Women’s Day and Brands
There was a rush by brands using the Women’s Day event to release tailor made campaigns. The winner this Woman’s Day came from the Unblushed Channel on YouTube featuring Aditi Rao Hydari
First, a bit of context. It was in 1977 that United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for Women’s Rights and World Peace. Though many countries have had their own version of Women’s Day as far back as 1910, this year the UN declared the theme for International Women’s Day as “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”.
Independent of the UN campaign, Earnst and Young-sponsored #PledgeForParity is running a campaign centred at the site http://www.internationalwomensday.com . This is a global initiative and likely to run for the whole year. The campaign has its own social feed and it’s for this campaign that Kim Kardashian did her tweet and posts on Instagram that are still being discussed. There are manyIndian brands that also took the # PledgeForParity and actors like Akshay Kumar took to Twitter to thank the women in his life.
In India some brands did use the event to release tailor made campaigns. The most popular of them was the Titan Raga TVC. #BreakTheBias from Titan Raga is the story of Rajat and Kiran and how they always work together.
They are the first to come to office, last to leave, work on weekends and Kiran is the reason for Rajat’s success. Rajat has recommended Kiran for a promotion and now the CEO wants to meet Kiran. Now,Kiran is not what the CEO thought Kiran would be, and that is the whole commercial. I am not sure if the TVC #BreaksTheBias, or is even the TVC for Women’s Day.
The comments section on YouTube and Facebook make for interesting reading. There is a divide among netizens, with sharp opinions on both sides. Does it break the stereotype or makes them stronger? Is it about equality of gender? Does it celebrate the womanpower at the work place? For me the winner is this Raga TVC made in 2014. Makes a really strong point and, unlike this TVC, does not leave the women in a hazy confused zone.
Reebok with Kangana, Kohinoor Basmati Rice, Amul Milk and Craftsvilla too joined the bandwagon releasing women focused ads. Most of the ads remained in the safe brand territory and didn’t breakout of the everyday narrative of the brand. It was largely a missed opportunity, apart from Ariel’s #ShareTheLoad which I had discussed earlier.
The winner this Woman’s Day came from the Blush Channel on YouTube featuring Aditi Rao Hydari. What really works both for Aditi and the narrative is that they don’t try hard to be in the activism mode, they just savour the moment. The focus on what you can do in that moment and how you can use the present to drive a change makes the video truly engaging. The comments on the channel and at other places on social media tell you that Blush has delivered a winner.
Women’s Day campaigns are not complete without mentioning #UnfairAndLovely campaign that is questioning the deep skin colour bias that exists in our society. The campaign created by Pax Jones, a Black student at the University of Texas, created a photo series aimed at fighting back against global colourism and the media that perpetuates it. For once the much-maligned selfies were put to good use to showcase melanin in skin and shatter gender biases. For once, the brand Fair and Lovely had no response to the celebration of skin tone that nature blessed women with. For once dark was just a shade and not a curse.