Brand Update : Fastrack Gets Provocative

Fastrack ,the most successful youth brand of India has started getting provocative. In a strategy emulating the likes of United Colors of Benetton , FCUK etc, the brand has embraced a double-edged sword inorder to keep connected to the fickle Indian young consumers. 
Fastrack is one of those few brands which could break into the young consumer's minds. Over these years, the brand was able to position itself as a young, vibrant, brand and through very smart campaigns has created as space for itself. 
The brand evolved from a sub-brand to a powerful independent brand through some smart product strategies ( design + affordability + promotion) and clever advertising. 
Now it seems, the brand is entering the next phase of its evolution. From a watch brand, Fastrack has grown to become an umbrella brand endorsing products from watches to tees.

The current campaign which is more of a digital campaign is provocative at its best. The brand is now starting to walk through the thin-line separating decency and the other-side. Many brands especially those who target the youngsters are tempted to be provocative with a dash of erotica/nudity. Lot of researches has been done on the effectiveness of such provocative ads. Research says that provocative ads drives its power from three factors (a) Shock Value (b) Ambiguity (c) Transgression  to some cultural taboo  ( Pope Voges & Brown, Journal of Marketing) . The ads which aims to be provocative needs to shock people so that attention is taken. The ads should be ambiguous confusing the audience as to the real meaning of the ad, so that they discuss it longer and finally the ads should break some rules or taboo. In all these counts, the Fastrack campaign scores brownie points.

The real question is the advantage of getting provocative. Earlier researches categorically stated that provocative ads although has an effect on the audience's attention towards the campaign creates a negative impact on the brand image. But recent researches tend to be gentle in criticizing such ads since there is a marked shift in the audience culture. But researchers were not able to clearly measure the impact of such ads on the overall brand image.
So here Fastrack is taking a risk. The short-term benefit is the attention that these ads will shower on the brand but the risk is whether the brand gets trapped in these type of ads and finally ruining its image.
Its for sure that the youngsters will find no issues with the current campaign and that is what the brand also wants.
What do you think ?

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