Each year, billions of Indians across our vast country celebrate 15th August as the day of Independence. On this day, we take a moment to reflect on our nation’s past by recalling the adversities faced by India’s forefathers. We take this opportunity to commemorate the sacrifices of our freedom fighters in the struggle for Independence and re-channel their spirit to build a more progressive India.
With India observing its 75th Independence Day this year, we thought it best to revisit some captivating ads from the last decade. Some of these ads ask vital questions like the meaning of freedom to a particular gender while others celebrate the unity of our diverse nation. Here are some of the most enthralling Independence Day ad campaigns from the 2010s.
1. United Colors of Benetton – #UnitedByHope
In a country filled with a diverse array of cultures and religions, United Colors of Benetton conducted a social experiment to tell an alluring message: India’s “future looks united”.
The ad features several people belonging to different faiths and creeds talking about their unique possessions. These possessions have an important cultural or religious significance, and the people in the ad are seen explaining their value. These possessions are handed over by the people to be collected in a box. This box is given to a group of young kids who embrace the articles inside it with a spirit of love and admiration.
We see the kids innocently demonstrating the virtues of acceptance as the film’s ending draws on a strong atmosphere of equality. As a film, the 3 minute short masterfully utilises the “show, don’t tell” rule of filmmaking to convey its simple and holistic message of unity.
2. Tata Tea Premium – #DeshKaKulhad
Over the last year, the pandemic had disproportionately affected labourers and artisans the most. Since lockdowns were being extended continuously, their livelihood was in serious turmoil. In it’s Independence Day ad, Tata Tea Premium decided to pay tribute to the thousands of skilled artisans across the country as a way of showing solidarity. These artisans in the ads are the ones who make the traditional ‘kulhads’ that we drink our chai(tea) in.
Tata Tea Premium showcased multiple artisans from Maharashtra, Gujrat, Panjab and other states in this vibrant and lively ad spot. The artisans were personalising the hand-painted kulhads with unique art forms. The ad celebrates the diverse group of Indian artisans and pledges to support the community by promoting their work.
3. Bajaj Avenger – #RideYourIndependence
Freedom can have different meanings for different people. For the LGBTQ+ community, freedom can mean an end to their discrimination, for underprivileged kids, freedom can mean access to free education. And for women in India, freedom can mean the choice to do whatever they want. This ad from Bajaj asks us to liberate the women of our country from the weight of being shamed, threatened or ridiculed.
The two minute long film puts an unapologetic and fierce woman at the centre of its story to celebrate her resolute spirit. The ad ends with a powerful message from India’s father, Mahatma Gandhi, ‘The day a woman can walk freely on the roads at night, that day we can say that India has achieved independence’.
4. Vivo India – Happy Independence Night
Similar to the Bajaj ad we discussed earlier, Vivo asks the meaning of freedom for the women of India. The ad states that for women, freedom can mean going out at night without feeling vulnerable and unsafe. Vivo’s Independence Day ad puts forth this simple yet timely message in its #HappyIndependenceNight campaign.
The ad portrays an experience that we’ve heard many times from the women in our lives. The experience of a women getting anxious when being around suspicious men during a perilous hour of the night. In this ad Vivo, we see how a sense of trepidation and anxiety is filled in the woman. She gets uneasy and fearful instead of feeling safe when the men approach her as her car breaks down.
The ad ends as the lines from Nehru’s iconic and renowned independence day speech, “Tryst with Destiny” play on the car radio. Vivo masterfully places the caption, “Only when it’s women feel secure can a country be truly independent” at the end of the ad to tie the whole theme off.
5. Parle-G – #YouAreMyParleG Short
Based on a real-life story by Ankit Singh, this 2 minute long independence day short from Parle-G pays an ode to the millions of armed forces of India.
The film beautifully portrays the tragic sacrifices our servicemen make to serve and protect our nation. Sacrifices like being absent for the monumental years of your child’s growth or missing out on growing together with your SO puts into perspective the struggles of being in the armed forces
Created by Thought Blurd, the ad campaign captured the genuine plight of being a soldier through an emotionally poignant personal story. The ad’s ending conveyed an apt message to India’s armed forces: “#YouAreMyParleG”
These ads perfectly embody the spirit of our nation while being retained in our memories long after we’ve seen them. Tell us which ones you liked most!