Gadre hits out at ‘Mobile Pe Dependence’ in thought-provoking film

Technology has been helping us achieve personal and career goals, making our lives easier and lead a better quality life. However, the growing dependence on technology has also made us almost a slave to it and being connected 24x7 has become the norm. Nowadays it has become commonplace to see people glued to their mobile or tablet screens no matter where they may be – a social gathering, an outing, at home, in office, even on a date. Even as life continues to pass by around them, people remain oblivious to it, preferring to watch what is on their screens.

It is this dependence that Gadre, one of the leading Surimi manufacturers and marine exporters, sought to address in a special video that was release on the occasion of Independence Day this year. Conceptualised and created by Mumbai-based Gozoop Online, the film titled ‘Are we 'Mobile Pe Dependent' or Independent?’ shows how people have become almost a slave to their mobile phones, preferring to interact via the screen rather than in real life. Gozoop has been working with Gadre for almost six months now.

When asked about what made Gadre come up with a social message this Independence Day, Sneha Sharma, Brand Manager, Gadre, explained, “When we began thinking about a campaign for Independence Day, we had two directions – either we make it brand and product centric or we highlight a social message in a subtle way. After a lot of brainstorming and listing down pros and cons, we decided to take the second route. It is Independence Day after all, whatever we do it should leave a mark behind.”

Sharma further said, “We celebrate Independence Day every year, why do we celebrate it? Because we got free, we got freedom to live our lives our way, we got freedom to live in peace with our friends and family, but looking at our lifestyle today, we don’t seem to be enjoying that freedom. Through our message, we are not saying technology is bad or harmful, all we want to highlight is that technology has its pros and cons. Yes, technology has changed the future for the better in a lot of ways, but instead of enjoying the benefits of technology, we are in a way letting it harm us. We are letting it take over our daily social lives, that it is becoming the only vital thing in our lives, instead of being one part of our lives to support our daily work/ communication, it has become our life and the only way of communication.”

Speaking about the genesis of the campaign, Amyn Ghadiali, Group Director – Brand Communications, Gozoop, said, “We listed out everything we knew about Independence Day. The fact that we complete 69 years of freedom, the history behind it, the present, what has changed, how has our lifestyle evolved from then till now and we just had one question in our head when we looked around, are we really free?”

Continuing further, Ghadiali said, “We began to think about not others but ourselves, what we do, how we live, how we are so dependent on that one thing 24x7, that is, our cellphones. Then how did we consider ourselves free at all? Aren’t we chained by technology? And that’s when we realised that this is it. This is what we want to highlight through our campaign, in a very subtle way, leaving people asking a simple question to themselves and a message behind.”

Apart from YouTube, social media platforms from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram were used for this campaign. ScoopWhoop also covered the campaign and spoke about it reaching out to a wider audience. Prominent influencers across deferent genres, spoke rigorously about the campaign on Twitter, appreciating it and spreading the message across all their followers.

Gadre also ran a contest on Twitter, wherein users were asked to spot people who were constantly on their phones and sharing their pictures. This contest saw good participation. Post Independence Day, in order to sustain the campaign, Gadre and Gozoop decided to talk to people from various backgrounds and lifestyles, wherein they were asked what they thought about the technology world today and their message to the younger audience. These interviews were posted on social media platforms to voice their opinions.

On the response to the initiative, Soniya Jain, Senior Account Manager, Gozoop, said, “The response was indeed splendid. Better than any of us imagined. Our video gained close to 2 lakh views in a span of one week, with maximum views from the metro cities. People across social media appreciated the video and spread the message in full support. From ScoopWhoop covering it to influencers talking about it, #TasteTheFreedom trended on Twitter for four hours on August 12. It not only trended in Mumbai and India, but was amongst the worldwide trends too.”

The film shows people engrossed in their mobile phones, hardly looking up from their screens, when suddenly a patriotic song from an old Hindi film, ‘Leader’, starts playing (Apni azaadi ko hum hargiz mita sakte nahin). This makes the people look up from their mobile screens, listen to the song for a short while, but they then return to their screens unable to keep their attention away from it for long.

When asked whether this gave an incomplete kind of a message – that no one bothers, Sharma replied, “They say silence speaks louder than words. Through this campaign, we did not want to directly tell people about how we all have been mobile pe dependent. We wanted to send across our message in a subtle way by leaving everyone to question themselves. We wanted everyone to ask themselves on Independence Day whether they are really free. We wanted to leave behind a thought in everyone’s minds and hence, the video was ended in such a manner.”


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