Allen Solly unveils new campaign; Infuses new meaning to 'Friday Dressing'
Allen Solly, one of India’s most salient and favourite apparel brands is most popular for having redefined workwear through its unique `Friday Dressing’ concept in 1990s and early 2000s. It replaced the grey’s and whites with vibrant dash of colours to its workwear and created a new category of Work Casuals. The brand’s core USP of Friday Dressing has held it in good stead over the last many years.
The brand not only created a category called ‘Work-Casuals’ but Friday Dressing went on to become the pseudonym for free-thinking, free-spiritedness and unconventionality at work place. But like many things in this world, even ‘Friday’ lost its character as Jeans and Tees became the Friday uniform. While Jeans were supposed to be expression of freedom, what it lapsed into was unimaginative and uninspiring dressing on Friday the most exciting day of the week.
Allen Solly, hence had a very clear challenge in front of it. How to infuse a sense of style and fashion back into Fridays?
Says Sooraj Bhat, Brand Head, Allen Solly, “While speaking to consumers we realised a desire they had to dress up, dress well on Fridays. But were not doing so as the code was to be very relaxed on Fridays. Relaxed to the extent of almost not bothering about what was being worn on Fridays. Interestingly though, for these consumers, Friday was the most exciting day of the week (start of the weekend) and hence atleast they were most open to experimentation.”
“Working on the insight that Friday is a day of possibilities, a day when fun and play does a perfect tango with work, a day of celebrations, bonding at work and outside of work, parties and so on, our agency Ogilvy & Mather created a campaign to provide a new meaning to Fridays through how we should Dress-Up and not Dress-Down on the most important day of the week. The new campaign hence is aptly titled ‘Hot Fridays.’
“It was important to tell the young office goer that Friday is the most exciting day of the week at work and that they can’t possibly let go off a Friday, dressed in their coded casuals of jeans and Tees. They need to ‘dress up’ and grab all that the action packed Friday offers”, says Simi Sabhaney, President – Ogilvy & Mather Advertising, Bangalore.
The latest collection features the best of Allen Solly’s colourful shirts and relaxed chinos. But the key is the co-ordinated look that comes through some smart styling and layering. Smart Casual Shirts teamed with Chinos became the starting point. Add in a Casual Blazer with some colourful accessories such as tie, belt, pocket-square. And not to forget the shoes. And the Hot Fridays Look was complete. True to the current trend, important thing was to pick up disparate colours and yet put them together in a smart, aesthetic manner that lent it a class and premiumness. The brand has also innovated on its fits with the launch of its new custom fit in trousers and sport fit in shirts. Both fits have contemporarised and slimmed down Allen Solly’s traditional relaxed fits.
The campaign was released nationally in leading dailies on 19th October which poetically enough, happened to be a Friday. The media plan went beyond print and included 2 exciting initiatives – Tweeple powered launch in Bangalore and unique website launch through 52 Friday Dos.
True to its inventive spirit Allen Solly did a first ever Tweeple powered collection launch; a live hoarding where tweets unveiled the collection and unraveled the launch campaign as more and more tweets happened, the idea extends itself on to the digital space, log onto the Allen Solly Facebook page which has over half a million fans and play the Friday Card game; each card in the deck of 365 with 52 representing Fridays when flipped by fans will unveil a part of the new brand campaign and if you get the Friday card you win goodies too.
Owning Fridays is a part of brand’s larger objective of strengthening its connect with its target group and The brand fully understands that in Apparel, Retail experience and design is as important as advertising itself. Therefore, to ensure consistency in its stated positioning across all touch points, Allen Solly has very recently introduced its new retail identity across all leading stores in the country. The new retail ID, developed by U K based firm – Dalziel and Pow integrates Allen Solly’s british heritage with its positioning in India – of a relaxed and contemporary brand responding to today’s young. Apart from rolling out the new retail ID in all new stores, Allen Solly also renovated its top 8 stores in October.
The brand is aggressively growing its retail. It has been opening around 40 stores every year- including this year. “We expect to close this year with over 170 exclusive stores. The last few months have seen several flagship stores come up including in South Extension, New Delhi and Brigade Road, Bangalore. We sense a fresh impetus on the brand – new identity, logo, aggressive investments into brand building, merchandise...they are all coming together’, says Sooraj Bhat.