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Amul Macho Vs Lux Cozi: Copied or Inspired, why sexualise the underwear?

Allegations of plagiarism have hit ad land once again. This time, in the centre of controversy are campaigns by two male innerwear brands – Lux Cozi and Amul Macho. JG Hosiery, maker of Amul Macho brand, has alleged that Lux Cozi’s recently released campaign featuring actor Varun Dhawan is a blatant copy of its Amul Macho ‘Toing Hai’ campaign released back in 2007.

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The issue raised by Amul Macho

According to JG Hosiery, the various executional elements of the Amul Macho ad film can be seen in the Lux Cozi ad film, such as the way the woman holds up the underwear, the colour of the underwear, the shape of the underwear, specific expressions of the support cast when they see the underwear, the music theme and the setting being that of a small town, and including washing/ drying clothes.

The company has complained about the blatant plagiarism and the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has accepted JG Hosiery’s complaint for further processing.

Speaking about Lux Cozi’s new ad film, Navin Seksaria, CEO, JG Hosiery, said, “We find it shocking that a worthy and esteemed competitor appears to want to ride on the creative success of a brand that’s a market leader in its category, by blatantly copying its popular ad concept and executional elements. We hope good reason will prevail and the copied ad will be withdrawn forthwith.” 

Lux Cozi’s response to the allegations

Lux Cozi’s communication has evolved over the years, in sync with the evolving consumer taste and preferences – from ‘Apna Luck pahen ke chalo’ to ‘Suno toh apne dil ki’ to now ‘Ekdum Cozy’. Lux Industries, the parent company of Lux Cozi brand, offers more than 100 products across 14 major brands, including Lyra, ONN, Genx, One 8, comprising a complete range of innerwear and outerwear for men, women, and children.

Elaborating on the new campaign starring Varun Dhawan, Saket Todi, Executive Director, Lux Industries, said, “Lux Cozi has a distinctive pedigree of innovation, be it in product launches or brand building initiatives, the new commercial was conceptualised to target the young consumer as it has distinctive youth appeal.”

Udit Todi, Executive Director, Lux Industries, added here, “Lux Cozi has been synonymous with quality, comfort and durability. The positioning of the brand and the marketing initiatives are skewed towards strengthening these changing dynamics of the hosiery industry. We have always been at the forefront, leading the change in market offerings. The new commercial has been launched in major news and entertainment channels and we have been receiving rave reviews from consumers on social media.”

Yellow Beetle is the agency behind the concept of Lux Cozi’s new ad. Explaining the concept behind the campaign, Yellow Beetle’s Daven Munjal said, “We wanted to give a new dimension to the Lux Cozi communication. We conceptualised the commercial with the clear aim to target the youth. The commercial has freshness and has the flavour of naughtiness and tongue-in-cheek communication.” 

Industry Reactions

Adgully reached out to a cross-section of industry leaders to know about their thoughts around the two campaigns.

Sandeep Goyal, Chairman, Mogae Media, felt that there are obvious similarities, however, he added that it is not easy to establish that the idea is copied. “There are some key elements that are common and equally suggestive, but the original Amul Macho ad was almost vulgar. The Lux one is also lurid, but in a slightly different kind of way. So, the ad is ‘inspired’, but not ‘copied’,” he opined.

On the other hand, Naresh Gupta, Managing Partner and Chief Strategy Officer, BangInTheMiddle, minced no words as he said, “As a brand, they have created a TVC that undermines the brand and destroys reputation of the celeb. No, it’s not fun and games. It’s not jest. It can’t be laughed away. It’s a very poor piece of work from the brand that leads the category. Brands need to look forward. Create appeals that work with progress in mind. It’s no time to create regressive appeals.”

Sharing her perspective, Shradha Agarwal, COO & Strategy Head, Grapes Digital, remarked, “Amul Macho ad is about a newly married women who is explaining about her previous night with her husband via the expressions she is giving while washing her husband’s underwear in a common place with other women, whereas the Lux Cozi ad is about married women who fantasise about the man (Varun Dhawan) and give him those looks on a common shared terrace and the guy knows that he is getting the attention of all those women, but he is giving his attention to one women who gives him a look of ‘I don’t care about you, as my man wears Lux Cozi and I have an absolutely great life’. I don’t see that there is a commonality of plagiarism between the two, because the insights are totally different. The only common playground is that my man wears this kind of underwear and my sexual fantasies are great, so that is the only common perspective.”

(Edited and Additional Inputs by Shanta Saikia.)

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