Are ‘Colors’, ‘Star Plus’ progressive ads in sync with their content?

Progressive tone of ‘Colors’ and ‘Star Plus’ campaigns are in sharp contrast with the content and programming of the channels, which critics dub as being retrograde


The ‘Colors’ brand campaign comes soon after its rival ‘Star Plus’ unveiled its campaign ‘Nayi Soch’ featuring cricket icons, M.S. Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane.
The ‘Colors’ brand campaign comes soon after its rival ‘Star Plus’ unveiled its campaign ‘Nayi Soch’ featuring cricket icons, M.S. Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane.

New Delhi: Colors, the Hindi general entertainment channel from the Viacom18 stable, has rolled out a brand film Sunday is her holiday where women across age groups are shown juggling office as well as household chores through the week including Sundays.

Made by advertising agency Publicis, the film progresses to feature husbands taking over the work on Sundays giving the wives the much needed day off.

The Colors brand campaign comes soon after its rival Star Plus unveiled its campaign Nayi Soch featuring cricket icons, M.S. Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane proudly wearing their mothers’ names on their jerseys. The underlying thought behind the campaign is that one derives one’s identity as much from the mother as the father.

Sanjay Gupta, managing director Star India, said, “We have always put women first, told their stories, and are now set to take it to the next level—by challenging orthodoxy and stereotypes that come in the way of progress for women.”

Interestingly, the progressive tone of these campaigns are in sharp contrast with the larger content and programming of the channels which critics dub as being retrograde.

Shows such as Naagin and Kavach on Colors have been often criticised for promoting superstition. While Star Plus shows are often slammed for their poor and unprogressive storylines. The protagonist of shows like Suhani si ik ladki, for instance, have been ill-treated by her in-laws owing to the fact that she is dark-skinned.

“You might ask why Colors is doing this? We believe that entertainment should, where it can, nudge society forward, in big ways or small. This campaign is an embodiment of that belief. Gender equality is a man’s issue too, and as Colors, we have always believed in doing our bit in bringing about change in mindset,” said Raj Nayak, chief executive officer, Viacom18.

Apart from the film, Colors will be using social media heavily to start a conversation around #SundayIsHerHoliday movement. It will also execute small Do-It-Yourself videos featuring the actors on the channel dolling out tips to men on how to do the daily chores.

Also Read: Cricketers and their moms can’t save Star Plus from regressive content

“One cannot bring a radical change in one’s mindset and hence this initiative is only a small step towards a much needed societal change. Through this campaign we will inspire (both men and women), help them by dolling out tips and also celebrate the success stories about how happy women feel when they get a day off. This initiative is not just about women rather about enriching interpersonal relationships by finding time for each other,” noted Bobby Pawar, managing director and chief creative officer, Publicis South Asia, the agency which has made the ad.

Meanwhile, advertising experts seem divided on their response to the campaigns.

‎Bindu Sethi chief strategy officer, JWT India, feels that both the campaigns have their heart in place and something she will not like to trash.

“I feel it is alright to have a progressive narrative in their campaign because it inserts a new point of view which can eventually be worked upon. I’m not fussed about the progressive tone of these campaigns as long as the channels manage to find an interesting narrative in their programming as well,” she said.

However, Naresh Gupta, strategy head and managing partner, Bang in the Middle, feels that the advertising and the product (programming) don’t match at all.

“Suddenly both brands are wanting to break out and come across as modern and progressive. The Star Plus ad is very nice, but why didn’t they make the players actually wear the jerseys with the mother’s name in a match? That one single act would have done more for the transformation of image than any amount of advertising. If the channels really want to reflect the new thinking then they have to change the programming in a big way,” he said.

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