can ads change the world? i have no idea. should advertising, a clearly commercial pursuit, even venture into discussing things that matter a little more than buying the next thing… again, i don’t know. but as a copywriter, i often felt you could add something to your story… a little kindness, a bit of laughter, some protest even if the time for that had come. just a feeling. of course, there are public service campaigns, but i am speaking more of consumer goods advertising. last year, vicks did its first “#TouchOfCare” commercial which told the story of gauri sawant, a mother who happens to be a transgender, a hijra. touched me, made me think about the entire issue of gender, and not being born into a clearly defined one. this year, the story of nisha. again, made me think of many things, and two people… one born with the same condition, the other born with another rare problem; both of them immensely brave and loving and sweet and smart, like nisha here.

credit: vicks india
the film has been created by publicis singapore, directed by anand gandhi. nisha lobo acts as herself.

released on 9 october 2018, the new vicks commercial has nearly 22,000,000 hits already. if you’ve seen it, we’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

of course, i’ve known vicks ever since i can’t remember when. first as a mushy, stinging, awful gooey paste; then as a nice lozenge, supposedly medicinal, but you didn’t have to have a cough or soar throat to have it. memorable happy ads for that too, back in the eighties, with the monster khitch khitch jumping about inside the throat while dad jayant kripalani tells his little daughter a story about bheriye and mem… something? “vicks ki goli lo, khitch khitch door karo”… catchy (as they say) jingle. lovely. take a tablet of vicks, get rid of khich khich. v consumer ad, but there was that father daughter visual, in a country where daughters aren’t prized, that was a creative’s way of introducing a thought maybe? they could have easily had a son there too, but they didn’t.

wondering to myself, was this the first indian advertising campaign centred around  a father and a daughter? let me go check. enjoy khitch khitch in the meanwhile.

credit: uploader

a vicks 2018 commercial from the philippines.

credit: vicks philippines


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