On the same day news reports emerged that Maharashtra might be at the start of its second-wave of Covid-19, with 4,092 new cases reported on 14 February, almost two weeks after the state offered some relaxations in its lockdown rules.
What’s the connection between the two, one might ask?
Panasonic’s film for the range of air conditioners, which claims to kill 99% of bacteria and viruses, shows a middle-aged woman visiting her family. She does so with a spray in hand looking to disinfect surfaces. Just like we have been asked by doctors and the Government to do. But, her family jokes about her apparent paranoia and tells her to ‘chill’ because Panasonic’s new air conditioner range takes on 99% of bacteria and viruses.
This just doesn’t work for me.
I’m no expert on air conditioners and the technologies that go with it. I’m no expert on Covid-19 either. But, I’ve read and heard enough about the virus since March 2020. Doctors have been saying, wear a mask, wash your hands (or use sanitisers when you’re unable to) and make sure you don’t touch too many surfaces. All three of these things are thrown out of the window in this film.
It’s time brands reflect the same. Yes, we’re looking for normalcy at a time when everyone is worried, but we don’t want people to get complacent and stop using masks/sanitisers/disinfectants. Further, we don’t want them to get complacent because a brand is prompting the same.
So, if brands can’t help fight Covid, we certainly don’t want them to make people relax in the fight against it.
(The author is managing editor, Campaign India.)