Campaigns that shape us.

While movies and noteworthy individuals influence us to think and act differently, advertising campaigns have always done an amazing job at moving the masses to action their thoughts and be more than a citizen on stand by. One of our mentors, Pete, urged us to share some of our favorite ads and that got me thinking about the ads that influenced me to get into advertising and think differently. 

These ads have taught me the art of conversation in ways I didn’t imagine existed or was too lost in the mundane day to day to realise. Let’s start off with a brand activation that literally banks on the fact that conversation is key! I encourage you to watch the video below right away.

As you’ve seen the activation revolves around a conversation between a quintessential middle-class Indian women and one of India’s most notorious public enemies, a sex worker. Prostitution is a super taboo back home and in most countries, through the art of conversation though we see that the sex worker is simply human, has similar difficulties to us and faces similar if not more stringent obstacles. And like the campaign says “Sometimes, common ground is just a cup away”. 

On a personal level, this campaign urged me to ask more questions, look beyond socially built up personas or preconceptions that forged thoughts and feelings towards a particular set or socially defined strata. That being said, I still deduce a book by it’s cover but hold back on conclusions until questions are asked and answered. 

The next campaign didn’t just make the community question preconceptions and societal norms but actually gave us inspiration and encouragement to act on them. Once again, I encourage you to watch the video below.  

Like you’ve watched, the campaign urged citizens to act on domestic violence with simple acts. More executions of the campaign see individuals asking for milk, the time of the day or other simple acts that alert the abuser that they can be heard and that others are aware of their acts. 

The campaign sparked a social movement that saw people in my own locality disrupt the status quo of “let it be, it’s between a husband and wife”. The campaign sparked a revolution and some of the ads, like the one above, were true stories of how people reacted.

The last one is closer to home than I had imagined. I came across the ad at the cinema, just before the movie started. The tagline/hashtag has stayed with me since. The campaign is unexpected and extremely relevant to social norms and existing culture throughout the country. Once again, I urge you to watch the video below.

This campaign speaks for itself and social inequalities in Indian society. Thus, I continue to believe that the advertising industry impacts us more than we can ever imagine. These ads or what I’d call beautifully curated short films teach us so much more than we can possibly imagine. 

I hope to make campaigns like these that provoke social change and make us act rather than stay inert.


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