The campaign, conceptualised by McCann, is one in the slew of a number of brands raising issues concerning women in their ad communication
Roshni Nair | Mumbai | December 21, 2016
A lot of brands in the recent past have tried to raise issues concerning women in their ad communication. Be it the much talked about #Share the load campaign by Ariel or the bold and refreshing ad communication from brands like Biba and Anouk, issues like gender stereotyping, workplace discrimination and even dowry have been central themes in many of these films.
Entering this milieu, armed with their own take on one such women-oriented issue, is Parachute. Parachute Advansed Body Lotion (PABL) recently unveiled its new campaign #ConfidentInMySkin. The campaign, conceptualised by McCann, urges women to take no notice of the restrictions that the society places on them and take pride in who they are.
The ad film starts with people along the street ogling at a girl wearing a short skirt, to another girl wearing a sleeveless tee-shirt. It transitions to the next scene where the girl is advised to cover herself with a âdupattaâ as the voiceover goes âSunoh, issey dupatta pehnaoâ. The campaign then portrays different scenes, wherein women face scrutiny for their choice of clothes and how they choose to carry themselves. From wearing backless clothes, to revealing dresses, to tops that attract attention, the judgement keeps pouring in. It ends with a girl being judged for wearing âaunty wale kapdeâ as she dresses conservatively, and finally a woman wearing traditional clothes rides away on a motorcycle as the voiceover goes -- âzyada bano matâŠzyada tano matâ. Through the subtle sarcasm, the campaign communicates that the judgement of society should never stop women from being their real selves.
Commenting on the launch of the digital campaign, Anuradha Aggarwal, Chief Marketing Officer, Marico Limited, said, âWith this campaign, PABL reinforces the belief that she has the freedom to wear what she wants and be truly confident in her skin, both literally and metaphorically.â
Speaking about the campaign and the insight behind it Suraja Kishore, National Head Planning, McCann, said, âIndia is changing. At the heart of the change are its women. When we met with women across big and small towns, we realised that women have changed, society has not. The revelation was that women are making changes despite odds and social hypocrisy. They are increasingly becoming comfortable and confident with their new-found identities and newer roles. In a culture like ours, brands have to move on from being an âenablerâ to a âbelieverâ. Parachute Advansed Body Lotion believes in the fact that todayâs women are confident in their skin. They are confidently wearing what they please. As a believer brand we are celebrating this new narrative and we are certain this will bring the brand closer to our consumers.â
But why this surge in ads taking up womenâs issues?
âWomen are the consumers for more than 70 per cent of the brands that are sold. Women have been spoken to forever but now there is awareness on how to speak to women. Now, when the ad slots are bigger than the programming bit, you have to work at making the message relevant to the target audience you are talking to. I donât believe that everyone has become more egalitarian or kinder, I just think that people now are paying more attention to the user than the message,â said Swati Bhattacharya, Chief Creative Officer, FCB Ulka.
Is this the new trend? Nisha Singhania, Co-founder and Director, Infectious, hopes not.
âHopefully, it is not a trend that will go by. It is a reflection of society because society is changing and women are going out and working and doing incredible things. Media also many a time impacts the way people think. So if we do progressive work, hopefully it will reflect on society.â
Sharing her views on Parachuteâs new ad, Singhania said, âMost brands today have moved beyond the physical delivery of the product -- a great example is Dove real beauty -- and the Parachute kind of communication is not new. Brands today are trying to have a larger conversation that connects with people -- it could either be a reflection of what society is (like Parachute) or create a new world in which you invite people (like Dove) which could change the way people think.â
Suresh Eriyat, Founder and Creative Director, Eeksaurus thinks that these are reflections of changing times but some of it may also be to grab some eyeballs.
âIn Europe and other western countries, women are at the helm at many organisations. We are seeing that in India too now and people are realising that. So in the communication too, people are trying to showcase that it is no more how it used to be and that things are changing. But there is also a little bit of sensationalisation that is happening here. Going against the convention will always create discussion and so in a way brands are also using this approach. Even though the intent sometimes is to get more eyeballs and it may not make much difference on ground, I still see it as an advantage as it is a conversation starting,â he said.
Speaking about Parachute's ad Eriyat said, "This clearly is an urban-focused communication. If it were for the rural markets they would probably still talk about how good coconut is for the hair and things like that, you know focusing on external beauty. This is a more city-based film and today people look to associate with brands that are more open and progressive in their outlook. I see this as something that shows solidarity towards a progressive outlook."
Client: Marico Limited
Chairman Asia Pacific, CEO and CCO India: Prasoon Joshi
Vice-Chairman and M D: Partha Sinha
National Planning Head and Branch Head, Mumbai: Suraja Kishore
National Creative Director: Pradyumna Chauhan
Creative Team: Sanket Pathare, Amod Dani, Amit Thakur, Sandesh Kargutkar
Executive Business Leader: Sujala Martis
Business Director: Amitabh Sreedharan
Account Management: Manjiri Bhopatkar, Shambhavi Singh
Planning Director: Pearl Vas
Films: Vrushali Samant
Director: Vijay Sawant
Producer: Dharam Valia
Production House: Hungry Films
Music Director: Shubhojit Mukherjee