The latest blue band advertisement does more than capture our attention, it captures our hearts. It is riveting from the get-go simply because it is telling a story. Rather than the heavy reliance on product placement and overdose of sentimentality that we see in too many Pakistani ads, it focuses on impeccable acting and clear direction.
Viewing the story unfold through the eyes of the mother, we watch a young boy try to maneuver a volley ball singlehandedly. Just like the mother, we find ourselves wondering why he is doing so. And then we watch as he welcomes another friend who seems rather ordinary, and the whole volleyball team slips one arm inside their t-shirt in a simple and stunning gesture of acceptance towards a differently abled boy.
The best part is that the advertisement doesn’t fail to remind us that the behavior of these boys was a result of ‘tarbiyat’ or how they were raised, emphasizing that what we teach our kids is what will change mindsets and encourage compassion.
What is remarkable, is the way the different elements of the story come together to convey the simple and brilliant concept: Blue Band takes the responsibility to nourish the health of your kids while you can nourish their conduct. The mother’s bemused concern, the child’s easy compassion, and of course the lynch pin; the lyrics that play in the background, ‘achai bharnay do’ that essentially describe the story the advertisement is trying to weave.
Being judged for being different is something that all of us have experienced or feared to experience. Being judgemental is something none of us would want to find ourselves or our children indulging in. So the ad takes something that is very close to our hearts and minds, especially in this day and age, and gives it a positive and emotional appeal. That is what makes this ad so memorable.
The fact that it talks about how children are treating another child talks about how these values need to be inculcated at grass root level. Parents and society need to weave acceptance, compassion and empathy into their own behavior towards the differently abled so that children too follow suit.
Watch the full advertisement here: