Iconic Ads: Vimal Sarees – A Woman Expresses Herself

The advertising for Vimal Sarees resonated with the women who could connect with both the trendiness as well as the tradtional angle.

Unorganized retail dominated the saree market, which was fragmented. The goal was to become the market leader nationally while competing against local companies. And Reliance wanted to create a brand of Sarees.

A G Krishnamurthy was mandated to shortlist an ad agency for Vimal at Reliance Textiles in 1976. He first shortlisted three going by their work at that time. Frank Simoes was one of them.

Frank was categorical that his agency wouldn’t do any creative pitch, but AGK was welcome to visit his agency, meet his key people and see the agency’s work. One visit and AGK recommended Frank Simoes to be Vimal’s agency, even though the other two had made pitches.

Frank and his agency produced great advertising for Vimal Sarees. He wrote, “A woman expresses herself in many languages. Vimal is one of them”. The tagline continued for another 20 years (even though the account shifted after a few years).

The initial series of advertising featured vibrant double spreads celebrating the saree’s beauty. The Bharatanatyam mudras loomed huge in the backdrop, with the model and saree in the front mirroring the emotion of the mudra.

Reliance produced several variations on this theme, each showing a distinct mudra. Each mudra was an expression that conveyed a specific emotion, and they were all traditional. Through various emotions of happiness, exhilaration, gentleness and adornment, the advertisements demonstrated the wide range of a woman’s individuality. Even the color and pattern of the sarees utilized in a certain advertisement were in line with the specific mudra that was being conveyed. An attempt was made to create a relationship between Vimal and the customer by appealing to her emotionally. Because the sari is a traditional product, all of the motifs were traditional.

Vimal’s collection of sarees with captivating visuals brought the campaign’s fundamental premise to life.

Most models wanted to be featured in the Vimal campaigns. These campaigns usually featured more than one model. Garden sarees had a model who looked detached and scornful at the camera and in contrast, Vimal’s models were warm, fun and emotive, all indulging in Indian pastimes to showcase its roots and also a difference with Garden.

The Sari represented the typical multifaceted Indian woman, who took on many roles easily. Vimal played the facilitator and gave women the medium to express themselves through its saris in various hues, colours, prints and designs.

Different, unusual print sizes and multiple colour double spreads went in tandem with the uniqueness of the campaign. The treatment of the visuals had an arty feel to it.

A host of film stars were featured subsequently like Sridevi, Jayapradha etc.

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