Sunit Roy

Independence Day: Spots that grabbed our attention

Here's how brands are celebrating the spirit of freedom.

Today, as India celebrates 70 years of Independence, brands from across categories have rolled out marketing campaigns to share their idea of independence and celebrate the spirit of freedom. Almost every brand has attempted to create awareness about the need to be free from stereotypes, and biases, especially those that are impacting the very social fabric of our country.

Let's take a look at how brands leveraged many themes to celebrate Independence Day.

1. Badshah Masala

This Independence Day Badshah Masala transcends borders with their campaign #HumareYahan. Conceptualised by the creative agency Gemius and produced by 50mm Media Productions, the ad campaign aims to decrease the India-Pakistan divide, and highlights how similar these countries are. The masala brand tries to convey the message, that despite all the differences we may have, food transcends all boundaries and brings people from different places together.

Independence Day: Spots that grabbed our attention

Badshah Masala's #HumareYahan campaignIn the video, Manno is a traditional Indian mom whose daughter, Dimple, has just returned from US after finishing her studies. Dimple, whilst showing Manno pictures from her time in the US, also shows her a picture with her friend - Saad. Manno immediately points to Saad being a Pakistani, but is shunned by her young and liberal daughter. The video is a testimony to how much the younger generation can influence their parents in breaking stereotypes that have prevailed in modern India. It stresses on the importance of respect for an individual regardless of his or her racial background and nationality, and the importance of not judging a person based on our own preconceived notions and existing stereotypes.

2. Bajaj Avenger

The cruiser bike brand is back with its take on why freedom matters to women; and why a woman should be left to make her own choices. Conceptualised by Mullen Lintas Mumbai, the #RideYourIndependence campaign unravels the journey of a female protagonist and what 'being free' really means to her.

Independence Day: Spots that grabbed our attention

Bajaj Avenger's #RideYourIndependence campaignThe ad film shows a woman riding through the outskirts; the way a man would ride today, but questions whether man and woman are equally given the freedom to choose. Whether it is about being friends with whoever she wants, the ability to express herself the way she wants, even the freedom to wear whatever she wants, go wherever she wants, including at any odd hours of the day without being judged or questioned. The film ends with a quote by Mahatma Gandhi, "The day a woman can walk freely on the roads at night, that day we can say that India has achieved independence."

3. Lokmat

On the occasion of India's 71st Independence Day, Lokmat - the Marathi daily - along with Trinayani - an NGO - launched a film bringing together persons with and without disabilities, thus promoting inclusion. The core theme of the film is towards an 'Inclusive India', involving persons with different disabilities and diversities singing the national anthem together with non-disabled individuals. The film features people who have visual, speech, hearing, intellectual and mobility impairment along with representatives of the LGBTQ community and an acid attack survivor.

Independence Day: Spots that grabbed our attention

Lokmat's #EkBharat campaignThe film, #EkBharat, conceptualised by Ritika Sahni (singer - activist and founder, trustee member - Trinayani NGO) features Sneha Jawale, acid attack survivor and Karamveer Chakra awardee, Rahul Ramugade, Paralympics swimmer, Maharashtra, wheelchair basketball player and gold medallist in state level swimming, Neenu Kewlani: Ms Wheelchair India, and Ramesh Mishra, state-level Paralympic Championship medallist amongst others.

4. Micromax

Every year, during Independence Day, we see children selling the national flag at traffic signals and market areas. People buy the tricolour and proudly raise/wear it. But unknowingly, post the day ends; it doesn't get the respect it deserves. They are rolled in a corner and at times left to gather dust.

Independence Day: Spots that grabbed our attention

Micromax's Save the Tiranga campaignTherefore, the mobile handset brand has launched '#SaveTheTiranga' campaign, through which it questions the hypocritical notion of patriotism with a tone of sarcasm. Furthermore, the mobile handset brand has launched 'The Tiranga App', which can be installed on any smartphone and one can raise the National Flag respectfully and digitally.

5. Truebil

Truebil, an online marketplace for pre-owned cars, launched an ad campaign as a tribute to the unsung heroes - such as taxi drivers, rickshaw pullers, vendors, firemen or the police officers who are selflessly doing their jobs and ensuring our safety while we are on the move.

Independence Day: Spots that grabbed our attention

Truebil's tribute to the unsung heroes of streetsFor the background score of the video, Truebil has recreated the national anthem with purely vehicular-traffic sounds - a mash up of authentic street sounds to give it a completely new twist. For the video, Truebil's in-house creative team went out on the streets of Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi, and captured these unsung heroes. Around six hours of raw footage was captured and blended with the recreated national anthem to create the 1.44 minute-long video that is a beautiful mix of harmony and patriotism.

6. United Colors Of Benetton

This Independence day, Benetton India in collaboration with Terribly Tiny Tales brings forth a heart-warming true story of an unsung hero - Noorul Hasan, a Muslim resident in Lucknow who gave up a part of his house when it came to restoring an abandoned old Hindu temple; that he was sharing a wall with. The digital movie, produced by Highway Films, reflects on a day in the life of Hasan. He loves helping inside the temple yet he is a devout Muslim. He takes pride in being an Indian and that is what fills him with respect and acceptance towards other religions.

Independence Day: Spots that grabbed our attention

#UnitedByFaith campaign from UCBTitled #UnitedByFaith, through this campaign, Benetton India aims to address a subject that still festers in a collective conscience as a consequence of macro events such as partition and current issues of terrorism, instability, differences and their combined impact on social conditioning.

7. Ambuja Cement

This Independence Day, the cement manufacturer makes an appeal that 'some walls must break so that other bonds are sustained'. To drive home the message, Ambuja Cement has created the film "Salim aur Shankar ki kahani". Through this campaign, the brand tries to make a point that 'Every chhat (roof) has a unique story. Here's one from 'Shankar and Salim's chhat'.

Independence Day: Spots that grabbed our attention

Ambuja Cement's 'Salim aur Shankar ki kahaani' campaignAmbuja Cement has also called upon the public to identify and recommend more such special 'chhat' stories. The brand has launched a hashtag #WhatsUpOnYourChhat through which people can share stories that foster the community bonding. And depending upon the responses, Ambuja Cement may create more such films in future.