Babita Baruah
Jan 08, 2013

Babita's blog: The Walled Door

The author asks why the masters of stirring emotions are silent on issues that have stirred the youth of this nation.

Babita's blog: The Walled Door

For the first time in two years, I am late in sending in my blog.

Writing about the challenges and celebrations in the industry seemed a little trivial compared to the incident in Delhi last month.

It is strange. There are so many things that we face in life every day. And then one day, something happens which shakes us from our self induced reverie. Makes us rethink. Recalibrate.

I did that too. But don’t have answers so far.

As part of the advertising world, we have all worked on  brands that talk to youth. Where youth is mainstream. Brands that pride themselves in conversations, not just communication. Of having moved successfully from just “selling” to being a part of every day life. The brand essences have words like “friend”, “partner”, “ understanding”.

Our work looks more and more real, more honest. More insightful.

The message is clear. We are part of their lives, not just wallets.

But what happens when sometimes things shake up in the real world?

When the 18 to 20 year olds we write about are united in sending out a message to the world and the system?  When it is not just one day of protest but a raging sentiment? 

Will such awareness, or sentiments about freedom, expression, societal changes, challenges of young people stepping out to realise their dreams get reflected in our conversations? Or do they need do? On one hand and rightly so, we are not about politics or causes, we are about the world of the brand.

 But what happens when the lines blur? The brand and the consumer are co-creators today. Conversations are free flowing and two way. They are unedited and uncensored.

Also, what about the industry itself and its views?

We work on so many award winning work for NGOs and Women and Children . We are masters of the game when it comes to stirring emotions or making a strong point.  Apart from individual social media status updates, do we also create communication that reflects such sentiments or prevents such incidents- issues about safety, about changing perceptions on gender and sexuality etc ? Or again, is it better to steer clear of political agendas?

Maybe that’s why, in a system where we are bombarded with communication, we see nothing even remotely related to what has happened. Yet.

Me included. Yet today, when I look at the word “youth” in the context of my daily work, I  somehow feel incomplete.

Like I have walled up a critical door because I am scared of walking through it.

I am struggling with these demons. And trying to find the answers that will open up that door.

The views expressed are the author's independent views as an ad professional and do not reflect the organisation's viewpoint.

Campaign India

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