Industry POV

Titan Raga: Once again empowering women, clearing prejudices


Conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather, Bangalore, the one-and-a-half-minute film brings out how a female’s success is equally because of her competence as it is for men, and should not be credited to her looks

Adding another feather to its ever impressive female-centric brand communication, Titan Raga clearly stands out with its recent dgital ad film titled #BreakTheBias. While industry folk appreciate the concept and implementation, a few believe that unknowingly the advertisement also stereotypes women.

Conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather, Bangalore, the one-and-a-half-minute film has already got over 3.34 lakh views on YouTube within the last two days. The film talks about the need to break prejudices about the connection between professional competencies and career growth of women. It is a subtle yet potent narrative about the way the world looks at a woman’s success.

Sirish Chandrashekhar, Head of Marketing, Titan Watches, said, “Titan Raga has always been at the forefront of challenging stereotypes. A woman’s success at the workplace is still viewed with prejudice based on her personality and appearance. With this film we encourage men and women alike to break the mould of perception and pave the way for women to be recognised for who they really are and applaud their terrific contributions.”

The video opens in a board room where the discussions about the final list of employees due for promotion are happening. When one of the board members points out how Kiran is a well-deserved candidate for a promotion despite being a fresher, everyone gets curious. Further, it is discussed how Kiran spends a lot of time with the boss Rajat and how they spend weekends and evenings discussing important presentations and client meetings.

All this while, all the board members imagine a young and good looking female hanging around with Rajat. When the curiosity to meet Kiran is at a peak, the employee is called into the boardroom. Everyone is taken aback when they see a young man walking into the board room with a smile on his face!

The expression of guilt and surprise prevails as the film ends with the typical Titan instrumental tune with the text on the screen reading: “Change the way you look at a woman’s success. She is unstoppable now.” This is not the first time when Titan Raga has tried to reinforce a femme-centric emotion, be it the ‘Her Life Her Choices’ advertisement with Nimrat Kaur or ‘Khud Se Naya Rishta’ in the ad on the right time to get married featuring Katrina Kaif. Both these advertisements were launched in 2015 and the recent #breakthebias positioning takes it a step further.

Tithi Ghosh, Senior Vice-president, Ogilvy Advertising (South), said, “Women in the workforce have to be extra cautious about how they act and appear because any slip can lead to a quick dismissal of her abilities and skills. A woman’s softer skills will be viewed with suspicion while the man having the same drinks and late nights will be rewarded with a pat on the back for being a team player. At a time when gender equality is a raging issue we felt this prejudice that working women encounter from time to time could be an issue the brand puts under the scanner. This film hopes to challenge gender stereotypes at workplaces and begin a dialogue for change.”

A few creative minds do see the ad as stereotyping women by the mere fact that the character of ‘Kiran’, even when imagined as a female, is taken to be a very hot and good looking one. One top-notch Chief Creative Officer, who did not want to be quoted, asked that if the pun was on the unisexual name ‘Kiran’, why wasn’t a dull, average looking woman shown?

On the other hand, Rahul Jauhari, Chief Creative Officer, Rediffusion Y&R, feels that the ad film is a successful implementation. He said, “The ad calls out the hypocrisy and mindset that exists around us. If Kiran being imagined to be a hot/good looking woman is a stereotype, it is because pretty often that’s how it is in reality. If she is successful, it’s because she is good looking goes the common view. I don’t think this ad is a step up or a step down the previous brand communication; it merely focuses on yet another glaring truth about women in society – and it brings this out quite successfully.”

Speaking to other successful women in the advertising, we found appreciation for the latest Titan film. Simi Sabhaney, CEO, Dentsu Communications, said, “A raised eyebrow, a snigger, a loose remark is what many women experience from their male colleagues on their well-deserved promotion. Titan Raga has indeed addressed a very real and relevant issue of gender bias at work.”

Sabhaney specifically pointed out how she liked the manner in which the story unfurls. “It makes you despise the looks exchanged in the boardroom, but finally leaves you amused when ‘Kiran’ is revealed! A good film in content and style,” she added.

Nisha Singhania, Co-founder & Director, Infectious, points out how the brand has yet again picked up a female related social cause and implemented it quite well. She said, “The effort of Titan Raga in its last few communications is a perfect take for a women’s brand. They have portrayed it wonderfully.”

Interestingly, unlike the two previous ads with Nimrat Kaur and Katrina Kaif, this film has all the average faces, and no big star. According to Singhania, “Though a known and popular face attracts eyeballs, this latest conversation made by Titan Raga is very powerful in itself.”