Shreyas Kulkarni

Shalimar paints the walls of eye recovery rooms in new campaign

Paint manufacturer Shalimar Paints has launched a new digital video campaign titled ‘Colour A Life’. The video talks about the issue of child blindness and how we can all take a step to help affected children. Delhi-based digital and mainline advertising agency Wondrous Brand World has conceptualised the video.

The nearly five-minute-long video follows the life of school kids who are either visually impaired or blind. The opening sequence, while detailing the morning routine of these kids, includes their voice-overs detailing how the definition of colours holds a different meaning for them.

“My teacher told me that when the sun’s rays fall on the ocean, it turns blue. But what does the blue look like?”

“My elder sister tells me that the sun looks red like a father does when he is angry. I can understand red but what does this red look like?”

The video first pans over the morning routine of the blind and visually-impaired students at a school dormitory and then shows us their school life. We then see a paintbrush being dipped in a Shalimar paint box and a wall being painted.

The walls belong to recovery rooms of an eye hospital and the Mumbai-based paint brand painted them with vibrant colours. Why do this? As the kids only imagined the colours, the brand wanted these kids to see the most appealing and vibrant paintings on the wall first when they opened their eyes after their eye surgeries.

Shalimar paints the walls of eye recovery rooms in new campaign

“Colour as a concept loses its essence when you cannot see. Honestly, the thought came from an earlier on-ground initiative of ours where we went to a village near Dehradun and painted the story of their community onto their walls. During this, we worked with a number of talented artists from different backgrounds who suffered from vision maladies. At that time, I was working the Shroff Eye Clinic. My conversations with the artists and experience with the clinic shaped my idea about this,” Minal Srivastava, Vice President-Strategy, Growth and Marketing, Shalimar Paints, told us when we asked her how this campaign idea was born.

She continues, “During this time, I realised blindness exists in several kids and can be treated. There isn't a shortage of money, but of corneas. That’s how the conversation began around this topic. The kid you see in the digital video, the protagonist, only got his eyesight in one eye back.”

Who does the digital video aim to reach out the most? “We plan to reach the young student community. They are the ones who take ownership of a cause if they feel strongly about it, make it their own, and take it forward. We are teaming up with organisations where several young students want to do something good for society. And we hope these students will take this forward to encourage and drive mindset change among other people about pledging to donate their eyes,” she says.

However, when we asked her about the main target audience of the company, she had a different answer. “For Shalimar Paints, the main business TG is a bit older than the student community we plan to target. The TG our business targets are older, married and with kids, and own a home,” she says.

Shalimar paints the walls of eye recovery rooms in new campaign

We also spoke to Ekta Verma, founder and chief creative officer, Wondrous Brand World, about the conceptualisation of the digital video. She says, “Shalimar wanted to do an activation and when we started thinking, I realised the colours are of no significance when a large number of children can’t see them. So, we thought about ways in which we could make a difference to the life of blind kids.”

“And when I observed the life of blind children closely, I felt they are the ones who are really beautiful and vibrant colours of life that are waiting to open. I coined this thought in a song that captures the real life of blind children and their feelings when they see colours for the first time,

‘Hum bhi toh rang hain, Dubbo met band hain, Khulna ko bathi hum kabse……’”

“The film is a real activation that initially captures the day to day life of blind children and later, their reactions when they first experience colours. Nothing about the film is staged. We at Wondrous identified real blind children and helped Shalimar bridge the gap between darkness and colours by getting the walls of Shroff Eye Hospital's children's ward painted with magical colours from Shalimar and welcomed the children into this colourful world.”

This isn’t the first time Shalimar Paints has come out with such a campaign. In 2019, they launched a campaign titled ‘Har Rang Khoobsurat’ that featured a model with Vitiligo, a Muslim girl playing Holi and the colourful LGBT flag.