Vicks Generations India youtube ad with over 9 million views has brought awareness of the social inequalities the country’s transgender population faces. The advertisement is unique as it has made inroads connecting their brand with the transgender struggle and our people’s innate goodness and desire to make the world a better place for all. This post will strive to look behind the making of the video and have a look into mother Gauri Sawant’s advocacy.
The heart touching ad tells the story of how Gauri Sawant, a transgender woman and activist, came to adopt Gayatri, a young girl whose birth mother died of AIDS.
In the ad, Gayatri narrates the daily rituals she has adopted with her new mummy, from hair massages to watching horror films together, and the struggles her mother faces as a transgender woman. She questions the unfair legal treatment of transgender people in India.
“My Civics book says that everyone is entitled to basic rights” Gayatri says.
“Then why is my mom denied them?”
By the end of the ad, Gayatri says she is going to be a lawyer – for her mom.
Transgender women have a long history in India, featured in Hindu mythology and sought out for blessings. In 2014, India’s Supreme Court ruled that transgender people had equal rights under the law and granted legal status to individuals who identify as a third gender – neither male or female. Still, transgender people continue to face bias and discrimination in Indian society.
Discrimination and hate are often manifested from a fear of what people don’t know or understand. Visibility helps mitigate this fear, emphasizing our common humanity. This Vicks India ad connects us to the universal experiences of parental love and mother/daughter bonds fostering vital conversations necessary for positive change.
Vicks India is owned by the parent company, Proctor & Gamble, which has earned a perfect 100 score since 2014 on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to LGBT employees, and is a founding member of HRC’s Global Business Coalition, a consortium of major global businesses committed to upholding workplace protections for LGBT employees – along with the rest of their workforce – everywhere that they do business.
“We believe family and care are timeless – the definition of family will keep evolving in the modern world but Vicks believes that everyone deserves the ‘touch of care,’” Nitin Darbari, Marketing Director, Asia Vicks, told HRC.