DaMENSCH’s Deepti Karthik on breaking the trampled rules of digital marketing

Launched in 2018, DaMENSCH is a premium menswear brand. He recently launched his first original digital campaign – “The Innerwear Therapy” featuring talented comedians Rohan Joshi, Adar Malik, Jordindians and Nirmal Pillai. The series of three commercials is in line with the company’s mission to focus on the most overlooked and difficult part of the men’s wardrobe – “The Innerwear”.

With an avant-garde concept – the creation of these commercials sees the actors react by looking at themselves while playing a role in them. With an innovative product, DaMENSCH made sure to enter an innovative storytelling format that simply builds on the strength of the product without even showing it once.

In conversation with Adgully, Deepti Karthik, SVP Marketing, DaMENSCHand actors Aadar Malik and Nirmal Pillai, has developed its first innovative digital campaign “The Innerwear Therapy”. While Karthik shared campaign insights, Malik and Pillai explained their journey working with the brand as comedians.

Clever storytelling and clutter-free execution: Deepti Karthik

What is the communication objective behind the name of the Innerwear Therapy campaign?

“The most comfortable man wears the DaMENSCH” was our battle cry and it was the goal we wanted to achieve through this campaign. Our loungewear is so comfortable, it’s not just loungewear, it’s like therapy – was a creative leap that aims to own “Comfort” for DaMENSCH in an exalted way, given that the word is a table stake in the category.

Our business objective was to acquire new customers and based on a consumption gauge, we realized that in loungewear as a category, beyond comfort, longevity, durability and of trust in the brand, they had an impact on purchasing behavior. The mandate was specifically to speak to the discerning consumer through intelligent feature storytelling through clutter-free execution.

Was there a particular reason to collaborate with comedians for this specific campaign?

We are targeting a premium audience and based on information provided by Google, we are targeting an addressable market of 60 million consumers who are major households in India. We did an in-depth analysis of the behavior of DaMENSCH audiences belonging to this group and found a strong affinity with comedy as a genre. The campaign strategy was to leverage the YouTube platform and as a result, we worked with influencers within Comedy who helped us reach our consumers in a meaningful way.

What are your expectations of the campaign and how relevant do you think it will be for your target audience?

So far, we’ve seen a 12% relative increase in our brand scores over the campaign thanks to industry-first ad sequencing consisting of three 45-second ads. With a completion rate of over 50%, this ad really broke the rules of digital marketing.

How was Innerwear Therapy chosen as the concept for the campaign?

Our marketing objective was fourfold: first, to own the comfort proposition. Second, focus on the sustainability of our products. Third, to promote consumer reviews, ratings and comments. And finally, we wanted to promote the variety of our products as we have the largest assortment in the loungewear category in India.

The Innerwear Therapy concept ticked the box to convey and help us own the comfort proposition, it’s a nod to how, as a brand, we promote alternative masculinity and would like to be the wearer torch of modern man’s mind map. While the campaign indexes on unconventional storytelling, it translates into all of the marketing goals we set out to achieve and was therefore a unanimous choice.

Will the Innerwear Therapy campaign work with Indian consumers who view therapy as taboo?

We’ve witnessed 100% positive sentiment analysis on this campaign, we believe the audience we’re talking to praises the distinct communication style and appreciates the hyperbole the creative team employed.

Key to creating unique content: Aadar Malik and Nirmal Pillai

What do you think DaMENSCH wants to convey with the campaign – Innerwear Therapy?

Aadar Malik: For me, this campaign is about self-esteem. I think paying attention to ourselves is often the last thing we think about, so much so that we don’t even pay attention to our own basic needs and comforts like loungewear in this whack of the everyday life. I think we all have stories from our college lives about wearing underwear with holes and using the same ones to the point that they evaporate! It’s how badly we take care of ourselves and the message of this campaign is like a friend telling you “Hey! You have to take care of yourself”. Even I learned the importance of investing in quality loungewear rather than just picking up the first thing I see quite late in my life and this ad is a pretty twisted and straight-forward revelation.

What is unique about DaMENSCH that no other loungewear brand has?

Nirmal Pillai: Their products are actually very fresh and really soft, stretchy and odorless. Other than that, they’ve put together a team that really soaks up the brand element and was a lot of fun to work with. Usually with underwear brands you just see them slamming their product on people and putting these images all over the place. DaMENSCH has gone for something different here, which is quite refreshing and potentially even cutting-edge.

As a comedian, how do you deal with the constant need to find new material? As everyone has a unique creative process, what is yours?

Nirmal Pillai: My one-time creation process is freaking out over a delay. Consistency is something absolutely essential for any creation. I try to push myself to post a Reel every other day or every three days. So when that internal clock is ticking, I panic, I lose my mind and I find something and that’s my process. The constant need to find new material is all a comedian’s job is. Someone sits there and codes, the content is our job and I honestly like to come up with cool stuff.

Aadar Malik: I think the key to creating unique content is taking full advantage of the process. I really enjoy writing new songs because it’s like giving yourself the freedom to create, to fight that voice in your head that’s afraid of failure, and even to go on stage to publicly fail. Also, the excitement of continuing and constantly working to perfect something you’ve created from scratch to finally achieve the feeling of being satisfied with what you’ve written is the best thing in the world for me. My process is to write and keep writing draft after draft. There are comedic songs I’ve done that have been released and performed to an audience after reaching their 8th draft. I don’t even take the material to the public until I’m absolutely happy with it, but it takes a lot of work.

Cathy W. Howerton