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Social responsibility: Are we witnessing a paradigm shift in the ad industry?

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By Rituparna Chakrobarty

A unique trend has slowly emerged over the past few years that is creating waves in the advertising world. The 30 seconds advertisements not only give you a break from the nail cutting scene while endorsing their products but also disseminate a strong social message to the society and its people.

Times are changing

In earlier days the responsibility of creating awareness among people was confined to the Government only. But overtime, this tendency has changed. The private advertising agencies are coming forward and trying to share this responsibility along with the Government.

In the world of globalization, the advertising standards have been changing. With a little humor, the ads connect with the life of the viewer and try to arouse various feelings.

But why should brands choose to include social messages in their advertisements rather than just resort to sensationalism or an appeal to the baser human instincts?

So why do they do it?

The success of Tata Tea group’s “Jaago Re..” has shown the advertisers the power of social messages in ads. Campaigns presently followed by Parle, the Litter campaign and Amul’s butter campaign on World Cup series of 2015 are a proof that including something moral or social can increase the efficacy of ads.

Firstly, such campaigns help the brands come across as a socially responsible and mature. It helps them to prove that they are not merely making profits by selling their products to the consumers.

Secondly, it helps in creating a long lasting impression in the minds of the consumer. The consumers get emotionally attached to the advertisements.

Advertising beyond products

Tata Tea Group (Jaago Re..)

These ads tackle the most crucial and sensitive nerve of the society which we face in our everyday life like corruption, unqualified leaders, disobeying  the rules and regulations and common man’s ignorance to cast the vote. They talk about everyday issues and present them in a clear way.

Parle litter campaign

The commercial was set up to encourage the viewer to use dustbins at public places. Parle also participated in the Swachh Bharat initiative taken by PM Narendra Modi. This ad tells the personified dustbins that ask the people to use them.

 Amul World Cup fever

Utterly-butterly delicious Amul butter has been in the market for more than 50 years and has changed the perception about advertisements. Their recent ad campaign regarding India’s performance in the International Cricket World cup since 1975 till 2015, shows a number of eminent Indian cricket players during various breadth taking matches of the past.

Perhaps the advertisements with something relevant to say have a wider reach and people get easily convinced by them. They portray the brand as something more than just a money minting enterprise but as a socially responsible entity which serves a greater good.

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Copyright 2015 NewsGram

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Russia Using World Cup To Gloss Over Its Human Rights Record: Activists

FIFA President Gianni Infantino insists world football's governing body is engaging Russia on the issue

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People play soccer at the Red Square during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia, June 19, 2018.
People play soccer at the Red Square during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia, June 19, 2018. VOA

Human rights campaigners say Russia is using the glitz of the World Cup to try to gloss over its deteriorating human rights record — and they want tournament organizer FIFA to use its leverage to force change.

The 12 Russian host cities have enjoyed a World Cup makeover, as Russia presents a friendly face and photogenic scenery to hundreds of thousands of visitors. Tanya Lokshina, Russia program director at Human Rights Watch, is urging visitors to dig a little deeper.

“Our message to the fans is: Take a little time and learn more about the human rights crisis in Russia today, about what is, in fact, happening under the tournament’s glitter.” She described the situation as the biggest crisis since the fall of the Soviet Union.

“Russian citizens are denied their rights to speak freely, to protest freely, and people actually go to jail for posting online things like ‘Crimea is not Russia.'”

 Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov looks out from a defendants' cage as he listens to the verdict at a military court in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, Aug. 25, 2015.
Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov looks out from a defendants’ cage as he listens to the verdict at a military court in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, Aug. 25, 2015. VOA

Among those locked up is Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who criticized Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and is serving a 20-year jail term on terrorism charges.

In the Russian republic of Chechnya, Oyub Titiev, director of the human rights group Memorial, has been detained on drug charges, which his supporters said are false and politically motivated.

Before the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the release of several political prisoners. Campaigners are hoping he may repeat the gesture.

“We got a confirmation from FIFA that the organization’s leadership is engaging on the issue and hoping for a positive resolution,” Lokshina said.

Oyub Titiyev, the head of regional branch of Russian human rights group Memorial, attends a court hearing in Grozny, Russia, March 6, 2018.
Oyub Titiyev, the head of regional branch of Russian human rights group Memorial, attends a court hearing in Grozny, Russia, March 6, 2018. VOA

FIFA President Gianni Infantino insists world football’s governing body is engaging Russia on the issue.

“Concrete progress has been made in terms of human rights and the way we are dealing with human rights questions. Also through football and through an event like the World Cup,” he said in a recent interview.

On the opening day of the World Cup, gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was arrested after staging a protest outside the Kremlin, calling for an investigation into the torture and disappearance of several gay men in Chechnya. In 2007, Tatchell was attacked in Moscow by neo-Nazis and suffered partial brain damage.

A short walk from the Kremlin lies Diversity House, set up to provide a safe space for LGBTQ and other minorities to watch the games. Pavel Klymenko, of the equality campaign group FARE Network that organized the facility, said it is intended to make a political point.

Russian police detane gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, center, as he holds a banner that reads "Putin fails to act against Chechnya torture of gay people" near Red Square in Moscow, Russia, June 14, 2018.
Russian police detane gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, center, as he holds a banner that reads “Putin fails to act against Chechnya torture of gay people” near Red Square in Moscow, Russia, June 14, 2018. VOA

“This house is a way of saying to everyone — to the footballing world, to the Russian society — that minorities are part of the game, part of society.”

Also read: Canadian Accused Of Helping Russian Intelligence Agents Sentenced To Prison For 5 Years

The fear is that once the fans and footballers return home, Russia’s human rights crackdown may intensify. (VOA)