In a country as diverse as India, is inclusivity really possible? They say, ‘Unity in Diversity’. But can there be ‘Inclusivity in Diversity’? language and religion… Income and profession… Countless elements divide us into smaller fragments. But is there anything that brings us together?

A strong unifying factor of all times is – Indian youth’s burning desire to transform. Be it ideas, beliefs or perceptions, our youth has always rooted for social change. But with Millennials and Gen Z forming a huge section of society, we’re now shedding the old ways faster than ever.

With liberalisation, the Millennials witnessed the advent of a truly global market. By the time Gen Z arrived on the scene, the boundaries significantly blurred. One of the most significant aspects of this global transformation is inclusion.

The idea of inclusivity quietly crawled into the world of advertising, with Millennials growing up to be the next consumers, followed by the Gen Z. Brands wanting to target these generations had to speak their language and appeal to their beliefs. And although businesses have been making serious attempts to raise awareness through advertisements, inclusive advertising has truly boomed only in the last few years. But even today, the mainline advertising is largely limited to gender inclusion.

Social media, on the contrary, is bustling with brand communications addressing inclusivity in different areas, be it disability, religion, old age or something else. Why social media? Because that’s where their target audience is – the Millennials and Gen Z.

Take a look at these advertisements by leading brands that have great power to inspire social change.

Gender inclusion, especially that of transgenders is one of the most common topics addressed by many popular brands. Clearly, they don’t want to ignore this extremely important section of Indian society.

Touch of Care by Vicks

Based on transwoman Gauri Sawant’s true story, this heart-touching ad from Vicks took the internet by a storm and instantly went viral. Gauri Sawant has herself featured in this ad.

Pure as Love by Bhima Jewellery

Meera Singhania Rehani, a transwoman, features in this viral, emotional ad that follows the transformational journey of a transwoman. The most beautiful aspect of this ad is the parents supporting their child throughout this phase and introducing her to their community with her newfound identity.

Hum Fark Nahi Karte by Pathkind Labs

Transgenders are one of the worst-hit groups during the pandemic. This endearing ad by Pathkind Labs talks about providing the essential services, and affection to them without any bias.

Bound by Love by Edelweiss Mutual Funds
Another heart-warming ad, this one celebrates the sibling bond that talks about how a transgender helps a family in need after their sole breadwinner’s demise.

Bold is Beautiful by Anouk

Pregnant women are commonly discriminated against at their workplaces. Radhika Apte features in this inspiring ad that highlights how pregnant women are expected to take a break from career.

Many brands have stepped up to create impactful messaging on many other subjects.

Har Rang Khoobsurat by Shalimar Paints – Colour Discrimination

For centuries, darker skin tones have been frowned upon by Indians, and that’s exactly what Shalimar Paints subtly highlights through this ad revolving around a househelp and her daughter and the family she works with.

Swad Apnepan Ka by Brooke Bond Red Label – Religious Discrimination

Much has been said about Hindu-Muslim unity. But this beautiful ad by Brooke Bond uses a cup of piping hot tea to connect a Hindu Ganesha worshipper with a Muslim Ganesha idolmaker.

Including the disabled in the fold of society is another task that we have ahead of us. Technology has proven to be the much-needed boon in this case. Brands like Samsung and Paisa Bazaar have ensured that they take some concrete steps towards empowering those with disabilities.

Caring for the Impossible by Samsung Good Vibes App

A heart-touching ad, it takes us through a blind girl’s journey of becoming independent and self-sufficient. Away from her family, in a hostel, she stays connected with her mother through the Good Vibes App on Samsung mobile phone.

The Wedding Speech by Paisa Bazaar

Truly heartwarming, this ad by Paisa Bazaar explores the bittersweet bond between two brothers, one of whom is deaf and mute.

Senior and super senior citizens often experience discrimination of various sorts. These two heartwarming ads shed more light on the subject.

Maa Nahi Bhoolti by Domino’s

Weren’t these truly eye-opening?

Inclusive advertising still has a long way to go in India. But these ads are proof that we are inching towards a society that leaves no scope for discrimination against the marginalized or oppressed or helpless. Are you hopping on the bandwagon yet?