Monday, February 22, 2010

Who needs Bollywood when you've got Obama?

Among the more interesting sights you will see in Agra these days is a hoarding for men's underwear:

Spotted in Agra: O-bamaa underwear.

With sales of $200 million, Rupa & Co is the single largest branded underwear company India. They have different brands for different market segments, endorsed by Bollywood stars.

Their biggest selling premium brand is called Frontline, and it is endorsed by a chubby 40-something Sanjay Dutt.

Before Sanjay Dutt took on the Frontline contract, they had an even chubbier Govindaa wearing a vest and RSS-type khaki shorts, and smirking "Yeh aaram ka maamla hai" (It's all about comfort, baby!)

In 2007, they signed up another super-star - Hrithik Roshan - to endorse Macroman, their upscale line targetted at younger age groups. They've also signed up Saif Ali Khan, Aishwarya Rai, and Lisa Ray, for some of their other brands.

Clearly, Rupa & Co has a thing about celebrity endorsements.

But what do you do when you have a line of underwear that cannot afford celebrity endorsements? The Jon line is Rupa's downmarket brand, meant for lower income groups. The briefs are 100% cotton, functional and plain, with the focus on toughness and durability (won't stretch after multiple washes!)

I wonder which creative guy decided these were just the right attributes to name this line after the President of the United States :)

But the deed is done, and there are now O-bamaa hoardings everywhere. I wonder if sales are booming.

- Deepa

P.S. The hoarding photo was clicked by sharp-eyed Sara Williams, from Harvard Medical School. Way to go, Sara!


Bally said...

I suppose the main motive of the ads is to catch eyeballs by being catchy and hilarious at the same time. Just like the Amul team had with the little lady.

And with an O-bamaa under your bonnet, am sure it gives an immense and powerful assurance of performance.


yrmama said...

Deepa- I thought you might enjoy knowing that I found your blog when I googled O-bamaa underwear. I had seen a painted sign like this one near Dehra Dun!