Iconic Ads: Vicks – Gauri Sawant
Vicks is aware of and enthusiastic about the reimagined meaning of family. The focus here is on a relationship that is founded on caring and is unaffected by factors such as age, economic position, caste or religion, or gender.
During the course of 2017, Jocelyn Chabanis and Eugene Pua at Publicis Singapore devoted a significant amount of their time to working on the Vicks account for the APAC region.
P&G made the decision that the brand needed to be expanded beyond the advertising that was being done at the time in order to reach the next level.
Traditionally, Vicks has a long history of being linked to the provision of care within families. There would always be a doting mother, adoring children, and other family members. It was time to make the move to a new path, one that was both inclusive and possibly redefining what it means to be a family, while also making a very audacious statement at the same time.
The two talented individuals came to the conclusion that they would present an exceptional narrative about caring. A narrative that demonstrates that the concept of a family can’t be reduced to a name, a lineage, or a piece of paper. It is determined by the level of care that you provide. Their catchphrase eventually evolved into “Where there’s care, there’s family.”
They thought that the best way to show this was to show how two different people who had been left by their families and by society, people who had been denied the most basic form of care that most of us take for granted, still had the courage to care for someone other than themselves.
Following the completion of the preliminary research, they produced a screenplay about a transgender person who, against all obstacles, decided to adopt an orphan daughter. It doesn’t happen all that rarely, but because of how bad it is for society and how unpopular it is, the vast majority of cases are hidden, and very few people outside of the transgender community know about them.
They approached a journalist in Delhi named Chinki Sinha, who had done previous work on the subject and inquired as to whether or not she might assist in locating genuine individuals whose tales were similar to what they had written and who were willing to speak on it to the public.
They were able to learn the remarkable tale of Gauri Sawant and her adopted daughter and how they were able to establish a family despite the challenges that they had as a result of this. Gauri worked hard to develop a decent life for herself because she was certain that she would never beg on the streets to make a living, which would be inconsistent with who she is as a person and what she represents. She was able to complete her transformation with the assistance of Humsafar Trust. She is currently the director of a group called Sakhi Char Chowgi, which advocates for the rights of LGBT people.
Publicis, on the other hand, chose Neeraj Ghaywan, who directed the film “Masaan,” which was shown at Cannes, to direct it so they could get the raw and realistic look they wanted, as well as the film’s unique awareness of Indian popular culture and allusions.
The strategy was to have Gauri play a role that was similar to her own, and she did an outstanding job of doing so. Even though the script had already been written, many of its components were developed while they worked with Gauri on the shoot. Gauri had a strong interest in actively participating behind the scenes, and she collaborated with Neeraj to ensure that the shoots were excellent. Before Gauri had her sex change procedure, she had a background in acting, having previously performed on stage. Neeraj confesses that in order to acquire the photo he wanted, he and Gauri had to work together, and that’s how they were able to achieve success. Neeraj urged Gauri to emphasise the feeling that she was experiencing at the time, which was an unpleasant recollection of previous events for her.