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Brands tap into kindness & empathy, as Covid takes a toll

Brand campaigns with messages of compassion, and togetherness are winning hearts.

Mumbai: Nothing about our lives or the world we dwell in today is like what we knew it to be, till a little more than a year ago. This is perhaps a good enough incentive for brands and advertisers to adapt to the present world - Not ignore the elephant in the room and accept the irrevocable, undeniable truth of our reality today. After all, how long can the advertising world remain oblivious to the devastating changes brought by Covid-19 all around us.

Here are some brand campaigns which have chosen to take a different route as we endure a global pandemic. They have chosen to embark on the route of empathy, kindness, and most important of all, humanity:

Facebook India | More Together Hum Aaj Ek-duusre ka saath denge, toh ek behtar kal zaroor hoga. #MoreTogether

The campaign captures the grief and sense of loss many of us have gone through because of the devastation caused by Covid. However, it does not dwell on the grief for long, portraying brilliantly how a personal tragedy can transform an ordinary person into a do-gooder. While all of us watch out for the wellbeing of our loved ones, it’s only a few special ones who look out for others- not their own. It is this extraordinary message that Facebook’s latest ‘More together’ campaign brings out poignantly while also driving in the need to vaccinate oneself and the community we live in to make a safer world. The film succeeds in conveying a sense of hope and a sense of being in this together during these bleak times.

SBI Life Insurance: SBI Life #MummyKahanHain 

The creative portrays a day in the life of a family in the new normal during the pandemic. It shows through the eyes of a child how she is initially upset to not have her working mom cater to her needs while at home, as the mother is busy working from home. For children, their mother is their sanctuary, and “#Mummy Kahan Hain” is the constant query thrown at the other members of the household if she’s missing for a moment. The heart-warming ad wonderfully depicts how during this pandemic, kids learned to adapt to ways of the new normal, and for every time that they asked #MummyKahanHain, they also realized the many hats a mother dons working from and for home. By the end, the child learns to truly understand and appreciate how a mother has an identity separate from motherhood.

Ariel’s ad of a transgender doctor Priya #MakeItPossible

Tough times never last, tough people do. Ariel’s new ad narrates the inspiring true story of Kerala’s first Transgender Doctor, V.S. Priya. Growing up in a conventional household and having lived all her life as a male, Dr. Priya took the bold and life-altering decision of embracing her feminine identity. Challenged by societal norms and stereotyped gender roles in families, she lived as a man for almost 30 years. Now, as Kerala’s first transgender doctor, she wants to be known for her work and is a beacon of hope not only for all transgendered people who want to be known for what they do but for everyone who continues to battle the odds and face impossible challenges. @Ariel India has been championing the cause of gender equality and celebrates these heroes who overcome the odds to #MakeItPossible.

TATA Steel Apno Ke Liye Aage Badho

It’s been just over a year since the pandemic changed our lives forever. While every festival that comes around brings a semblance of warmth and cheer, we need to remember the people who have lost their loved ones to this deadly nemesis. This film by TATA Steel celebrates and pays homage to the Covid warriors- those doctors and health workers who sacrificed their lives in the larger need of humanity. It reminds their loved ones to not stop living in their absence and celebrate the indomitable human spirit that fights against all odds and keeps moving ahead. 

Ashok Leyland  #AapkiJeetHamariJeet

One of the lessons the pandemic has taught us is the power and value of kindness of strangers. Ashok Leyland made a touching ad dripping with warmth, that shows how every celebration begins with caring and sharing. The film shows two people stuck up on a deserted road, with one of the person’s car breaks down. The video beautifully shows how sometimes it is important to rise to the occasion and go beyond one’s calling- purely in the name of humanity, empathy, and compassion. The underlying message being ‘Let us together spread positivity and goodwill.’ 

Colgate – Smiles always find a way

To sign off, here is a brilliant but simple concept by a brand that sells its product by displaying models with gorgeous smiles with the perfect set of teeth. However, in this International print ad, the brand chooses to demonstrate how truly warm smiles do not always need a perfect set of teeth. That, in fact, one can smile most warmly even by having a mask cover one’s face – the smile will find it through one’s eyes. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, face masks have become a part and parcel of our everyday lives. Gradually, we have got used to living with our smiles hidden behind a piece of cloth. But this Colgate print campaign, conceptualized by French agency VMLY&R, brilliantly conveys how you don’t need to see a smile to feel it. That a smile is more than just a curve- it’s a way of standing up and dealing with the adversities life throws at you. “Smiles always find a way”

Brands have an opportunity to shape a better, more accepting, and humane world and ads such as these hit us at a deeper level to be so. They go beyond mere advertising. And every effort accelerates a change, one step at a time. 

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