New Delhi: A week before International Women’s Day (8 March), Star India has partnered with Bollywood actor Aamir Khan to talk about gender equality in its new brand film, the Nayi Soch campaign. The film, which was rolled out on 25 February, has garnered over 2 million views on Star Plus’s official YouTube channel.
Created by Ogilvy & Mather and directed by Dangal fame director Nitesh Tiwari, the film showcases Aamir Khan as a small town, middle class but new-age father who is confident that his daughters will take ahead the legacy of his business. He proudly shares with a customer who walks into his shop that he owes the sudden surge in sales to his daughters who have leveraged the power of internet to help drive business. Breaking the age-old stereotype that only sons can take the family name and business forward, Khan also names his shop ‘Gurdeep Singh & Daughters’ in the film.
The spot ends with the thought-provoking tagline, “Kaamyabi na ladka dekhti hai na ladki. Kaamyabi sirf soch dekhti hai” (Success does not consider whether one is a boy or girl; it only takes thinking into account).
“We at Star believe that daughters are equally capable to bring laurels to their families and society. The latest Nayi Soch film not only questions the gender discrimination that still exists, but also reiterates our belief that it is time for fathers to step up and inspire their daughters with confidence and self-belief,” said Uday Shankar, chairman and chief executive, Star India, in a statement.
Star Plus started with its progressive advertising campaign Nayi Soch in October last year. The channel partnered with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for a film titled Son of Devki, which featured cricket icons M.S. Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane wearing their mothers’ names on their jerseys with pride. The underlying thought behind the campaign was that one derives one’s identity as much from the mother as the father.
In December, it launched its second film titled Hurdles, featuring a young woman athlete who overcomes family and society pressures to achieve success. Sumanto Chattopadhyay, executive creative director, South Asia, Ogilvy, said that the Nayi Soch campaign is an initiative by Star India to reposition the channel Star Plus and the Aamir Khan film is a step in that direction.
“Women have tremendous potential and they are rearing to prove it. Men should be facilitators in their success just the way the father (played by Khan) gives freedom to his daughters to help him with the family business. The objective behind the campaign is to set an example and inspire men to support and motivate women in their life to succeed. Aamir Khan is the ideal choice as he played a doting father who believed in the true potential of his daughters in Dangal,” he explained.
Advertising experts agree that while the intent behind the campaign is good, the first ad under the Nayi Soch thought umbrella featuring Indian cricketers wearing jerseys with the names of their mothers on it was way more powerful.
“Women have been leading family businesses for long, irrespective of what the signboards might be claiming. And why only contribution in business or out of home should be deemed as a mark of success? Whether she is managing home or a business, she is successful in her own right. In my view the debut campaign of Son of Devki was more clutter breaking and socio-culturally striking,” said Anirban Chaudhuri, senior vice-president and executive planning director, J. Walter Thompson, Delhi.
Agreeing with Chaudhuri, Naresh Gupta, strategy head and managing partner, Bang in the Middle, said, “Son of Devki seemed like a real campaign because those jerseys were actually worn by players in a match. While the Aamir Khan film is a progressive piece of advertising, it has to be followed by progressive programming by Star if they intend to make a real difference in society.”