In a bold move to shake up the men's innerwear industry, Lux Cozi has announced a new brand ambassador—actress Jacqueline Fernandez. The move breaks away from the traditional storytelling of men's innerwear campaigns, which often feature fight sequences and the "damsel in distress" trope. Instead, Lux Cozi's latest ad, created by Yellow Beetle Films, targets a family audience, with the aim of appealing to a broader range of consumers.
Lux Cozi's decision to use a female ambassador in a traditionally male-dominated industry is a significant departure. However, the brand hopes that this move will help challenge stereotypes and showcase their commitment to inclusivity and diversity.
The ad, which features Fernandez in a lead role, is already generating a buzz online, with many praising the brand for its fresh take on men's innerwear advertising. It remains to be seen whether the gamble will pay off, but the brand's willingness to take risks and push boundaries is sure to make waves in the industry.
Saket Todi, executive director, Lux Industries, shares another big reason why Fernandez was brought on board. Todi says people are already overwhelmed with campaigns and there should be something or in this case someone that makes a brand stand out with its communications.
“Siddharth Malhotra, Ranveer Singh, Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan—you name it, and they are endorsing one innerwear brand or another. The market is saturated with male celebrities promoting various brands in the space, which can lead to confusion among consumers. While those of us in the trade may be aware of which celebrities endorse which brands, the average consumer can often find it challenging to keep track,” Todi says.
“To break free from this pattern of male dominance and bring a fresh perspective to the industry, we have decided to do something out of the box,” he adds.
The brand plans to spend upwards of Rs 100 crore in advertising in 2023 and Todi says the campaign is just the tip of the iceberg. Their marketing playbook for the year according to Todi is filled with plans for storytelling that is not run-of-the-mill.
However, thinking outside the box comes with its own set of challenges. Anything too bold, too sensuous, too religious or too anarchic falls into the sensitive category, increasing the risk of getting cancelled. But Lux Cozi was well aware of the potential audience reaction to an ad where an actress is showcasing men's innerwear.
"We are fully aware of the sensitivities of the Indian audience, and we had to ensure that our campaign did not result in vulgarity. Our brief to the agency was to use Jacqueline Fernandez, showcase our collection, ensure that the commercial could be watched with the family, and create a lasting impression in the audience's mind," explained Todi.
Is creating a quirky campaign the end game for the brand here?
Of course not. Driving sales through converting consumers to Lux Cozi loyalists is what the brand is primarily targeting through the campaign.
Given innerwear is a sticky category, it makes the proposition tricky.
However, Todi says they are thrilled to be successfully converting non-consumers of their brand into direct consumers.
“The men's innerwear category is inherently loyal, and if we are able to win over consumers, they tend to remain loyal to our brand for life. People are often unaware and tend to stick with what they find comfortable and aspirational. When these factors align, consumers are less likely to switch brands, making our achievement all the more significant,” Todi says.
Last year, the Lux Cozi brand's sales reached Rs 550 crore, growing at 18-20 per cent year-on-year. Over the last five years, the brand has achieved an average growth of 10 -12 per cent.
“With our latest campaign, we are confident that we will maintain a growth rate of 17-18 percent in the next five years,” Todi says.
As the market shifts from mass consumption to mid-premium segments, the market size is frequently changing. However, Lux Cozi aims to reach the Rs 1,000-crore mark within the next few years and sustain an annual growth of 18 percent. Their longer-term goal, however, is to reach Rs 2,000 crore within the next 10 years.