It isn’t often that an advertisement looks beyond the obvious material benefits of a brand, or foregoes the chance to coin a slogan to get the message across.

The new advertisement for Vicks does both. It assiduously keeps the brand out of the advertising film till the very end. It also packs a twist in the tale, appeals to fine human instincts, and joins a well-intentioned cause – all of this wrapped in a message of caring to signal the brand position.

As the story shows, it’s the small moments that matter the most – a loving touch on the brow during a fever, the joy of being fed your favourite food, and a shoulder to hide behind while watching a horror movie.

These are memories Gayatri has built with her mother after she was adopted. They run through her mind as she travels to the boarding school where she studies.

This is the true story of Gauri Sawant, a Mumbai-based transgender rights activist who raised Gayatri after her birth mother succumbed to HIV-AIDS.

The heartwarming ad gently raises questions about discrimination and denial of rights of transgender people in India without actually asking them stridently.

Various brand campaigns have built on themes inclusive of the transgender community ever since the Supreme Court in its 2014 landmark judgment called for equal treatment, and the third gender category was created in education and employment.

Among these are Brooke Bond Red Label tea, which joined hands with Y Films to create one-of-its-kind transgender music band, Six-pack band; and sari-maker Red Lotus.


In 2014, members of India’s transgender community created a public service campaign named Seatbelt Crew with music channel Channel V and advertising agency Ogilvy Mumbai. Dressed as the cabin crew of a flight, they enacted the message of road safety in the video below.