Staff Reporters
May 29, 2018

2018 Cannes contenders: 'Sindoor Khela: No conditions apply', by FCB Ulka India

This campaign for Times of India argued for a more inclusive festival.

2018 Cannes contenders: 'Sindoor Khela: No conditions apply', by FCB Ulka India
We asked creative leaders from across the region choose the work they expect (or hope) to see winning at Cannes Lions this year. See all this year's Cannes contenders.

Contender: Sindoor Khela: No conditions apply
Agency: FCB Ulka India
Client: Times of India

Nominated by:

Ajab Samrai, chief creative officer, Ogilvy ASEAN:

Durga Puja is an ancient festival celebrated across India each year to honour the Goddess Durga. In celebration, married women usually apply vermilion in the form of a red dot on the forehead of each other at the festival. However, unmarried women, transgender, prostitutes, divorcees or widows are not considered worthy of participating. So to combat these divisions in society, The Times of India released a film that became a movement across India

The campaign posed a simple question, are all women not equal?

This experiential idea invited women irrespective of their marriage or social status to join the festivities under the #No Conditions apply. Instead of the traditional one dot on the forehead the centrepiece of the idea was two vermillion dots, one above the other representing unity and sisterhood.The idea got all of India participating and sending the two dot selfies in support of the campaign and put female equality top of the agenda. A great example of a brutally simple graphic device that captured peoples hearts.

Haruna McWilliams, APAC VP of strategy, Essence: 

This year some brands have gone above and beyond just advertising and tear-jerking videos, to make actual change, change that’s much needed in Indian society right now. In my opinion, that deserves global recognition. Take the example of 'No conditions apply', a campaign by none other than Times of India. They single-handedly changed the 400-year-old tradition at a local festival, Sindoor Khela, where the custom dictated that only married women whose husbands are still alive are allowed to participate, by championing inclusivity. That is one big change by a national brand.

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