The advertisement, made by an independent Delhi-based advertising agency, Animal, shows the protagonist beginning to identify as a woman
NEW DELHI :
At a time when Indian advertising and the society at large are barely scratching the surface when it comes to breaking stereotypes around transgender community, an advertisement from the 96-year-old Kerala-based Bhima Jewellers has captured the journey of a transwoman with empathy and authenticity.
Made by an independent Delhi-based advertising agency, Animal, the one-minute-forty-second long video shows the protagonist (played by transwoman Meera Singhania) beginning to identify as a woman. As the film progresses, the viewer gets to witness Singhania’s character transitioning not just physically but also emotionally, becoming more self-aware and comfortable in her own skin. The transformation is brought alive through her relationship with jewellery—from a pair of anklets that her father gifts right at the beginning of the ad to the traditional bridal jewellery that she wears as a South Indian bride at the end.
Devoid of any dialogue, the Bhima Jewellers ad isn't preachy but effortlessly conveys the love and acceptance Singhania’s character receives from her family through simple gestures such as the mother waiting while her daughter gets her ears pierced or her grandmother braiding her hair and giving her jewellery.
Titled 'Pure As Love', the film has been greatly appreciated by viewers across social media.
“Bhima turns 100 in 4 years, and we feel that as a brand with such credibility, we want to lend our voice to causes that matter today. This ad is special as it takes us through the journey of a trans person but focuses on the positive side. What we want to convey through the ad is that whoever one chooses to be, Bhima is there for you. We hope this helps to blur the lines that discriminate on the basis of colour, gender, etc.," said Navya Suhas, online operations head, Bhima Jewellery, Trivandrum.
Karthik Srinivasan, a communications strategy consultant, took to Twitter to state that the advertisement is certainly an achievement of sorts for India. He noted that the person going through the identity journey and the people around the person are on the same journey together.
"There is no hatred or denial—just pure love and acceptance, in the most welcoming, open-hearted way possible. It may be easy for the cynics to call this 'woke' and deny it legitimacy, but the more these small stories are told, the better the courage for more people to believe that they could be whoever they want to. The brand's context works well, too, incidentally," he said.
"Could not believe it’s happening, in a traditional category like jewellery. Plus serious commitment, not the outrage creating campaign types like most others. Mind blown," tweeted another user.
"Why aren't people talking about the new @bhimajewellers ad? It's a watershed moment in the history of #jewellery ads. A brave move. Will it help sell the product, I don't know. But it has dared to go where no one has before," said a user.
Why aren't people talking about the new @bhimajewellers ad? It's a watershed moment in the history of #jewellery ads. A brave move. Will it help sell the product, I don't know. But it has dared to go where no one has before. 👏👏👏👏👏👏 https://t.co/lnyMQNlDZs