By Malay Desai
From: Belgium, by Duval Guillaume
To draw attention to the issue of child marriages, Belgian NGO ‘Plan’ in association with a Brussels-based agency last week unveiled a campaign that ‘hijacked’ age warnings before 12+ movie trailers in DVDs, theatres and YouTube. In the moments after the ‘PG12+’ warning, a young girl appears on screen and speaks about her culture where she’s far from watching movies but is forced to marry and spend her life serving an older man. This is followed by a PSA mentioning a stat and encouraging the viewer to become a ‘Plan Parent.’
Why we Like?
One-third of the world’s girls are married before they turn 18, one in nine married off before 15 years of age. While countries with the highest cases of child marriage are in Western Africa, South Asia dominates this dubious list with numbers, India being at number 13. It’s safe to assume then that Belgium’s problem is smaller than India’s.
Public service announcements and awareness films could be the toughest to drive home to the viewer, especially if he or she is an urban pseudo-activist, willingly shutting ears to the world’s realities. The single-biggest win in this campaign is its placement, right after the parental guidance graphic on a primetime show or a DVD. It’s the one piece of on-air realty that commands maximum attention, as many of us do not want to miss the opening credits of a film or a show.
The one word that describes the campaign accurately is confrontational. When the NGO, armed with startling stories and stats confronts the armchair activist, there are not too many places to hide. In the crisp, impactful clips, the film depicts the tales of 12-year-olds in their own voices. Their words are touching, jolting and directly put forth the fact that while you are perhaps enjoying a show with your child, another somewhere in your country is getting ready for marriage.
The three girls (as portrayed in the campaign film) come from different cultures, speak different languages, hinting at this being an international campaign. It’s the kind of communication that may haunt you while you move on with the show, and the NGO’s URL link does its bit to call for action. In 2009, Belgium became only the second country in the world to enact a criminal law penalising ‘forced marriages,’ (the first being Norway), and evidently, it’s an ongoing effort of the NGOs and government.
This campaign reminded me of Mahindra’s fabulous ‘Nanhi Kali’ project for educating India’s young girls, a newspaper ad of which had read ‘If you turn the page, you might turn your back on her bright future’ besides the picture of a child. That was nearly a decade back, and I still contribute to the cause, every year.
To watch this film,feed this link in your browser - goo.gl/lPSoHW
Your regular dose on the shifts in the social media universe
Star Movies Secret Screening gets 30 million+ impressions
It was an open secret of a plan but when Star Movies did it (with its digital agency Grey Digital), it created a buzz that desi social media would remember for long. The idea was to identify 600 ‘secret keepers’ and invite them to an experience of watching a movie weeks prior to its release in India. Then, secret codes were ‘dispatched’ to them, which had to be submitted on a microsite, using their handle to RSVP (of course, there were hundreds of others in the waiting list. Who doesn’t want a fukat ka movie in India?!) The event was held in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore and it ended up creating 30 million impressions on Twitter, a top trend and of course nearly 100 per cent occupancy at the venues. With Kingfisher’s beer-ups already spoiling our urban tweeters, here’s another attempt.
Uday Shankar likes this
Salman Khan’s aids NaMo’s Swacch campaign
The latest celebrity to join the PM’s campaign of Swacch Bharat (clean India) is apna Salman Khan, who began cleaning a part of Karjat (where his love-nest cum booze-pad lies from a long time) and putting pictures up on his social channels. Now this man has over 87 lakh followers on Twitter, and we’d like to believe many of them are young, impressionable Indians. If they could emulate his wrist accessories and inane dance moves, here’s something they must, for cleaner surroundings. Better, Mr Khan has nominated Rajinikanth, Omar Abdullah, Pradeep Dhoot, Aamir Khan, Azim Premji, Vineet Jain and er, Rajat Sharma to take up the broom. These were 3-4 of the most meaningful tweets in the history of his account.
Sohail Khan likes this
‘Why Social media events are a #Fail in India!’
I’ve often poked an accusing finger at a few ‘conferences’ and digital workshops that are happening in our cities these days, and after the recently concluded Social Media Week Mumbai (which I didn’t write about for the same reason!), a passionate marketer Sachin Uppal has written a seven-point post calling the ‘hypocrisy’ of events such as these. ‘These agencies conveniently borrow these statements (such as content is king) for their.. presentations, but forget to implement these in their ‘mass pitches,’’ he says. He also writes about the misleading sessions, unprepared panel discussions and poor quality workshops and methodologies. He also goes on to praise the SMW Mumbai but we are not sure he’s going to attend one of these kinds again. If you do, go with a sack of salt.
Arindam Chaudhuri likes this