afaqs!

Reshma makes a bold statement with red lipstick

By Aakriti Shrivastava , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | September 11, 2015
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Ogilvy & Mather has created a thought provoking campaign featuring acid attack survivor Reshma Qureshi in a bid to end sale of acids.

There is no dearth of make-up tutorial videos on YouTube. But, a particular video, featuring Reshma Qureshi giving out beauty tips, stands out. In her tutorial for 'perfect red lips', Reshma explains how to keep them moist, line them neatly and achieve the desired results.

'Beauty Tips by Reshma': Three video series conceptualised by O&M

'Beauty Tips by Reshma': Three video series conceptualised by O&M

'Beauty Tips by Reshma': Three video series conceptualised by O&M

Reshma, a victim of acid attack, throws light on the fact that acid, just like lipstick or any other cosmetic product, is readily available across the counter. She features in the three-video series called 'Beauty Tips by Reshma', a campaign to ban the open sale of acid. The other two videos explain 'how to apply eye-liner' and 'how to get rid of dark spots naturally', respectively.

Ria Sharma

Harshad Rajadhyaksha

Kainaz Karmakar

While the idea of the videos took birth at Oglivy & Mather, by creative group heads Harshik Suraiya and Geetanjali Jaiswal, it was shaped up with NGO Make Love Not Scars on board. Harshad Rajadhyaksha, ECD, O&M, says, "We do not acknowledge the power of acids nor the danger they pose, which is equivalent to that of a gun. This campaign tries to bring that into public knowledge."

Talking about the creative route which ironically uses superficial beauty to highlight the cause, Kainaz Karmakar, ECD, O&M, says, "We needed to do something that caused disruption in the minds, to shake off the supposed casualness or lack of attention." The duo states that the major challenge while working on the films was to create a communication around Reshma that did not project her or other victims in a sorry light.

"While the Supreme Court of India has directed for regulation on the sale of acids and free treatment for victims, enforcement of these is highly lacking," says Ria Sharma, founder of Make Love Not Scars. She adds that Reshma's tutorials are a comment on fixed standards of beauty and may help many others struggling with body-image issues.

The agency is also exploring OOH and print communication for this campaign. The three videos have recorded more than 1.2 million views, since their release about a week ago. The petition has been shared around 15 thousand times on various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ , with the hashtag '#endacidsale'. The Logical Indian is the media partner for the campaign; however, many international publications have since reported on the issue and on Reshma's story. The petition can be signed here.

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