A ‘human train’ running through the streets and buildings of Kolkata, the first television commercial of Indian Railways, has become a hit on YouTube. However, some people are of the view that Desh ka Mel train appears to have no seats for women, one half of India.
The commercial is an adaptation of the popular track from the 1968 Ashok Kumar film Aashirwaad plays in the background, Rail gaadi chhuk chhuk chhuk chhuk.
Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and creative director of Ogilvy & Mather, the agency that created the ad that has now been watched over 45,000 times on YouTube, and has been listed on bestadsontv.com, said it wasn’t a deliberate decision to leave women out.
“We tried to keep everyone. But this was a demanding shoot. We shot the footage nearly 70 times to get it right. We needed people who would be ready to jog around for hours and hours. And we barely had a couple of days to wind it up. It was a physically excruciating shoot,” Pandey said.
“Maybe if we had more athletic women or sportswomen, we would have used them in the train.”
Pandey did point out though that “if you see the ad, women, kids and old people are all watching the human train”, and that in that sense, “they are all participating”.
Pandey, who has done several ad films for governments before, including the famous Mile sur mera tumhara and the latest ads for Gujarat Tourism, argued that the Rail gaadi ad was about the symbolism of the Indian Railways rather than about the number of men or women who participated.
In today’s times, people always try to bring a good thing down by pointing things that were not even considered or thought out. Just like people are pointing fingers on the ad makers for not including women when they don’t bother to give even seats reserved for women to them in trains and buses and still burn brides in the name of dowry.
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