Advertisements that Touch Lives

by Kapil Vaishnani  |  11th Nov, 2017 in Advertising

There is this promotional documentary called Finn, which was made by Caravan, for Project Alive, a non-profit organization. The character in the documentary, Finton Muedder (Finn) is diagnosed with Hunter’s Syndrome, which is a rare terminal genetic disorder.

While giving an insight into the disorder, the documentary focuses on the journey of the parents as they struggle to come to terms with the fact that they are going to lose their child.

Aesthetics apart, this film is so incredibly moving that it actually hits you in the gut.

Yes, it is a PSA (public service announcement) campaign and it’s been aimed at raising funds. However, at no point of time, does the film feel manipulative. It is honest; yet powerful.

This is where PSA takes the form of an art.

This is how a “message” piece can be made to move beyond a cheesy “call to action”.

It is such deep psychological insights that make up for some of the greatest ad campaigns.

The messages given out by such ads are meaningful, inspirational and powerful enough to build credibility of the brand. Delivered a unique and thought-provoking ways, they make the audience trust the brands, although they may not actually have interacted with them in any way. Brand fans tend to share such videos virally on social media, adding up to the awareness and credibility.

It is no more about commoditizing your brand and competing on the price. Instead work on increasing the loyalty and goodwill.

The world would be a much better place to live in if every brand worked towards a cause, the way Lifebuoy did. Instead of just selling its soap, the brand went a step ahead and taught healthy hand washing habits to more than 130 million people across the world.

Lifebuoy Gondappa – #HelpAChildReachFive

In spite of so many advancements in technology and medicine, child mortality is still very high in most parts across the world. About 2 million children under the age of 5 succumb to death every year, due to infections such as pneumonia and diarrhea. The reason is mainly lack of hygiene, poverty, and more importantly, the lack of knowledge about the prevention of such deaths.

Lifebuoy Gondappa – #HelpAChildReachFive is one ad campaign through which the brand attempts to put forth its social message. A man is shown walking on his hands till the village temple. It is his way of offering gratitude to God, upon his son reaching the age of five. If you just voiced the words, what’s the big deal, read this…

‘Apparently this boy is the first ever child to have lived up to the age of five, in the Indian village of Gondappa.’

The rural setting in which the film has been shot, the conditions in the village, the delight on the man’s face, everything makes the ad seem so natural and compelling. It does strike an emotional chord with its viewers in a subtle yet powerful way.

#CleftToSmile – Operation Smile

Incomplete development of the lip or palate can lead to cleft in many newborns. However, the condition can be easily corrected through a minor surgery. In fact Operation smile, a cleft charity, has been conducting such surgeries free of cost, for over ten years now. Yet, there are many who are absolutely unaware of this.

#CleftToSmile is their way of creating awareness about their initiative. By creating a simple logo that could be typed on Twitter, the cleft charity organization managed to spread its word across the world. They also got a few celebrities to tweet about the same.

#MakeLoveNotScars – Ogilvy

This well-received campaign includes simple videos that offer beauty tips. But the person who gives those beauty tips is an acid attack victim called Reshma. She talks about the easy availability of concentrated acid that has destroyed many lives of those who have been victims to ruthless acts of violence.

Not only does the campaign create awareness about the open sale of acids, it also offers an opportunity for the viewers to take their stand on the issue. It ends with a plea to sign the petition, which can help in banning the open sale of acids.

Vicks: Touch of Care

Nowhere in this campaign will you see the actual product of the brand; yet the message is loud and clear – the Touch of Care.  The commercial starts with a girl reminiscing her life with her foster mother, on her way to the hostel. Only at the end do the viewers come to know the mother is actually a transgender. Then comes the poignant question that haunts the girl’s mind – Why isn’t my mom entitled to basic civil rights like others?”

It is this question that makes the girl change her dream – she now wants to become a lawyer instead of a doctor. It is her wish to make sure everyone enjoys equal rights in life. With the hashtag #touchofcare, the campaign has urged India to change its way of thinking. After all transgenders are also human beings.

#RightfullyHers – Bajaj Electricals

Hectic schedules of the modern day life has sure made people busy. But they have also brought in a whole lot of loneliness, especially in the lives of those that care – the moms! #RightfullyHers is a campaign through which Bajaj Electricals wishes to pay its tribute to such moms on Mother’s Day.

While focusing on the things a mom does for her son only to get a bit of his attention, the campaign also shows what that busy son can do to bring a smile on that mom’s face. The mom is overwhelmed when she sees the Facebook notification of her son changing his name to Varun Maya Seth from Varun Satyam Seth.

In today’s world where every communication happens through social media, the campaign shows how it is possible to offer your mom what is rightfully hers. Although a short video of two minutes, it sure swept many netizens off their feet.

These are a few of the most touching advertisements that Indian brands have come up with. We would surely require many more of these to change the advertising culture of India. Brands need to focus on touching lives rather than the rupee notes. And if this happens it won’t be too long to change the course of Indian history.

Founder - Chairman, Litmus Branding Pvt. Ltd.
Kapil Vaishnani founded Litmus in 2001 to water his passion for creating brands. Kapil’s a creative brain hitched at business. He firmly believes that focused communication is the key and it must carry a purpose that serves both brand and business. Simplicity is Kapil’s power gear that has shaped some of the prominent brands in India and globally. His passion-filled sportsmanship with multi-disciplinary talent is brimming with experience of 20+ years. Talk sense and he is all ears.