Picture this – a tear running down the battered and bruised face of an otherwise resplendent jewellery-c lad Goddess Durga, considered invincible and a personification of strength and power. It is not a very usual sight.
The caption below the provoking image reads “Pray that we never see this day. Today, more than 68 per cent of women in India are victims of domestic violence. Tomorrow, it seems like no woman shall be spared. Not even the ones we pray to.”
The depiction, poignant in nature, hits the nail in the head of the hypocrisy abounding in the Indian society today, wherein reverence of a goddess and ill treatment of women go hand-in-hand.
The last line definitely packs a punch and strikes a stronger chord with the current scenario of crime against women hitting the roof – be it by self-proclaimed ‘god (ghastly) men’ or incidents on the streets in broad daylight.
The image is part of a print campaign against domestic violence, titled ‘Save Our Sisters’, done for an NGO Save the Children by Taproot India, with a call to action in the form of a phone number to report abuse to ‘Save Our Sisters’ below each print ad. The said campaign also won at Spikes in the Design category, not this year, but three years ago.
What has brought it back in the news is the campaign being posted on social media on September 5, 2013 by the portal Buzzfeed. The campaign generated 846,396 views and received over 400 comments.
The campaign is clearly resonating with people across the world, as demonstrated by the comments posted on the portal, which has initiated a slew of conversations, something brands struggle to do each day.
The campaign has also received its share of brickbats. Whilst some have taken offence to the depiction of Hindu Goddesses, the campaign has found supporters who are taking up the cause and the campaign and responding to negative posts as brand evangelists.
In its submission to Spikes Asia, Taproot mentioned that the campaign caught attention in the first insertion and created a controversy, but the scale of conversations around it have been taken to a complete different scale, not only in India but across the globe. What more could a cause or a brand possibly ask for?
It also reiterates that locally, nationally, globally and universally, matters related to the good or bad fortunes of women are always and will continue to be at the core of conversations.
While some brand managers and advertisers would still continue to talk to women only about their new vacuum cleaner. Or portray her as a ‘perfect woman’, either advertising skin products through her flawless skin or endorsing designer handbags. The youth in the audience today respond to what they perceive as real. It is now up to the brands to capture this audience with real truths and ‘real’ conversations in the right context and manner. And yes, they will respond to it.