Tuesday, 25 October 2016

An Ad Campaign Which Successfully Voiced What You Chose To Ignore

India is a nation which is beautifully blessed with an amusing bounty of cultural diversity. However, at the same time, it is also cursed with a variety of stereotypes since the day and age of our ancestors. To challenge our ignorantly inherited view of endlessly judging people in our community, eBay India recently launched a TVC which precisely yet powerfully communicates its enormous range of (over 10 crores) products.

The sweet thing to observe is how there has emerged an audience which feels a strong urge to break through the senseless chains of chronic belief system. This audience has now become vocal to forge a democracy where equality for all is encouraged. To reflect this positive change in the winds of our communal thought process and contribute on its part to encourage the dream of a better India, eBay launched #ThingsDontJudge campaign with a compassionately loud film conceptualized by BBDO India.

The film beautifully opens in the pouring rain first introducing a young man who is wearing ghungroos (musical anklets) and is smilingly performing a classical dance form on the terrace, unmindful of a lady looking at him. His stream of thoughts is voiced: 'Log chahe kuch bhi kahe, par mere ghungroo mujh se ye nahin kehte ke woh sirf auraton ke liye banaye hai' (No matter what people say, my anklets don't tell me that they're made only for women). 

The film goes on to present several other characters across age and gender who are shown breaking through the dictated way of living by boldly putting in use some of the most ordinary yet objected things. For instance; it includes a young woman who is shown to confidently walk past a club wearing an ethnic wear, where there are other women standing in fitted western attires with their eyebrows judgementally raised. The woman doesn't feel uncomfortable even for a bit and instead rides away on a cruiser bike with her thoughts voiced: 'Meri salwaar kameez mujhe behenji nahin bulate' (My salwaar kameez doesn't address me as behenji). 

By thoughtfully inserting a series of other such situational experiences, eBay's TVC smartly puts forth its strong narrative of "Jeeyo aure Jeene do".  Shivani Suri, director marketing, eBay India, in an interview said, “Online shopping is changing how we live. It’s ushering in the acceptance of new. It’s at the heart of our evolving culture that’s gradually helping us distance from the norms around gender, age, caste, creed, social status or preferences. eBay, with over 10 crore products is inspiring consumers to shop for their favorite item and live their passions, desires, choices, and beliefs without inhibitions. With this central theme, we decided to launch this campaign to not just capture market share but drive conversational commerce.”  

At UnNumb, I warmly welcome campaigns like these which are crafted with the kind intention of creatively encouraging people to fight and find their way out of chronic conventions. Because it is only then that the dream of a better India can be actualized for once and for all.

To watch the video which UnNumb believes stirred the hearts of many, navigate to - https://youtu.be/K-lTMmSlom4

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Stop the porn consumption, Now!

Today at around 6:30am when my dog goofily brought to me the Newspaper bundle, I sweetly smiled back in order to thank her. But, my smile faded away the minute I straightened up the paper and saw a front page article stating the latest case update of Monika Ghurde, a well known Perfume Researcher who was allegedly raped and murdered by a former watchman in her Goa flat early this October. 

The news piece had "Monika's killer says he showed her porn clips, then raped her: Cops" as it's headline. It instantly reminded me of all the incidents most of which were in the recent past reported and did get the required media coverage. However, it is clear that our generation is yet to be sensitized about the grave damages that exposure to porn causes.

Any amount of exposure to porn harms. I know, you might now label me as an 80-year-old orthodoxal nanny, but I strongly stand by my statement and overall belief. Because, it is scientifically proven that everything we do, watch or hear has an impact on us. Though, the amount of the impact may vary as per the duration and frequency of exposure.  Due to the sudden arousal of guilt, you might now want to navigate back to the social media site you found this blog link from. But, wait till you read the following portion of this thoughtful post.

Since a couple of years, pornography has become a much-debated topic. People have now started questioning its free existence over the internet and thereby it’s devastating impact on people of varied age groups. Pornography undoubtedly wrecks our concept of love and romance, our idea about sex and gender, makes us appreciate and find pleasure from acts which promote brutality and violence. Watching porn gradually corrodes our sense of self-respect and our ability to respect the ones around us. It does not just make us yearn for a faulty and a materialistic relationship, but also severely damages our capability of appreciating raw beauty which is not glossed-up with cosmetics or fake erotic emotions.

With deepening internet penetration and technological advancements, today porn is freely available to whosoever wishes to consume it. This happens to be a matter of great worry as children at a tender age are able to access this content and are finding porn more entertaining than cartoons, outdoor games, and other growth supportive activities. Soft minds absorb without filtering, accept without questioning and reflect without spending time in understanding the pro's and con's of the content they are busy consuming. And as the child grows, the curiosity of experimenting the filmed content only grows stronger.

So, just in case you happen to be one of those who desperately navigates to websites catering porn, consume it out of addiction and later regret it, then here’s a list of a few things you could do to work on your addiction-

Dive into Music- Music is believed to have a therapeutic effect on its listeners. It has the capacity to transport you from your emotional current to altogether a different land. But, again I suggest you better be selective at picking up the genre for yourself. Instrumental music; violin, piano, sitar, flute, guitar, the sounds produced out of these instruments help you distract from your desperation for submitting to porn addiction. 

Browse about sex trafficking- A lot of people do not know much about sex trafficking and the ones who know about it choose to ignore it. Pornography is also considered as filmed prostitution wherein not everybody comes with their choice; many are dragged into it just that it happens in the brothels. The one-time solution is to sensitize people about the gravity of the issue so that they can sympathize and empathize with the dolled-up porn stars. Sensitisation would help cut down the demand for porn.

