Playing on the multiple faces of Hrithik Roshan

Published On: 2013-01-14

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John Players: Playing on the multiple faces of Hrithik Roshan

Source: agencyfaqs
Date: December 18, 2006

Actor Hrithik Roshan can be rather ‘moody’ when he wants. In an ad for ITC’s four year old apparel brand, John Players, Roshan’s different moods have been leveraged to advertise the versatility of the product range.

Roshan was signed on as the brand ambassador for John Players in early 2005. The aim was to have a youth and fashion icon associated with the brand and that’s how the positioning statement – ‘Play It Cool’ – was coined.

“While the first TVC launched in 2005 created an image of playfulness around John Players, this second one serves a dual purpose,” explains Sanjay Sharma, creative director, FCB-Ulka, the agency on the account. This second TVC, featuring Roshan, not only tries to build further upon the ‘cool’ image, but also aims to bring out the versatility of John Players’ product range. This has been done by showing Roshan in different moods and settings and, consequently, different clothes to suit the occasion.

A girl tells Roshan that she's been spotting him around rather frequently. Roshan is then surprised to see his double walk past him in a casual suit. He keeps seeing his own image everywhere. He watches another Hrithik on a cool bike, with his girlfriend.

He watches another one of his doubles getting out of a John Players outlet. Just as he is about to approach the girl he first met, another double takes his place.

Realisation dawns on Roshan finally, as he comes to know what each of his double represents - a different mood and setting.

The TVC opens on a shot of Hrithik Roshan strolling across a street in an up-market locality. A girl passes by, whispering seductively that she has been seeing him around quite often of late. A little perplexed, he walks on. Subsequently, he catches replicas of himself everywhere he goes. He spots his double, talking on a mobile phone in a suit. As he walks on, he spots three trendy Hrithiks in campus-gear, lounging casually on the street. Another leather jacket and denim-clad Hrithik is spotted on a bike with his girlfriend.

Mystified, Roshan then finds himself face to face with his replica who is strolling out of a John Players showroom, shopping bags in hand. Finally, he spots the girl who spoke to him at the beginning of the ad. As he makes his way towards her, another Hrithik comes and takes his place, dressed in lounge wear.

Realisation then dawns on Roshan that the brand has caused all these transformations, depending on the setting. He walks away grinning, and the voiceover concludes, ‘John Players from ITC. Play It Cool’.

John Players is targeted at the mid-end segment, particularly those falling in the 18-30 years’ age group. “Our communication is a reflection of what today’s youth stands for,” says Atul Chand, V-P, marketing and retail, ITC’s Lifestyle Retailing. That includes a sense of optimism, fun and playfulness. “The youth today are multi-faceted, which fits in perfectly well with Roshan’s versatile acting abilities.” When it comes to the world of fashion, this multi-faceted quality takes on the shape of wanting to dress differently for various occasions and moods.

Chand of ITC stresses that John Players is a ‘wardrobe’ brand, with a complete range catering to various types of people as well as situations. It was also important to depict the fact that the brand had transcended its appeal to become relevant to all youth, from the trendy youngster on a campus to the stylish working executive.

“Apparel brands generally harp on heritage, professional success or the element of attracting the opposite sex,” Chand explains. “In our communication for John Players, we have tried to step away from that and shown a reflection of what today’s youth is actually like – a complex mix of confidence and playfulness.”

The ad film was shot by Sabal Singh Shikawat of Big Picture Company. Overlaying the multiple characters that Hrithik plays required a lot of post-production ‘compositing’ since there were nine Hrithiks to be incorporated in the film.

Chand of ITC discloses that the commercial is already beginning to show results, with the brand well on its way to achieving a 40-50 per cent growth rate over the next few months.