R Balakrishnan
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Ignore This Nutty Innovation at Your Peril!

Wheel lug nuts used to have one standard design in the past—tapered at both ends to ensure...

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Diesel: Not so stupid

The ads encourage Diesel consumers to liberate themselves from the safety nets that society weaves around them

The Italian jeans brand, Diesel, has arrived in India. And its current core advertising ideology across the world is ‘Be Stupid’. That’s the message Diesel wants to pass on to the young gen, its key target audience in India, as well.
 
Here’s the concept behind the stupid idea: In order to create its own unique, irreverent brand identity, Diesel ads encourage youngsters to indulge in juvenile, often vulgar behaviour. That’s because they consider ‘Smart’ to be safe, dull and boring. One Diesel ad features a girl flashing at a security camera, and you can clearly see her nipples. Another one shows a woman taking a photo of her vagina in front of a lion. And so on.
 
Does it work? Yes, and how! Most controversial ads do. But it also works on a subliminal level; Diesel encourages its consumers to liberate themselves from the safety nets that society weaves around them. No doubt, a very appealing thought. However, the issue is, did this idea have to be expressed with pictures of teenagers behaving obnoxiously in public places? Could ‘Be Stupid’ not have been depicted with people breaking rules to make a difference around them? For example, something like what Mahatma Gandhi did? To chuck the Brits out using means that in today’s world would be considered very stupid? Aah, but that route won’t get the ads to get noticed and be talked about, would it? But a dumb bimbette flashing her breasts to a CCTV does. And Diesel knows that only too well.
 
In that context, I think Diesel in on the right track, whatever the level of offence to nice uncles and aunties. They get a much bigger bang for every buck they spend, all because of some shockingly outlandish advertising. And this creates a unique identity for the brand. Makes it hip, makes it cool and most importantly, makes ‘stupid’ into a style statement.
 
But now comes the bummer. There’s a fear the campaign won’t work in India. With our moral police on the prowl to sniff out the most harmless mischiefs, such raunchy stuff stands no chance of survival. Already, Diesel’s initial ads in India are very tame, which therefore means ‘Be Stupid’ entirely loses its potency.
 
I think it’s a mistake. Some court cases and some shattered shop-window panes would have got Diesel free coverage all over the media. ‘Chastised’, Diesel could then have diluted the campaign, by which time, of course, the nation and its granny would have known of the brand. Sadly, Diesel failed to practice what they preach. They have gone smart in India, when they ought to have been stupid. 

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COMMENTS

Shadi Katyal

7 years ago

Well it is nice that Italians have invaded India in Jeans but didnot mentioned howevre these jeans are manufactured.?
It will be nice to know what we buying.?

Money life or anyone cant sue as this is their advertisment. It has not offended Money life.
Why do we want to sue dont we not ear jeans in India and sicne when it has become aginst our culture???


parackal thomas

7 years ago

Why money life Does not take them to court on the grounds of INAPPROPRIATE PUBLIC behavour not consistant with INDIAN culture.
Any of your readers who is in the Legal profession could also do a PUBLIC service by filng a case against the company immediately.

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