Dentsu Mama Lab has rolled out a film to communicate its core specialisation of understanding mothers, by highlighting the practice of surrogacy as an industry in India.
The film features a host of pregnant women (from Rajasthan) returning home after fetching water. It follows the story of one of the women as she reaches home to her daughter, bidding goodbye to her companion with a smile. At home, from the daughter playing with a Japanese doll to the mother cooking noodles from a package with an East Asian label, the uncharacteristic references to the region (Japan) are many. The woman packs and soon leaves the house, with what looks like an imported umbrella and suitcase, leaving her daughter in the grandmother's care. She is accompanied by another pregnant woman (seen earlier). They make their way to a hospital. Inside, we discover the reason for their being there. The protagonist holds the newborn with oriental East Asian features she has delivered, with a lady from the region beside her while the latter's husband takes their picture. As she hands over the baby, she is handed over the picture and the foreign couple take their leave. She looks at the picture, but soon puts it down and calls home to inquire about her daughter. A newspaper article on the booming surrogacy industry in India comes into the frame with the newborn's picture in the foreground. A super reads 'Motherhood isn't easy. Understanding motherhood isn't easy either' before the film ends with the agency's sign off.
Swati Bhattacharya, principal partner – Mama Lab, creative, Dentsu India, said, "The 'rent a womb industry' or 'baby factories' as they are called is a booming industry in India. Most women who rent their womb use the money for their children's education and to secure their families' future. Poverty and lack of education don't leave these stay at home mothers with any career choices. The irony is while in US surrogates are paid between $28,000 to $35000, in India you can get a baby made to your genetic specifications for less than $6,500. No wonder a single village in Gujarat called Anand has produced more American, Japanese, Norwegian, Canadian and Australian babies than anywhere else in the world."
Referring to the 'Make in India' campaign, she added, "This film tells about export quality merchandise that’s coming out of India and nobody is talking about. This film helps open a conversation about motherhood that’s not black and white, shiny, wonderful. Politicians, marketeers, are perpetuating patriarchal definition of motherhood since the beginning of time. Mama Lab wants to make motherhood not one single story. We want to combine reality with healthy helpings of fantasy and pleasure in the midst of serious and complex topics of feminism, motherhood and surrogacy and women's safety, trying making sense of the world around us and ourselves in this world."
Client: Dentsu Mama Lab
Agency: Dentsu Mama Lab