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Indian ads touch upon social issues in order to hit a chord among audiences

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Indian ads
Indian ad promoting their "Touch The Pickle" campaign. Image source: aww.com.au

New Delhi: A growing number of Indian ads seem to be touching upon social issues like gender stereotyping while marketing products, and hitting a chord among audiences.

Why should laundry be a woman’s job? asks a new TV commercial for a detergent. It features the father of a young, working woman who gives voice to inequality in homes.

So are Indian ads coming of age as far as gender sensitivity is concerned? Yes, say many, although there are still those fairness ads that equate success and happiness with the skin tone of a woman. Or a man.

But coming to the ones that have positive messages riding on them, the latest ad of Ariel’s “Share the Load” campaign has gone viral on the social media, a testimony to its popularity. Sharat Verma, associate brand director of Fabric Care, P&G India, said that commercial approach is a part of a bigger movement of making ads that are more purposeful and meet the needs of consumers.

“According to a study by a private agency that we have supported, two out of three children in India agree that washing clothes are only their mother’s job. And 73 percent married women agree that mothers teach household chores to only their daughters, not sons. But ironically, 79 percent fathers would want to get their daughters married to a man who will help with household chores. This campaign, therefore, takes the conversation on social inequality within households forward,” Verma told reporters.

The best ads also avoid a sermonising tone.

Another one that won many hearts was a sanitary napkin’s ‘Touch the Pickle’ campaign. Challenging the age-old superstition that associated menstruating women with ‘impurity’, the ad hit a chord with the masses and went on to win the Glass Lion at Cannes. A new award category, the Glass Lion seeks to honour work that challenges gender stereotype.

Josy Paul, chairman and chief creative officer of BBDO, the agency behind ‘Touch the Pickle’, said that ads with social messages are a response to what is happening in society.

“There are 10,000 videos released in a day around the world. To make your presence felt in such a rush, you have to connect to the audience. We try to identify a conflict, like gender stereotyping or gender inequality in education and resolve it. The brand does well commercially because it touches the people, and the social message also goes through,” Paul said.

BBDO’s ad for Visa Debit Card was another video that challenged one to think of solutions to age-old problems. Set in a village in Rajasthan where girls drop out of school because they have to walk miles to get water, the protagonist purchases sewing machines online, and then gets tailor-made saris for the young women with alphabets on them. This way they can learn to read from each other’s saris while going to get water.

K V Sridhar, chief creative officer, SapientNitro India, says that Indian advertising has come a long way and with people wanting to break norms and challenge stereotypes, the ad world has started reflecting it. “A campaign is all about treatment and if a big brand is able to treat bold concepts subtly, then the message will be disseminated in a better way,” he said. “It will also encourage smaller brands to follow suit,” he added.

Ragini Sharma, an advertising professional, however, opined that ads such as the ones mentioned or which have a social message, do not necessarily imply that change had arrived. “But there is definitely a shift. I mean, for every one ad that touches you or makes you think, there will be three others that, well, don’t. There’s however no denying that movement ads are becoming very popular,” she said.

Paul agrees and adds that the ad world is moving ahead from slogan chanting to becoming platforms of unmet needs. “Honestly, you don’t know what will do well. With social media, you now get the immediate reaction. All you got to do is be as authentic as possible. True empathy creates a following,” he said. (Azera Parveen Rahman, IANS)

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Going Viral: Fun and Fatal Social Media Challenges

The challenge encouraged nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and then nominating others to do the same

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InstagramAn affordable way to boost your content . Pixabay

By Durga Chakravarty

The growing popularity of social media platforms has seen an upsurge in viral trends — some fun, but some fatal to human life. Be it the ice bucket challenge or the latest #Birdboxchallenge — these have swept the Internet as netizens from all around the globe join in to perform certain situations, dances, voices or even speeches for entertainment.

IANS gives a lowdown on the popular challenges that have taken over social media over the past few years:

* #10yearchallenge: The latest entry to the growing list of viral challenges on social media is the 10-Year Challenge, which has caught the attention of many. In this, a person is required to share his recent image alongside a 10-year-old photograph to see the difference. From Hollywood to Bollywood and the local neighbourhood, everyone took a moment to rewind the clock and compare their looks.

* #Birdboxchallenge: This originated from streaming website Netflix’s film “Bird Box”, starring Sandra Bullock. In the film, Bullock and two children navigate a post-apocalyptic world while blindfolded to avoid seeing an ominous figure which causes death for humans. After the film’s release, people uploaded and shared videos of themselves wandering around blindfolded, undertaking the challenge, which is inspired by scenes depicted in the movie. As various accidents began taking place, Netflix urged fans of the film not to do the challenge due to safety concerns.

* #Kikichallenge: This challenge saw people across the globe dancing on the hit song “In My Feeling” from the album “Scorpion” by Canadian hip-hop superstar Drake. The challenge, which took the Internet by storm, showed fans suddenly coming out of a moving car, leaving the door open and then dancing to the song besides the slow-moving vehicle on the road. This was risky too.

* #Fluffchallenge: This was a disappearing game that people all around the world attempted to try to fool their pets, mostly dogs. With a large piece of cloth in hand and a doorway nearby, the owners would shake the cloth multiple times and then disappear behind a wall, leaving the pet confused or reacting oddly.

Mannequins in clothing stores
The Mannequin Challenge was video trend which became popular in 2016-17. Pixabay

* The Dele Alli hand challenge: English footballer Dele Alli’s hand-salute gesture left the social media users in a tizzy. His gesture covering his eye with a looped finger and odd twist of the wrist, created quite a buzz, with many trying different ways to successfully try it.

* Mannequin challenge: The Mannequin Challenge was video trend which became popular in 2016-17. The challenge was for people to remain frozen in their position like mannequins while a camera moved around and filmed them, with the song “Black beatles” by hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd playing in the background.

* Kylie Jenner lip challenge: As Kylie Jenner flaunted her fuller lips on social media, a new challenge emerged among teenaged girls, who idolised the make-up mogul. They would insert their lips into a shot glass, small jar or bottle, then suck out the air, creating a vacuum hoping to have pouty lips like popular reality TV star.

Also Read- Parents Need to Act Quickly to Handle a Child’s Fears, Says Maneka Gandhi

* Ice Bucket Challenge: The Ice Bucket Challenge, also called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It was an activity involving the dumping of a bucket of ice and water over a person’s head, either by another person or self-administered, to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as motor neuron disease and in the US as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and encourage donations to research.

The challenge encouraged nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and then nominating others to do the same. A common stipulation is that nominated participants have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation. (IANS)