While most Valentine's Day ads play around rosy themes of love, happiness and fun or try to push a product, Manforce Condoms, a part of Delhi-based pharmaceutical company Mankind Pharma, has chosen to take a serious route for its Valentine's Day campaign titled "You are not alone".
The brand has uploaded an ad on its social media channels, aimed at cautioning people, especially couples, about the scary truth of miscreants secretly recording them while they get intimate in public and then sharing the video online.
In the ad, we see a young urban couple meeting in a car park. From the looks of it, they might have finished a Valentine's Day dinner date and are about to part ways. But, sensing the romantic sentiment of the day, they move instead towards one of their cars. They check if someone else is at the car park and once certain that nobody's around, they get inside the car and begin to make out.
While they are at it, the video rolls back in rewind mode and in a scary twist, we realise the ad we were watching was, in fact, a secret recording. A man had secretly recorded the couple and was now showing it to his friends with pride, while they lauded him for a well-shot video and share a laugh.
A message is then typed across the screen, telling viewers to rethink before getting intimate in a public place, because we may not be alone and this Valentine's Day, we should be safe and choose a space with care.
In the view of Joy Chatterjee, deputy general manager, Mankind Pharma; Manforce Condoms choose such a topic for its Valentine's Day ad because it has always stressed on sensitising the public about safe sex. He also said the ad, which revolves around the risks of public intimacy, was made because surveys show there has been a rise in cases of people secretly recording couples making out in public and then sharing it online, causing immense stress, hurt and embarrassment.
The brand, through this campaign, wants to encourage couples to celebrate love but to not get intimate in public because you never know who may be watching, he says.
We also spoke to Subroto Pradhan, Managing Partner at ADK Fortune Communications, the agency that created this ad. Here is what he had to say:
Why choose such a serious subject for a Valentine's Day ad when most brands opt for a light-hearted, rosy, or cheeky one?
Since the beginning, we have continuously explored ways to push the brand's message of safe sex through our ads. As a leading condom brand, Manforce Condoms holds the potential to reach out to a wide audience. So, this was the best time to speak about a topic that needs serious attention.
Our intent is to educate the people about the grave consequences of engaging in intimate behaviour in public places. We want people to stay safe - both emotionally and physically.
How did the team at ADK Fortune Communications come up with this idea?
The brand was clear that they need an eye-opener for Valentine's Day. After exploring several issues and insights, we were confident that this idea will further strengthen the brand's message of safe sex, along with bringing an important issue to light.
What was the insight into the idea based on?
Many young couples share fantasies that have a place of their own. These fantasies sometimes encourage couples to engage in risky behaviour like indulging in an act of intimacy in isolated public spaces - making themselves vulnerable to voyeurism.
In addition to this, the easy availability of cheap smartphones, internet and various media sharing apps have also led to the increasing number of such cases. According to NCRB’s latest statistics, incidents of voyeurism have jumped to 1,393 cases in 2018 from 1,090 such cases in 2017, and 932 reported incidents in 2016.
This isn't the first time Manforce Condoms has released a campaign intended to caution the public about someone using their intimate moments against them. In its previous campaign titled "Shut The Phone Up", the brand released three ads, each stressing on the unintended consequences of recording your intimate moments.
In the first ad, we see a couple searching for the guy's smartphone that they had used to record themselves making out. While trying to call that phone, they realise it's switched off and stolen.
The second ad talks about harassment, wherein a man finds intimate recordings of a couple on a second-hand smartphone. The couple who sold the smartphone thought they'd deleted everything. But, to their shock, the recording was intact. The man refuses any money from the couple and instead insists on wanting to meet the lady alone.
And in the final ad, we see a woman inside a police station trying to file a complaint against her ex, who's been blackmailing her with videos of their intimate moments.