your Passion’.

What the brand wanted to communicate was that the clothes allowed people to literally wear their passions on their sleeves. Again, this is communicated in the copy and the imagery. And the language and style are different from that used for Louis Philippe.

Another example of communication along these lines is provided in the LP catalogue, shown a little later on.

Ideation of LP posters
The images show men in different settings in New York. Here, we decided to let the image simply show a New York setting and let the copy explain it.

For one of the posters we concentrated on fashion and the different kind of clothes that people in New York wear on a regular basis.

For the other poster, we decided to focus on life in New York and examples of how a person’s daily routine might be.

Both connected back to the fact that people in New York were passionate about life itself.

Next up is the brand catalogue for LP. As mentioned earlier, this year the campaign thought was Play Up Your Passion. This line was used in the print ads and the same thought has been carried forward in the catalogue. 

There are four apparel collections in LP this year. I’ve explained the inspiration behind each collection and the creatives are based on these inspirations. By creatives here, I mean the artwork, photography, and the copy. 

Cover and Inside cover
After the cover page and the inside cover (above), the first page has a write-up about ‘passion’ (see below). As I said earlier, the campaign thought this year was ‘Play Up Your Passion.’

Collection 1
The first collection (see below) is called ‘Rider’. This collection is inspired by the passion for riding (bikes) in particular and motoring in general.

Collection 2
The second collection (see below) is called ‘Big Apple’. As the name suggests, this collection is inspired by the passion for life in New York City.

Collection 3
The third collection (see below) is called ‘Oliver’s Love’.  This collection is inspired by Erich Segal’s classic novel, Love Story. But there is a small modification here. The creative team interpreted the inspiration as the passion in the hearts of young students at university, because the two main characters in Love Story meet and fall in love at university.

Collection 4
The fourth collection (see below) is called ‘Indianapolis’. This collection is inspired by the passion for vintage motor racing.

Ideation of catalogue
We wanted to do something a little different from what other brands were doing with their catalogues. So we decided to let the copy focus on the inspiration behind the collections and let the images do the job of supporting the copy while at the same time showcasing a few of the clothes that each collection offered.

Since the principal inspiration was passion, the catalogue starts out with a short write-up about what passion really is. Moving forward, the challenge was to explain what each of the inspirations was and how they were connected with the central theme of passion. If you read the copy, you’ll see how we tried to do that.

  • Further reading: "The power of creativity" (scroll down to the piece) by Commitscion AJAY KURPAD (Class of 2011), also a copywriter with Saatchi&Saatchi in Bangalore.
UPDATE (June 27, 2012): I have just discovered — and guffawed over — a Tumblr post about life in the ad industry. Check it out here: This advertising life ("The emotions of a working life in advertising as told through GIFs").

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