Four brands that make a point on Children’s Day

Mahindra Rise, Vodafone, Nickelodeon and SBI Life have a meaningful Children's Day campaign

Vodafone India Childrens Day

“Only the curious have something to find.” – Anonymous

I grasped the quote pretty late. As a kid, I was frightened to ask questions and even answer them. What if the teacher scolds and then I become a laughing stock. So the best option was to keep silent and wait for the class to get over. During the exams mug up everything and hope to secure pass marks.

I wasn’t a bright student but for me school was boring. There were few teachers who showed the effort but rest showed their efforts with bright minds. Therefore you join tuition classes and life somewhere gets lost running between school and tuition classes. Besides no one emphasised to be a curious mind, it was always about exams and scoring marks.

Education was never about learning but scoring marks.

More or less the thought has been constant with the Indian education system. Even so, there is some effort to focus on the word curiosity and make education fun. For instance in the below video when the young kid has a funny but genuine question, he is not scolded by the teacher. The below video #NutureYourCurosity is Mahindra Rise’s campaign for Children’s Day.

A simple insight but a relevant one. From a storytelling point, the video scores high. There are very few stories which you see in ads that keep you guessing from the word go. I was watching the video and my mind was working hard to find what the astronaut is trying to communicate, what is the kid thinking, the astronaut is not real then why is he looking to relieve himself. The end obviously puts a smile on my face with a relevant message.

Last week(14/11/2019), brands in India celebrated Children’s Day. Most of them decided to engage with creative posts and some decided to share meaningful communication. I decided to find the campaigns that stand out and showcase an attempt to drive a meaningful conversation.

What does relationship demand? Time and Trust. My parents both worked hard so that we have a bright future. Gifts were quite rare but every day we had dinner together watching Doordarshan. Thankfully mobile was alien for us.

Today we spend more time on our mobile than with our loved ones. A life without a smartphone is a myth. And we are already witnessing how smartphones are ruining families. Obviously, there is a need but how do we keep the balance and if parents themselves can’t drive the change then no one will.

Vodafone on Children’s Day is asking parents to give their precious time to kids. The campaign #LookUp asks parents to look away from their phones and spend time with their children. The brand has launched 7 small cool videos from A to Z, each alphabet represents the various ways parents shush their children. Again a simple insight with brilliant execution.

Can we speak freely or do we have the courage? Most keep quiet for various reasons such as fear, getting judged, and what will people think. Every individual has his own unique set of traits but as kids, we have been advised how to behave or how not to speak at different places. Boys and girls should behave in a certain way.

I am not saying that all of them don’t make sense but most of them are based on the experiences of our parents, teachers, and society. What if they are wrong and their experience adds no value. But how can parents or teachers be wrong?

This year, Nickelodeon has decided to spread the joy of speaking clearly without any hesitation. Called as the #KhulKeBolo is a video that shows how a teacher supports a child of being open and speaking with a free mind.

As a society we have almost lost the essence of speaking freely and we are concerned about what people will think. The same thoughts are passed on to the younger generation and before they could speak their mind starts the filtering job.

I don’t know why I am reminded of the beautiful poem – “Where the mind is without fear,” Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali 35.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;

Where knowledge is free;

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;

Where words come out from the depth of truth;

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;

Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Finally, I witness the story of Dipti Gandhi who has dedicated her life to understand problems of children who are suffering from MDVI (multiple disabilities with visual impairment). To make these children independent and happy, Dipti started Muskan Foundation – a school that provides holistic support to children suffering from MDVI and their parents.

For Children’s Day, SBI Life Insurance is supporting the cause under its ongoing campaign where it has been celebrating the journey of people who are bringing change in the society.

Children’s Day in India is celebrated to remember our first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday. Nehru was fond of kids and he referred them as the India of tomorrow.

“The children of today will make the India of tomorrow. The way we bring them up will determine the future of the country.”

So next time if a kid asks you something don’t shut him up, even if it is a silly question. Don’t kill a curious mind, don’t kill her future.