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Tricky theatrics
With a hilarious and adorable commercial, Star India points out the perils of making your kids watch adult content

Shruti Venkatesh

A wicked mother-in-law, a snooty relative or a dutiful son and daughter – daily soap operas in India most often revolve around these literary tropes. And adults, across most Indian households, relish watching the highly dramatised dynamics between these characters play out on the small screen. However, while they remain engrossed, they tend to forget that children too are consuming the same content that they are watching. This is precisely the message that Star India wishes to convey with its new ad campaign for Disney.

The 35-second ad film introduces us to a living room setting, where a mother is questioning her six-year old daughter, Diya, if she has taken her science book back from her friend Neha. Immediately, the young girl slips into the character of a stereotypical daily soap antagonist, much to the amusement of her brother and mother. “What does she think of herself? This is a ‘shadiyantra’ (ploy) against me,” says Diya, as her surprised mother tries to stop her. Paying no heed, the girl continues her dialogue delivery saying that she will take revenge and that her mother should simply wait and watch. While the mother is shocked, a voiceover takes over, and says that if kids watch programming meant for adults, then this is what they will learn. It then urges parents to pick the Disney Kids Pack, which includes Disney Channel, Hungama, Marvel HQ and Disney Junior, serving content apt for the age-group of 2-14 years.

Designed by Star India’s in-house creative team, the campaign mirrors the insight — ‘Children see. Children do’; which is reflected through the kid emulating the television characters. “The creative takes a swing at a realistic message told in a light-hearted, fun and entertaining manner. We are encouraging parents to let their kids be kids and have them enjoy their childhood through a world of stories and characters that they love,” says a spokesperson from Star India. It might be noted that Walt Disney owns Star India with the closing of the $71 billion deal with 21st Century Fox in March this year.

Through this campaign, Star India has conveyed a hard-hitting message – repercussions of kids watching adult content – in a relatable and enjoyable manner. Plus, a special mention also goes to the excellent acting chops of the young girl, who rolls her eyes and times her hand movement in perfect sync to the melodramatic dialogues. To sum up, this ad is the perfect blend of Star India’s drama and Disney’s magic.

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