How can you become a professional photographer when you are colour blind? This question has haunted Hizol Choudhury for years now. He was disappointed when he understood how the world looks at him and how his problem is going to create hurdles for his passion. Nonetheless, he pushed himself and relied on his team when it came to complicated colours. “If I am not with them, I can’t do complete justice to my work.”
Approximately 300 million people survive with colour blindness in the world. Color blindness affects around one in 12 men and one in 200 women in the world. There are three main types of color blindness – tritanopia which is the inability to process blue light and affects men and women equally; deuteranopia confuses green colors with red, yellow, grey and pink; and protanopia is the inability to process red light.
This Republic Day Hizol who deals with protanopia was offered some respite by the team at Panasonic India through their initiative “Right to Colour” – a campaign to empower colour blind photographers. The campaign unveils the specially designed viewfinder lens designed to help photographers calibrate colour saturation and balance.
Empowering photographers with a specially designed lens is an interesting move and launching on Republic Day ties the entire piece elegantly.
But is the idea unique? Well not exactly. Last year the State of Tennessee thoughtfully provided special viewfinders for visitors who have color vision deficiencies. In 2017 Artist Craig Greco, a colour blind artist was gifted a pair of ‘life-changing’ Enchroma glasses by his family on his birthday. Similarly, in 2015 a colorblind man treated himself on his 23rd birthday in the best possible way – by getting a pair of Enchroma glasses. These specs use technology that helps people suffering from color blindness see shades that can often appear brown to them.
The idea from Panasonic might not be unique but the implementation is a genuine attempt.
If “Right to Colour” is a perfect call by Panasonic then no right to judge anyone is a perfect call from Tata CliQ. India might celebrate 70 years of being a sovereign democratic republic but we Indians excel when it comes to judging everyone else. From skin colour, to physique, to clothes, to eating habits, to sexual orientation, etc. we have no limit to judge people. I have judged people, but who gives me the right to do so.
This Republic Day, Tata CliQ made a strong and bold statement by stating that the country gives us the right to be who we are, so this year let the judges be the only ones who wear robes.
Where no one can survive, the Indian Army makes sure that it is there to guard our country’s boundary. And where no vehicle can travel, Royal Enfield makes its own way(says an Enfield fan).
The association of the Indian Army and Royal Enfield has been a prolonged association. On the 71st Republic Day, the brand shared a story from 18,000ft and -30 degree celsius where it rode with the Indian Army through 1,100kms of the most unforgiving Himalayan terrains to go where no motorcycle had gone before, reaching the legendary Karakoram Pass.
Asking questions is required for a democracy to thrive. But asking the right questions are important too. MTV India this year takes the route of satire to communicate a very important message and it does a decent job. So next time if a kid is asking you questions don’t distract him by saying you are too young to understand.
Finally, TikTok once again launched a simple and brilliant campaign – #DeshKiBhasha. The app asked users to upload videos to wish fans in their mother language while using specially created filters for the occasion.
That’s my list for favourite Republic Day 2020 campaigns. Creativity is subjective and I am sure you will have your favourites too. However, I have tried to stay away from creative campaigns that only feel good. For instance the Lava #Senditback campaign against fake messages. Face news or messages are a big problem in the country and it has created riots but what is Lava doing here other than creating a video. How does that back emoji solve the problem in reality and village people holding “Send it back” placards? The idea was there but the brand and the agency had no clue how to execute it. At least it wasn’t evident in the video.
Similarly, the Orient Bell Tiles campaign (far better than the Kajaria Tiles jingoism) is a great emotional video of saluting and celebrating the hard work of the mason community. But beyond the video what is the brand doing for the mason community? I am sure most of them wouldn’t even know that they are being celebrated. The campaign reminds me of the yearly efforts of CenturyPly for the carpenter’s community.