Iconic Ads: Garden – You Fascinate Me

The Sarees were shown as fashionable attire and Garden was positioned as a fashionable brand by clever advertising

The regular saree was boring for many women in the late 70s. Women were changing. While they wanted to wear sarees, the product was staid and boring. The stiff cotton material of most sarees didn’t help either.

Women wanted more options – modern, stylish and a fusion of Indian and western.

Enter Garden – flowy synthetic sarees with bold prints, floral, geometric & colourful. It was easy to wear, anti-crease and had a splash of colours. It was even easier to wash.

However, differentiating it was tough. Rediffusion took up the challenge. The genius of Arun Kale showed in the campaign. The background score was composed by Vanraj Bhatia.

The brand was positioned as an upmarket brand aimed at ‘strong and achieving’ women.

The models were unconventional, bold and women of today, very urbane and fashionable. The saree was draped differently and blouses too were very unconventional (backless etc.). It was shown as a smart, bold and sexy attire (without being vulgar) meant for modern Indian women.

The commercial ditched the conventional full-length photographs of models standing and posing in sarees. A new approach of models in different poses gave it an unconventional feel.

Later, when Ambience started, Garden moved. Elsie Nanji created another set of TVCs with top actresses and models – like three consecutive Miss Indias – Namrata Shirodkar, Madhu Sapre, Aishwarya Rai, and Lisa Ray etc. Ranjit Barot gave the music and Shantanu Shorey filmed it.

Sustained advertising established both sarees as a fashionable garment to wear and Garden as a fashionable brand.

The Garden advertising inspired campaigns of other brands too.

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