Yeh Andar Ki Baat Hai – Decoding the Image Strategy of Indian Underwear Brands


One of the catchiest taglines in baniyan-selling history, “Yeh andar ki baat hai” was a well thought out message. Clever, pointed and possibly based on – it’s what’s on the inside that matters; so, it was even motivational. But, it’s been years since then and somewhere down the line, advertisers have begun to believe that whatever charm underwear commercials might today, lack, can simply be made-up by a Bollywood hero willing to give the shirt of his back! Between prime-time ad slots, joint ventures with big foreign brands and apparently watching Salman Khan/ Govinda/ Sunny Deol/ Saif Ali Khan/ Sanjay Dutt constantly beat up people whilst wearing a comfy new sleeveless; the threads are starting to come apart for the local chaddi-baniyan makers. And the audience? One can barely recall the name of the brand let alone remember the celebrity.

So the real question is – what next?

How can an underwear brand break through the clutter, whilst still managing to support to its celebrity endorser and ensure a snug fit within its customer’s mind set? We had a few thoughts.

Humour: Think different. A creative script, some subtle visuals and an impactful punch line – much like Rupa, which entered the nation’s psyche with a rollicking pitch on television: Agar Rupa ka underwear pehnoge, to Rupa kya pehnegi (What will Rupa wear if you wear a Rupa underwear)?
Another example – A Jockey ad  from 2007 is still one of the most creative ways to stress the importance of underwear, in a man’s life.

Innovation: Victoria has a new secret for men, and here’s their marketing pitch – It cost nearly $ 2 million in research! Frigo No.1 is a first of its kind ‘men’s briefs’ where the waistband and leg holes are bonded to resist bunching, laser-cut vents placed along the lower back allow for aeration, the material is ergonomic and the colours available are ‘splash’ and ‘limade’. Now, instead of going crazy with mass-market advertising, the company put together a more cost effective PR plan. They’ve been approaching leading publications and asking them to talk about their product – the technological advancement and the fact that more and more men are slowly willing to pay $100 for a pair of underwear!

Risqué: Milind Soman and Madhu Sapre might have had it ‘Tuff’ a few years ago, but thanks to Poonam Pandey, times have changed. Its underwear after all, and you’re allowed to get a little cheeky with it. There’s no reason Baichung Bhutia couldn’t pull something like this off

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