Rohit Kumar shares his two cents on Vick’s Touch Of Care campaign that embraced maternity in a new light and what can brands learn from it.
Start by watching the Touch of Care campaign below
I will start with the most simplistic view of this advertisement and then will move on.
Before starting this ad the Vicks logo appears along with a Tagline “Generations of Love”. From this, we infer that the basic message which these brands want to convey is that it stands for the gesture of love shown by the family or any loved ones to an individual and this love flows down the line in the generations and humans are bound by the perfect bond of love.
Vicks thus states the idea that its product also helps people with diseases and makes them feel they are being loved just like a family does to them.
Moving on we can see the scene starting and the line “A true story”. By seeing this one is immediately notified that whatever is shown is based on a certain context which has not been artificially created. One then moves to the first emotional connection with the ad, from “Sympathy to Empathy.”
One important thing to notice here is that whatever the girl is saying is in Hindi which is presumed to be understood by a large chunk of “Indian audience” but there are also transcriptions in English which appear at the bottom of screen so that any person who cannot understand the language could also read and get to know the context of the ad. Splendid! The audience reach has been increased by many folds just by making this move.
Coming to the content. The girl is shown where she narrates that she is going to the boarding school and after the vacations. She does not want to become a doctor and this would make her mother angry. Then she narrates her family background, the death of her real mother and meeting with her new mother.
She moves on to explain how her new mother is taking good care of her and how her mother has seen hard times which could not be imagined. Now, 10 years have passed by which has strengthened the bond up to the extent that friendship has sprung up between them.
The audience is already overwhelmed by this much content along with the visuals which have supplemented it beautifully. (Feels just like an orchestra!)
The audience is happy that the girl is getting a motherly love. This is where the timing factor comes. After gaining enough support from the audience the face of the mother is shown. What happens? The audience is taken aback.
The usual picturization of women in the form of the mother has not been shown here. Instead, an individual which has been marginalized, alienated from the society has been shown here. A Transgender person who is taking care of the child. The heart melts down.
At the end of the advertisement, one sees that the little girl makes the decision of becoming “A Lawyer” so that she can fight for her mother’s rights. The name of the Mother and child is depicted to give full information to the audience. The ad becomes heart-warming. It no longer remains an ad. It becomes aesthetic for the audience.
The line ” Everyone deserves the touch of care ” what does it suggest. Not only the orphaned children deserve love but people from marginalized sector also need it. The audience is made to think. To revisit the stereotypes about these marginalized people.
One then moves from the emotional bond to the bond where we think how these people are treated. Support for this “Unique mother” arises.
That’s pretty much getting in one go. But let’s revisit the ad.
The element of magic
This ad is truly not created with the intent of a normal ad. Here although the brand makes its presence at the starting and end of the video still within the story nowhere the product has been used. The brand thus does pushes itself to the extent where the audience will retreat from it.
It wants the audience to understand the message and value of the brand and not the product particularly. It enriches the value of the brand. Timing, scenery and narration style is compelling which makes this ad relatable and at the same time unique. All the power of content along with visuals has been used wisely.
This ad then is not a normal marketing technique. As we explore this was created as the company wanted support for its campaign LGBT rights and workplace inclusion. What could not be done by presenting facts or something else has been done by this ad. The brand raises the question and therefore accompanies all to support its cause.
As one would expect this ad became viral in India and many newspapers also reported about it. People appreciated this move.
Some lingering questions…
Can this be replicated?
That’s what the phenomenal move does. It cannot be replicated even if any other company/ organization wants to support this cause. Its non-fictional nature along with the use of actual people makes it impossible to replicate it.
Can I learn something from it?
Yes, of course. If you are a brand/company/ organization addressing a certain social/political/economic problem you should definitely create a powerful story which could help to gather an audience and enhance the image. You will then no longer be appreciated but will be admired.
Does storytelling always work?
No of course not. It might work in certain cases and keep your audience in mind is important before deciding the narration style. In India, while stories may work but in the US it’s not necessary. So consider the background of the audience before finalizing your style.
Any golden rule?
If there would be any then the things would be easy! Isn’t it? It’s complicated and so no one rule applies to all. There are however certain important parameters which must be considered:
1. The Content/Issue. (Whether is it sensitive? Whether neglected? And so on…)
2. The Audience (Their cultural/historical/political….. background)
3. The Resources you have (Digital/Non-Digital, Pictures/Videos, Special Effects through AR and so on…)
4. Time (How much time you have? What should be the length of the video? What time you want to release it and why? And further…)
5. People and brand values you want to represent.