Two India’s and jewllery brand

KFJ Gold, a brand from Kerala, used a well-known celebrity, Prakash Raj, and released an ad referring to a daughter’s wedding as “tension”. The shortcode they used for their SMS campaign was ‘tension’. The headline of the ad was unambiguous – “Getting the wedding jewellery of her choice at lowest market rate is Tension. Let us take care of the tension for you to take care of your daughter”. The ad got dissed across social media and the brand had to release an apology. The apology makes for an interesting reading.

“KFJ and Mr Prakash Raj do not consider women inferior and do not intend to defame, degrade or demean women in any way. We believe women are empowered, independent, self sufficient and are integral to the growth and well being of the society. In fact, women are the reason we are in business for 42 years.

The idea of ‘tension’ is intended to change the mindset of parents who think that buying gold in current economic scenario is a difficult task. This first-of-its-kind wedding plan helps parents buy gold at the lowest market rate by giving them the convenience of paying in easy installments. We understand parents want to do the best for their children.”

This apology actually makes the practice of dowry almost legitimate; the whole trail of conversation on their social media channels is a good indicator on how badly the world took to their promise.

This ad comes in soon after the Aishwarya Rai Kalyan Jewellery ad, where she was portrayed as a period princess and a dark skinned slave boy was fanning her.

This is the first India that jewellery ads have. Brands from Bengal to Tamil Nadu, from Rajasthan to Kerala are built on celebrating weddings. The bride is presented in all her glory, draped from head to toe in gold, and increasingly now in diamond-studded jewellery. The bride is often a well-known female celebrity to add to the overall impact. The context of communication ranges from father-daughter bond to celebrating the bride hood, but the subtle underlying message never changes: the bride has to be decked from head to toe in gold, and the father has to provide for this excessive indulgence.

The fact is wedding remains the biggest reason to buy gold in India and jewellers are only plugging into popular practice. The question that has never been raised is this: is it okay for the brands to plug into this practice?

Is it not akin to the fairness cream category, which also plugs into the popular belief?

This may be why the KFJ apology may not have cut ice with a large base of potential customers.

Then there is the second India, in minority, but slowly emerging from the shadows of wedding, ostentatiousness and sometimes-tasteless excess. This India is plugging into the changing relationship dynamics, is not only about wedding, is not about wedding gifts, but about personal indulgences.

Take the Bluestone advertising that celebrates the love between the couple, and that the jewellery is the way to celebrate love is contextually correct. Caratlane plugs into the self-indulgence to create a brand appeal that is personal and guilt free. Once in a while even Tanishq crosses over to the side of indulgence and pleasure, away from weddings, to create enduring brand stories.

Jewellery is among the biggest categories in the country, wedding is the biggest occasion for purchase. Both are good enough reason for brands to leverage the event, but are the current ways of plugging the wedding the correct way?

Is there no time for more brands to explore the different ways of celebrating jewellery shopping?


Original published here

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