Brand Saga: Bata India’s revolutionization of seasonal footwear one ad a time

From reliable school shoes and padded slippers for the elder to now fashionable and “surprisingly Bata” – the Bata advertising journey has evolved with the changing consumer behavior and demands.

It all began in January 1934 when the foundation of Bata India was laid in Calcutta. In the years that followed, the shoe brand’s birth towns would come to be known as Batanagar. As monsoon gets us all geared up to shop for the best Bata footwear for the season, we revisit the iconic Bata advertising journey reminiscing the campaigns that made a mark.

Bata Advertising Journey

The initial advertisements of Bata focussed on utility at their core. Though fashion also made appearances here and there, the functional use triumphed. Different print advertisements came to the fore for different target groups, primarily men, women, children, and youth.

The commercials of Bata Sandal – with the tagline ‘Muskurahat Jo pairon par chaa jaaye’, kept the quotient of comfort and affordability as the core messaging and featured a family set up.

Though there isn’t enough documentation online to check for TV spot ads, there is a Pinterest page that has shared various old Bata ads, over the years. In India, the ads were simple, often showed prices, and had a strong push towards design. This was the time the brand was attempting to enter lives. This continued for the few initial decades of the brand’s existence.

Since the early 2000s, Bata India has been focussing on catering to the youth, capturing their imagination with affordable yet trendy products. It led to a revamp in their branding where they roped in Kriti Sanon and Sushant Singh Rajput in 2018. It was evident in the communication that they wanted people to be surprised as to how the brand has evolved over time.

Bata India got Hush Puppies to India in the early 2010s. It was one of the turning points in terms of expanding the collections on offer. Subsequently, other brands have also come on board. Such partnerships have helped Bata India offer high-end products to customers.

Around 2014, fashion prominently entered the brand’s communication as a USP. This was coupled with their focus on talking to modern, urban women. This has continued to be true until 2019. Through campaigns like #ComfortableWithIt, #FindYourPower, and #Bata9to9, Bata has concentrated on joining the conversation around feminism and women empowerment. 

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Bata India’s Monsoon and Men’s collections are two constant verticals that have existed since the brand came into being. Throughout the 2010s, there have been efforts to add a splash of glamour to these collections with the help of new designs, influencers, and celebrities.

In 2018, Bata India concentrated their efforts massively into making people realise that they are a brand to check out when it comes to fashionable footwear. #ComeAndBeSurprised and #SurprisinglyBata were used for this campaign to promote the newly launched Red Label collection.

The brand urged citizens to step out and take the responsibility of deciding the fate of the nation. #JaaUngliDikha campaign rolled out in 2019 not only encouraged the citizens to take the right step but also rewarding them for taking their responsibility seriously. Hence, the brand took on the initiative of gratifying every citizen who votes with a special offer at the Bata store, simply by showing the inked finger.

In 2020, Bata India reaffirmed its commitment towards making women’s lives easier with the inclusion of newer, more comfortable, and chic designs in its much loved 9 to 9 range of footwear.

Later, the ‘Kick Out 2020’ TVC, conceptualized by Contract Advertising, featured Kriti Sanon and marked the launch of Bata’s new collection – ‘Ready Again’, which comprises a wide variety of footwear to go with every outfit and occasion. Casuals, Festive, Fitness, Dress, Fashion, you name it, the ‘Ready Again’ collection has all the comfortable & stylish designs.

Cut to 2021, to aid people as they make the transition back to life at the office, Bata India launched a new TVC starring Kartik Aaryan announcing the launch of the ‘Relaxed Workwear’ collection.

Take a detailed look at the Bata India advertising journey here that encapsulates the brand’s tryst with print advertising and digital storytelling.

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