Is Fastrack crossing the line?

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FastrackThe youth fashion brand Fastrack has come up with a new campaign ‘Blame Fastrack’ which has added a few degrees to the already sky high temperature this summers.

The TVC which showcases summer bags from the brand shows a girl waking up in a boy’s dorm room, she walks out of the room without dressing up. While on her way out of the building she picks out her clothes from the bag and dresses up while the TVC ends with a tagline ‘Blame Fastrack and move on’.

So what is the strategy behind the blame Fastrack campaign? The campaign is targeted at the youth of 18-24 years of age. The brand derives its idea from a key consumer insight that the youth today are the most blamed lot for many things they do or don’t. In its attempt to further strengthen its connect with youth Fastrack offers to redirect that blame. “Taking the monkey off their back” as the company puts it. The brand says: Need an excuse? Blame Fastrack and move on! But some experts asak that in its effort to connect with the youth, isn’t Fastrack crossing the line?

Simeran Bhasin, Marketing Head, Fastrack

Simeran Bhasin, Marketing Head, Fastrack

Well, here is what Simeran Bhasin, Marketing Head – Fastrack & New Brands at Titan Industries, has to say, “We never take the role of the moral police and decide what the line is. The campaign just reflects what’s happening in youth’s life today.”

Prathap Suthan, Managing Partner & Chief Creative Officer, Bang in the Middle

Prathap Suthan, Managing Partner & Chief Creative Officer, Bang in the Middle

Prathap Suthan, Managing Partner & Chief Creative Officer, Bang in the Middle is on Fastrack’s side on this as he says, “The Fastrack campaign does not show anything that is not happening in the country. It is pretty commonplace. It’s high time that we grow up. If we can accept the same things in Indian movies and in Hollywood movies why can’t we accept it in the ads too?” Many people from the advertising and marketing community are of the view that the campaign does not show anything immoral.

But some experts feel that advertising sets standards for a larger mass and thus brands need to be careful on their portrayal of the society.

Ashish Bhasin, CEO, Aegis Media

Ashish Bhasin, CEO, Aegis Media

Ashish Bhasin, CEO, Aegis Media says, “For me the campaign certainly crosses the line but more important point is it doesn’t do anything for the brand. Crossing the line would have been okay for me if the campaign would have done some good for the brand.” He argues that the campaign does not talk about the brand’s USP at all.

That’s an important point that Bhasin brought up. Suthan agrees, “I don’t see that bag playing any role in what the girl does in the TVC. The bag doesn’t really fit well but then I think that’s a problem all accessory lifestyle brands face.”

So while the campaign raises the temperature in the marketing space a few notches up and stirs the discussion once again around marketer’s responsibility, the bigger question remains does it really help the brand? Fastrack’s Bhasin feels, “Our brand is all about Youth and we speak the language they speak. For us it is very important to continuously keep reflecting what’s happening in their life because we are not able to do that the youth will not be able to connect with us.”

Nevertheless, the campaign has got some eyeballs and when Pitchonnet.com spoke to some of the consumers from the target group we found that they seem to be liking the TVC but the role of the bag remains still a question. Here is what a 20 year old Delhi University student Vasudha Khator thinks about the TVC, “I really like the TVC and I liked the bag too… but I didn’t see much connect between the two.”

Interestingly, this is just the first TVC of the series. There are two other TVCs soon to be rolled out one for watches and one for sunglasses. Will, Fastrack make the mercury soar up further with these two campaigns? Wait and watch is all that we can say.

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Abhinav Mohapatra

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