The Ekatvam ad by Tanishq representing communal harmony and love over religious or cultural differences irked the social media and Indian audience. The backlash trended on social media with #BoycottTanishq so much that the company decided to take down its advertisement. Ironic that the Indian audience was divided and appalled at ‘Ekatvam’, which when literally translated means unity. However, there were people who stood up for the advertisement and showered it with love and support. But, social advertisements in the country have a long history.
Social Advertisements vs. Social Structure:
Though, Tanishq isn’t the first in row who decided to use the power of social advertisement for good. As per a 2006 marketing report, an average modern individual is exposed to about 5,000 ads in a single day. This number however has certainly shot up now with the availability of multiple platforms and social media. Advertisements are everywhere, ranging from one’s television screen to their smartphone screens. But, most of the ads turn up disappointing as sexist, cringe, racist, classist and even casteist inherently. It is very rare to actually come across sensible or thought provoking ads.
Here are 5 advertisements that redefined social marketing and gave social message through their platform. These brands set a precedent for other market channels to follow into their footsteps and do the right meaningful thing.
KBC’s Take on ‘Khoon ek hai’ : Social Responsibility with Social Advertisements
Before becoming an indirect face of the current government in power, Amitabh Bachchan was often part of awakening campaigns in the country. The beautiful KBC ad dates back to 5 years ago. It shows communal coexistence and harmony amid unreasonable differences. It exhibits that care and respect surpass religious differences. That at the end, we are all humans and that is the biggest religion. The message it sends is that there is no difference in our blood, nor in its color. That all the communities have so much to learn and share with each other, lend and borrow from each other. The heart touching filmy ad guarantees a smile on your face.
Vicks’ take on the LGBTQIA+ community will bring you to tears
Vicks India took a brave step and released this advertisement featuring the real life story of Gauri Sawant, a transwoman and her daughter, Gayatri. In 2017, when homosexual relationships were still a crime in India and where the queer community is socially marginalized, discriminated against and suppressed, Vicks India chose to tell Sawant’s story. Sawant adopted Gayatri when she was really young after her biological mother died of AIDS.
The video begins with Gayatri recollecting her quotidian life with her mother and the bond they both share. The mother’s identity is revealed shortly after as Gayatri questions the unfair legal and social treatment the trans community is meted with. Gayatri at the end says that she aspires to become a lawyer, for her mother. Grab a box of tissues before you decide on watching or re-watching this video. Gauri Sawant’s life and her daughter is as warming as Vicks is in cold.
All Out’s #StandByToughMoms
All Out’s advertisements always promote the role mothers play protecting their kids. While most of them revolve around glorification of muted sacrifices, the #StandByToughMoms is a true representation of a mother’s role. The advertisement shows the daughter in law of a joint family being chastised by her in laws at dinner table as she serves them dinner. She listens to jibes from her husband to her in laws. All this, because she reprimanded her son for stealing money, who is now angry at her and refuses to eat.
However, the father in law soon interjects and stands by the mothers decision. This does not just shut others on the table, but asks the grandson to finish his meal. The advertisement is a reminder of how much women go through, especially as mothers and daughters in law. They should not just ‘not suffer in silence’, but rather should not suffer at all for being tough mothers and putting their kids on the right path.
Dalda’s ‘Pehle Tum’ : Towards Right Social Advertisements
In most Indian household, women are the last to eat. As these unsaid norms continue to be followed in the 21st century, Dalda Ghee’s #PehleTum initiative urges people to ask the women of their house to eat together or before. The ad features an average Indian family with the daughter in law taking caring of the entire household and eating all her meals at the last. Sometimes, she does not even get the time to have her own cup of tea in peace. The ad ends on a poignant note with the husband acknowledging the problem and the family understanding it too.
This promotional campaign by Kaun Banega Crorepati tries hard to open India’s eyes to its racial discrimination and ignorance. A woman is on KBC’s hot seat who seems to be representing the North-East states of India. Her question is ‘Which Country is Kohima in?’. While all the eyes are glued on her everywhere, she decides to take the audience poll. This further draws attention and mockery from the audience. The audience poll responded with 100% voting for India. To this she says that everyone does know it, but how many actually acknowledge it? The ad is emotional and heart touching. But unfortunately even years down the lane, racial discrimination against the North Easterners does not cease.
These advertisements are not just heart touching, but thought provoking too.