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Jiyo Parsi: Making fun of Parsi Community

The tongue-in-cheek campaign conceptualised by Madison World uses provocative messages to drive a mindset change in young Parsis

Sarmistha Neogy | Mumbai | November 13, 2014


On one hand, when the Government is spreading awareness on the use of condoms to check our rising population, we have another interesting campaign which tells us ‘be responsible don’t use a condom tonight’. This is part of the ‘Jiyo Parsi’ campaign, conceptualised by Madison World to spread awareness on the scheme initiated by the Ministry of Minority Affairs (MOMA), Government of India, to reverse the decline in the Parsi population.

The Parsi community has always been known for its great sense of humor and ability to laugh at themselves. So why should the campaign to save the community be a serious, morbid, dark one? That was the insight with which the agency set about to create a four stage campaign for Jiyo Parsi. The campaign uses cheeky at times, provocative messaging to get young people thinking about the choices and responsibilities they have.

Lara Balsara Lara Balsara

Speaking about the campaign, Lara Balsara, Executive Director, Madison World said, “We are extremely excited about the campaign. We have used humour to tackle a serious issue and hope to drive a mindset change in Young Parsis.”

Humour has been weaved into each of the print ads to communicate the concerned issue with the aim to reach out to the Parsi youth and employ their support to drive awareness. The campaigns highlight important issues like decline in numbers mainly due to late and non marriages, fertility decline, and marriages outside the community, separation and divorces.

The campaigns are quirky and manage to tickle your funny bone to convey an important message in each of the ads. Some of the one-liners like ‘Have a child quickly after marriage, because your parents won’t be around forever to babysit’, ‘Be responsible don’t use a condom tonight’, ‘What can be more adorable, than annoying the same person all through life?’ ‘Your grandfather’s 1955 Fiat. Your other grandfather’s 1976 Yezdi, Your dad’s 1982 Gold Rolex Oyester. Who is going to inherit all of it?’ or ‘Isn’t it time, you broke up with your mom’ makes an attempt to create a strong impact to tackle the dwindling Parsi numbers.

The ‘Jiyo Parsi’ makes an attempt to change the mindset of the young Parsi to get married quickly, have children once they are married, to have more than one child and for those married couples who can’t have children, Jiyo Parsi is there to help through its ‘Jiyo Parsi’ scheme that funds infertility treatment for couples. Some of these ads have also received flak on Twitter where they have been termed as ‘regressive’ ‘semi-insulting’, ‘poor taste’ and ‘puts undue pressure on women.’

The campaign was launched by the Parzor Foundation and Bombay Parsi Panchayat, with TISS, Mumbai and Federation of Zoroastrian Anjumans of India on November 10. Bollywood actress, Perizaad Zorobian is the face of the ‘Jiyo Parsi’ campaign.

Over the centuries, since the Zoroastrians arrived in India, they have integrated themselves into Indian society while simultaneously maintaining their own distinct customs, traditions and ethnic identity. As India’s population more than tripled in 60 years, the number of Parsis has reduced by 39% and is less than 69,000 today. Therefore, the ‘Jiyo Parsi’ campaign aims to bring a halt to the current scenario.

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