A well dressed foreigner (who looks like Benjamin Linus from Lost) is trying to get on a Mumbai local train at peak time, accompanied with his nice big red bag. He manages to get inside but is separated from his bag which is passed around, dropped, trampled on, kicked. The train pulls into the next station and the man is swept out the door by the crowd. He doesn’t have his bag, he panics. People inside pass his bag back to him. The men blocking the doorway with their big moustaches all smile and wave to him. He is left standing on the platform, but at least his bag still looks great. The tagline is ‘Survive Mumbai, Survive the World’
This ad was released late 2009, but I only caught it recently and was really impressed. The production is beautiful and has captured the experience of the foreigner really well. There are a couple of small mistakes that caught my eye – I’ve never seen eunuchs travelling in the general compartment of local trains (I’ve only seen them get into the ladies section) and the interiors are not quite right – but these changes have obviously been made for the sake of the foreign audience. The music is great and intensifies the mood.
The best thing about this ad is that the takeout is so clear and simple. The luggage is used by foreigners, but is perfect for Indian conditions. It looks good and is very durable.
American Tourister is actually quite an old brand – 100 years old this year – and was bought a couple of decades back by Samsonite. Internationally it is marketed as ‘economical yet tough’. This ad maintains that brand identity perfectly.
This ad is part of a huge sales push – they are targeting 40+% growth this year. Ad spend on American Tourister will be about Rs. 15 Cr, with 70% on ATL, and a good digital and social media presence.