Ever thought how the iconic Leonardo da Vinci’s muse Mona Lisa would be dressed if she were Indian? The unique yet bizarre idea is now a viral campaign of direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand ReshaMandi. The brand’s viral campaign featuring a desi adaptation of the iconic Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is an epic mix of cultural assimilation and creativity.
The campaign features Mona Lisa in various traditional handloom sarees belonging to different Indian states such as Gujarat (Lisa Ben), Shona Lisa (Kolkata), Maharashtra (Lisa Tai) and Lisa Devi (Bihar) among others. It’s for their Mona Lisa collection.
One of the most famous paintings has now become a meme-worthy material for the millennials and Gen Z who in turn are also getting introduced to the rich handloom heritage of India. ReshaWeaves wants just that.
The latest addition to the house of ReshaMandi brands, ReshaWeaves is the D2C division of ReshaMandi bringing traceable, sustainable and original natural fibre sarees, fabric, apparels, kidswear and home furnishing direct from weavers to consumers.
“To introduce the traditional beauty of sarees to the world that finds it orthodox, we had to communicate with our audience in a language that is most effective of our time, Memes. And Mona Lisa stood as the ideal icon that could convey the story of a Pop Culture Icon travelling across the nation and being draped in the ethnic beauty of the land,” Krishna Maniyar, director, branding & experience, ReshaMandi, tells Storyboard18.
ReshaMandi's campaign showing Mona Lisa in different traditional attires
Making handloom heritage cool
Created by ReshaMandi’s in-house team, the campaign was conceptualised after studying all the drapes around the nation, and the most popular names that can go with them. One of the employees Mansi Bajaj became the model who draped her in the specific weaves and styles. The illustrator Sooraj SS created the BGs and superimposed the iconic facial expressions on the portraits, the content team defined the captions.
Mona Lisa beat contenders such as Shakuntala by Raja Ravi Verma, The Statue of Liberty, and different art styles (Van Gogh, Dali, Warhol) to become the face of ReshaMandi’s latest campaign.
The objective behind the campaign was to establish ReshaWeaves social presence by finding and connecting with the target audience.
“The images were more of a mirror than a post, every minute detail was planned to meet something that the users would be able to associate themselves with, e.g. the bindis, the flowers in the hair, the iPhone and sunglasses, the nose rings were all very characteristic to the persona,” says Maniyar.
The campaign has helped ReshaMandi add 15 organic followers per hour across its social media platforms. The brand says that its web traffic had approx. 4,200 organic visitors on their webpage every day. Apparently, not just interest, the campaign has impacted sales too with average bucket size going up from Rs 4,850 to Rs 6,380.
Fresh Mona Lisa avatars on anvil
While the campaign scores high on originality and creativity, the team key challenges include defining the right Mona Lisa persona, finding the right name for the persona, finding the right drapes and styling (the entire photo shoot was done in a single day) and photoshopping the right facial expressions and jewellery to meet the ethnic look.
The brand did receive criticism too.
“People weren't happy we missed out on Karnataka after being based out of here, Tamil Nadu was not happy about the depiction of Mona Mami as they voiced that it represented only 3percent of all Tamil Nadu. Honestly, we are happy we received the feedback, this proved that people were connecting to the idea and also helping us define what the next set of Mona Lisas should be catering to,” concludes Maniyar.
Also, we can't help but wonder what the great master, Leonardo Da VInci himself, would have thought of his saree-draped muse.