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  • Samradni

When Vicks decided to highlight an important cause

Updated: Mar 14, 2021

Brand:

Vicks

Client:

Procter & Gamble

Agency:

Publicis Singapore


I still remember the first time I came across this ad, it was while watching some random YouTube videos.

Now I don’t normally skip ads unless its something too loud or something I'm totally not interested in.

Irrespective, this one was different, it started off as a story and I was instantly hooked to watch the entire piece.

Towards the end, like most of the people who have seen this ad, I too was teary-eyed.

Watch the ad below- Tip- Keep a tissue handy

Advertising Background:

Discrimination or bias against transgenders in India is not a new thing, even after the supreme court issued them equal rights under the law, back in 2014, the condition has not improved much.

Even today we don’t see companies including them or for that matter any other institution providing anything close to ‘equal rights’.

Hence, Vicks decided to highlight this widely prevalent yet ignorant cause, and in the process garnered brand love.


Advertising Objective:

The objective of the ad campaign was to make a stronger connection with the consumers by highlighting the fact that a ‘family’ is no longer only centered around biological connections, it goes beyond that.

A mother is someone who cares for her child, even if they aren’t related by blood.

The aim was to develop a relationship between what the brand believes in and what the brand expects from consumers in the form of change in perception.


Advertising Execution:

The first thing that comes up is whether the brand has any direct link with what is communicated in the campaign.

The answer to that is no, but let me explain.

While there is no direct connection, by which I mean, P & G could’ve taken any other brand and come up with this same campaign.

There is, however, an indirect connection.

This is stemming from the overall campaign idea ‘Touch of Care’ which resonates with Vicks as a brand.

The ad is beautifully shot, the way the suspense is built right till the end when you come to know that the mother is actually transgender.

What's even more amazing is the fact that its not a hard sell, the product placement is so subtly put in (when the girl is sick, a Vicks bottle is on the table) that it doesn’t take away from the overall picture that the brand wishes to highlight


Advertising Learnings:

The biggest learning that comes out from this campaign is how a brand can help bring to light, causes that are otherwise neglected or not thought of.

The campaign was released around the same time when a lot of brands were promoting LGBT rights so it did have the perfect timing as well.

It's noteworthy that Gauri Sawant, the mother in the ad film, was already famous in the transgender community before this campaign, however, her popularity went up even higher when the ad went viral.

The ad also created a change in perception, where people have now started looking at each other as human beings instead of discriminating based on genders.

Its truly amazing to see, how a brand can help serve a much bigger purpose.

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