I wasn’t planning on writing a piece on Titan advertisements until I chanced upon this ad that has Katrina Kaif in it and the time was perfect to remember my favourite Titan ads.
I have been married for the past 5 years. A love marriage, those gossipy aunties would add with relish, if you cared to ask. One of my friends wanted to marry a boy she has been in love with. Just this year she had an arranged marriage instead. Another friend is about to get married next month. Yet, another friend is looking at potential grooms and deciding whom to spend her life with. Then there is that friend who got married recently to her childhood sweetheart. And there are more I will skip mention of, for the sake of brevity. As you can probably tell, its the year of weddings, as we have perhaps reached that time in our lives.
And here was Katrina, looking ravishing, poised and graceful, assuring us that there is no pressure. That we are not running out of time. That we can choose for ourselves and marry when we find the one we want to spend time with. And as her words complete, strains of the euphoric Titan melody strum in, signalling the time for me to write.
It wasn’t until I started researching to write this article that I found I was wrong in assuming that the hands of the watch are always set to 10:10 to honor Abraham Lincoln, as that is when he died. Apparently, he died at 10:15 and that dispels this theory. It’s actually aesthetics that determine the hand position. Symmetry, a ‘smiley’ face and the framing of the company logo being key reasons in selection of the hand position. Well, for now I will continue to think of it as a tribute to the man who championed freedom, just like this advertisement does today.
This Titan Raga add is a brainchild of Ogilvy & Mather. A beautiful thought provoking few seconds that hopefully will help the company generate revenue and also bring that taste of liberation in women. In us.
The Titan ads I remember always seemed to focus on special occasions and unexpected surprise gifts. And not much has changed over time it seems. The videos, of course, are classier, and the message more subtle, but that tug at heart remains untainted over decades.
One of the company’s marketing themes has been to focus on the Joy of Gifting. Rajiv Menon’s famous ad showing a father and younger sister creating a perfect moment to gift the bride a watch, is one I clearly recall and like. I could not find the exact year this was shot, but I did find out that A. R. Rehman adapted the theme music.
Yes, the same Titan melody that has become a signature of the brand. It’s a piece from Mozart’s 40th concerto, 25th Symphony. No wonder it has a sense of the timeless in it. Often I close my eyes when these ads play and only listen to the sounds allow it to rejuvenate the spirit.
There is one more add I particularly recall that is along the same lines. An aging college professor about to retire, is bid farewell in style and with a lot of love. This ones hits home too, and not just for the music. Numerous Teacher’s day and farewell contributions have resulted in Titan watches as gifts. From school to college and, actually, even at workplace one gifts a Titan, wishing the receipt happy times, perhaps. Most probably, you have received one (or even a few) too over the years. Their slogan often says it’s a gift of time.
Over the years with the influx of electronics and other ‘cooler’ gift options the company realised that it cannot just be about gifting. As far back as the early 2000’s a number of advertisements showed the watch being actually worn. Amir Khan has been a brand ambassador for Titan for a long time, but none of his ads stand out in my memory. Though, I do think in a couple of them he wears the watch and it speaks of the man he is.
My grandfather, mother and mother-in-law are a few people I know who can not leave the house without a watch on their wrists. But, recently I heard a young girl complain, what good is a watch? It’s a single purpose device. Making it expendable in the modern world. Am sure the company has more challenges to face as iwatches, fitbits and more new generation gadgets flood the market.
However for now, the ads only keep getting better. Here is my latest favourite add with a beautiful concept. A young entrepreneur meets his mentor and makes an offer he can’t refuse. The time has come for the boy to turn into a man. While watching this, I realized that the vintage ads by the brand are special because of nostalgia, but the new ones are actually trying new things and make for better ads. To be able to sell a range of watches priced above Rs. 10,000, while competing with foreign luxury brands, Titan has to be smart. With this new range of ads I think it manages to remain endearing and reach out extremely effectively to its targeted audience.
No matter what, as long as the signature tune remains the same I will always watch the Titan ads and miss the fact that my phone has replaced the watch on my hand.
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