In a nation of diversities, our perceptions about people of a certain community often overlook logic. We’ve created such hardened stereotypes that it is difficult to imagine a Punjabi vegan or a beef-eating Tamil Brahmin or for that matter even a health conscious Bengali. While we believe that artists struggle for a living, government office employees ‘do not work’, girls who love fashion are shallow, men from the north do not respect women, and so on, we are all falling victim to a stereotypical society.
As harmful as it is to the society, here is a campaign I came across from ‘TrulyMadly.com’ that seeks to break stereotypes existing in the country, with the help of social media. TrulyMadly is a modern day matchmaking service that finds suitable matches using science and technology. Yes, it goes against the stereotypical tradition of matching horoscopes and religion and caste and family expectations to create a credible and safe interaction platform to connect with compatible singles.
For the #BreakingStereotypes campaign, the portal ran a social experiment in Delhi, where it asked boys and girls to share how they’ve faced generalizations while growing up. As the people of the city opened up to share the stereotypes they faced, the campaign gained pace and controversial stereotypes faced by real people surfaced on social media.
TrulyMadly then curated these stereotypes and has put up a gallery featuring the commonly faced ones:
Each of these visuals have Facebook and Twitter share buttons to help further spreading on social media. The portal encouraged social media conversations around breaking stereotypes by sharing these visuals and also a #BreakingStereotypes contest with prizes on offer. People have shared stereotypes ranging from the funky to the thought provoking to ones that make you really sad.
— TrulyMadly (@thetrulymadly) May 13, 2014
— Arnav Kalia (@arnavkalia99) May 13, 2014
— Mohammed Azeem (@SureShotWinner) May 13, 2014
A social campaign that connects
For a website that is itself breaking the norms of matchmaking in India, #BreakingStereotypes is a perfectly aligned campaign. While, on the one hand, it breaks age-old stereotypes existing in the Indian society, it also helps promote the matchmaking service to the right set of people. Singles looking out for compatible partners, rather than for accurate horoscope fits, will easily identify with the campaign message and share it with their like-minded social connections.
Getting real people to share the stereotypes they faced, also strengthens the concept of TrulyMadly. The website uses a stringent verification process and has strict privacy controls to ensure credible and safe interactions on the platform. In the social media age, it makes sense to break stereotypes if you want to be heard or go viral, something Tanishq had achieved when the jewellery brand had launched its ‘remarriage’ ad featuring a mother’s second marriage. Moreover, social media has also given a voice to the consumer; he/she is empowered enough to voice against advertisements that feed on stereotypes.
#BreakingStereotypes is a well-aligned, targeted and socially savvy campaign that has become my favourite too!