Aishwarya Ramesh

Transgender woman receives blessing in Red Label's new ad...

The latest ad in Brooke Bond Red Label's Swad Apnepan Ka campaign features a transgender woman and attempts to champion social inclusivity.

Many brands tend to take up a cause and use it as an axis for their marketing and advertising messages. Through its Swad Apnepan Ka campaign, Brooke Bond Red Label has touched upon a plethora of social issues that come in the way of making India more inclusive. The latest advertisement attempts to address the prejudice faced by the transgender community and integrates the brand cause into the new monsoon-themed spot.

Shiva Krishnamurthy, vice president, Tea and Foods (HUL), says, “Brooke Bond Red Label’s purpose is to make India more inclusive. We believe that a cup of tea can help us challenge stereotypes and bring people closer. Our latest TVC is yet another attempt to celebrate diversity and encourage people to embrace it.” The TVC will be featured and distributed across broadcast and online platforms.

Tanuj Khanna, an associate creative director at What's Your Problem, says he liked the film. He adds that quite a few brands, including Brooke Bond Red Label and Vicks, have done work with transgenders in the past.

"As far as the narrative goes, they’re not changing the story as such, but it’s a nice narrative. Earlier also they were talking about the social aspect of inclusivity and they’ve also done ads on religious inclusivity in that sense, and now they’ve changed that to acceptance. Consumers and those who drink Red Label might potentially see this as a step forward for the entire community at large," he opines.

During the conversation, Khanna mentions that he is a strong believer in one brand actually talking and becoming a part of the masses. "There’s no other brand that can do this better than Red Label because chai transcends barriers – it's a beverage that doesn’t see gender, economic strata, goes beyond boundaries, and so on. That, as fundamental property, is a good place to be in, and this is a good ad in that sense," he says.

"It’s not that creative a message, but it's well done and well directed – it's sharp and to the point. It's interesting to note the expressions of the grandmother and the grandchild – throughout the ad, we see that the grandchild is giving the grandmother very odd looks indicating that she is likely to be more accepting of the transgender woman. The grandchild, despite being young, is shown as being more accepting – the insight is bang on in that aspect," Khanna opines.

Tanuj Khanna
Tanuj Khanna

He also adds that the physical touch has more to do with the grandmother’s internal feelings than anything else. "The touch is how it's going to transcend everything and show the transgender woman that somebody is accepting her for who she is. An ad like this is a way forward, especially given the political climate in India right now. Any depiction of equality is always a good thing and getting people to accept each other is a beautiful message to put across," he signs off.

Kedar Teny, the chief strategy officer at Tilt Brand Solutions points out that as a brand, Brooke Bond Red Label through this advert has stayed true to the idea of universal acceptance and inclusion with sensitivity. "To refresh the message constantly and consistently is commendable. More specifically this execution has pushed yet another boundary on breaking a stereotype and a much tougher one at that. It has an element of surprise, sensitivity and hope in it," he says.

Kedar Teny
Kedar Teny

Teny adds that the touch of the grandmother in front of the grandchild is not only the act of breaking the stereo type but also setting an example of universal acceptance for future generations. "The fact that you are never too old or too young to break the stereo type shines through. In a highly penetrated category like Tea where the brand is a market leader, the placement of the product is incidental, what matters is the purpose of this brand and how does it make me feel as its user. This ad pushes the narrative of the brand a notch higher," he signs off.


Agency: Ogilvy

Group CCO: Kainaz Karmarkar, Harshad Rajadhyaksha & Sukesh Nayak

Chief Creative Officer: Kainaz Karmarkar & Harshad Rajadhyaksha

Account Management: Nikhil Mohan, Aparna Mody, Kiron Kumar and Padma Badodekar

Account Planning: Prem Narayan

Director: Sainath Choudhury

Production House: Purple Vishnu

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