Age of Equals

With its new digital campaign, Flipkart urges parents to break the shackles of gender stereotypes and drive change

Stereotypes are often the go-to mechanism for advertisers. They view age-old gender roles to be easy and reliable ways to reach out to the target audience. But with changing times, it becomes equally important to challenge these pre-existing notions. And that’s what Indian ecommerce giant Flipkart is trying to do with its new campaign, #GenE or #generationequal. The two-minute long digital ad drives home the point that raising a child minus the prejudice of gender leads to a better and more equal tomorrow.

“We've all heard of Gen X and Gen Y. Now we wanted to introduce India to Gen E — a generation that is raised equally. Through our campaign, we wanted to bring alive some of the stereotypes associated with being a boy and a girl and how important it is to remove these in order for them to grow up to be equal adults,” says Apuarv Sethi, director, brand marketing, Flipkart. The ad, for instance, showcases the fact that both boys and girls can love pink, play sports and learn household work. It also highlights that dreams are gender neutral and that equality needs to be nurtured and promoted from childhood. The line which perhaps best encapsulates the message is that a 'generation that is treated equally today, will treat each other equally tomorrow.'

This is the third installment of Flipkart’s new 'Naye India ke Saath' charter, which is reflective of its new brand positioning on progressive thinking and living. The year started with the #PenguinDad campaign that celebrated men playing an equal role in parenting and was followed by #ChooseYourAge that encourages Indians to change the way they look at age. Similarly, #GenE aims to help parents (and grownups at large) realise that subconscious sexism exists at the roots of our society, right from when we raise our children.

Prashant Gopalakrishnan, senior vice-president, client services, Dentsu Webchutney acknowledges that today, many parents might be philosophically in tune with the idea of raising children equally. “However, the fear is that a 'manly girl' or an 'effeminate boy' might be the odd one out, and a target for ridicule or discrimination by the rest. Hence it was imperative that the message comes from a collective. Not from just a boy and a girl, but from the generation overall,” he says.