Watch a romantic-comedy- Watching romantic comedy films or sitcoms will help you register back the lost picture of true romance. Though films are fictional and gross, yet they definitely do successfully distract you when your urge of watching porn drives you almost insane.

Vent-out frustration on the treadmill- Most people tend to consume porn because the element of sexual violence entertains them like nothing else. So, to deal with the ever boiling frustration due to work pressure or love betrayal, you can instead go to a gym and burn your calories along with a bucketful of frustration. This would help you channelize your anger and do constructive good.

Go have an offline hang-out- I believe, the more you are connected to the people in the offline world, the more close you will find yourself incomprehensible sync with the ground reality and would thereby like to court and marry a girl in real time, instead of staying over the internet and getting aroused with the fake and brutal sex filmed and freely made available over various websites; porn.

I hope reading the above assertion has not just made you aware of the shocking damages of consuming porn, but has also made a positive impact by suggesting few most practiced healthy distractions. I wholeheartedly wish that the accused watchmen who first forcefully showed three porn films to Monika before sexually assaulting her and eventually smothering her to death shall get an exemplarily strict punishment. 

Monday, 10 October 2016

Oh dear, who told you that you are Cool because you are Sarcastic?

Are you a self-proclaimed Chandler? Yeah, I am referring to the character from Legendary American sitcom- Friends, played by Matthew Perry. Perhaps, you didn’t really bother to Google his name while you enjoyed munching popcorns on the couch with your eyes amusingly glued to TV, which broadcasted the sitcom series. But, the question that I want to ask today is, did you fall in love with the character to an extent, that to you, ‘sarcasm’ gradually rose from being just another literary term to your way of being?

Now, before you feel offended, I want you to know that I haven’t been able to adore any other sitcom the way I adored Friends. This is so not because I found all the contextual occurrences relatable, but because it sweetly transported me to a goofily happy world, offering its witty dose of laughter which seemed absolutely necessary to digest everyday reality.

Having stated the above, I now feel that I can safely go on to express my unusual take on Sarcasm. Well, as you know Sarcasm has recently become one of the most preferred ways of communicating almost everything.  I don’t say that Sarcasm was an unheard or a never-before-practiced way of interacting, but I do strongly believe that it was only recently that it gained popularity in the mainstream.

So, if you have been so far considering sarcasm to be something cool and funny, I would like to suggest you re-think, because sarcasm is really just hostility masqueraded as humor.  Trust me, if you begin to calculatedly evaluate the damaging effects of sarcasm, you would be completely shocked at how inappropriate, culturally offensive, and emphatically cruel most of the sarcastic comments are. For instance, some of the key ruins are-

Sarcasm does hurt and offends: To be frank, sarcasm is really just the most convenient way for people to express their disapproval without actually daring to come forward and speaking their minds. But, where from do we learn this art of laughingly offending people?  The truthful answer is that we absorb this from a variety of places and ignorantly bring it into our habits. TV is one of the main contributors and Friends is most certainly a globally popular machine.

Sitcoms like Friends are loaded with sarcastic remarks and, of course, the viewers laugh at the embarrassment the recipient demonstrates.  Most people get fooled that these are merely clever proverbs from quick-witted characters who are famous worldwide. But, this is all purposely scripted by television writers for entertaining the audience, but they ignorantly end up setting an example for viewers to follow and the result is that our children grow up believing sarcasm to be an essential element of being cool and socially acceptable.

Gives birth to ambiguity: Sarcasm depends heavily on the tone of the commentator’s  voice, body language, and other significant nonverbal cues to be properly understood. The absence of any of these essential elements can cause a real-time disturbance in the process of communication. So, why rely on a method which doesn’t guarantee the desired result? And, at the very least, it’s got a tremendous potential to be misunderstood since there is always a ‘hidden message’ intricated.  Thus, I urge you to consider today whether it’s worth risking and heartlessly alienating another person just for getting yourself a hearty laughter.

Does not inspire change: The most resorted way to defend the undue use of sarcasm is by suggesting a not-so-actual purpose of “funnily inspiring” change. First of all, I feel that there are numerous other more suiting ways to encourage people to make the due changes in their respective fields. Secondly, even if I buy your idea of comically offering people a mirror and thereby instigating them to make improvements, I don’t think your message is really understood and acted upon. Because had that been the case, our world would have been a much better place, for every family of five has at least two people who do excessively use sarcasm in their everyday communication. That is to suggest, sarcasm often goes unnoticed without having played its supposed role in activating change.

Demonstrates a lack of conviction: Whenever somebody counts on sarcasm to get a point across in a cloaked manner, it demonstrates a clear lack of conviction and courage to say what the person actually means. However, an occasional sarcastic remark may not intensely harm, remember that people judge your character every day by paying close attention to what you say as well as how you act. The collective result of those judgments is your reputation which can seriously be in danger if you continue to ignorantly use sarcasm in your daily interaction with one another.

If reading the above assertion has even slightly triggered your mind to give your mastery of sarcasm a second thought, then let me tell you that I am extremely happy. I invested time in typing down my idea about eliminating sarcasm from our everyday communication because I myself have experienced the side effects of using sarcasm. So, today, let’s un-numb our minds and try to break through this habit which Does offend a lot of people. And, at the same time, let's together find more creative ways of breaking boundaries and building fruitful ties.