Box away inhibitions

Through the story of an aspiring boxer, Pond's encourages women to follow their dreams

For most women, following their true passion is still a distant dream. It gets worse when they foray into fields that have typically been considered to be the male domain. For example, women in frontline combat or women as professional drivers or weightlifters. To fight these archaic notions, there needs to be a change in societal norms. But there’s more.

“Women still feel held back by their inner voices. We want to encourage them to share their stories. This is what 'See What Happens' is all about,” says Prabha Narasimhan, vice president-skincare and colours, Hindustan Unilever. The impactful campaign, created by Ogilvy India and Singapore has been rolled out across four key markets — India, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia.

As part of the campaign, the brand has rolled out a digital film called ‘The Boxer’, which narrates the story of a young Indian girl who is pursuing her career in boxing. However, she is constantly worrying over revealing her decision to her mother. After her secret practice session, she washes her face (with the Pond’s face wash), hides the bruises under make-up and tells her mother that she was delayed working on college projects in the library. But every time she looks into the mirror, her inner voice encourages her to reveal the truth to her mother; which she does, eventually. 

"When she finally finds it in her to tell her mom, her mother’s reply comes as a blow of surprise. The mother’s dialogue makes the film what it is," says Kainaz Karmakar, chief creative officer, Ogilvy India (West). Another creative officer on the campaign, Harshad Rajadhyaksha adds that Pond’s has a huge legacy, "but every now and then, a brand has to create a new legacy. It is time for Pond’s to be relevant to young girls — speak their language and be a brand that is on their side.” The film does this effectively by not being preachy, yet conveying the message through an engaging and relatable storyline. It says women must not hesitate to clearly state what must be stated, face their fears and stand up for themselves. Further, the product – the face wash – has been cleverly integrated into the story without making it the centre point. The right mix of suspense and drama makes this ad worth watching.