Durex’s #DoTheRex video is the PR winner this week

Durex brave new campaign has Ranveer Singh “doing” #DoTheRex and the video goes viral

If you have had enough of the Modi-Vadra-Gandhi squabbles and the rest of the world of politics, here’s a campaign that is a real breath of fresh air.

The new Durex condom campaign is refreshingly direct, frank, frothy and downright fun! Instead of an ad, Durex, has come out with an upbeat song and dance sequence promoting safe sex, featuring Ranveer Singh.

The openness about great sex is a brave messaging plank for Durex on a topic that most Indians are not comfortable discussing. Ranveer Singh’s uninhibited depiction of great and safe sex (and dare I say it gasp – premarital sex!) along with the #DoTheRex move, especially choreographed for the campaign, is a departure from the usual montage of coy married couples in condom ads.

The safe sex message is neatly packed to appeal to young pop culture via a rap song sung by the actor himself. Singh’s madcap personality suits the ad well.

Watch the video here:

According to Social Samosa, the video has got over 3 lac views in the first 72 hours it was published. The direct storytelling with a top Bollywood star is bound to create plenty more PR buzz for the brand. The campaign brings the topic of safe sex into mainstream discussion in a creative and appealing fashion.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra shows smart communication in the last election lap

Robert Vadra has been a weak chink in the Congress armour and has been a constant stick to beat the Gandhi family with – by both the AAP and the BJP.

But last week Priyanka Gandhi seized the narrative and made an emotional and aggressive appeal to the voters about the charges against her husband Robert Vadra.

Priyanka said at Rae Bareli that: "My family is humiliated; there are things that are said about my husband. The more they humiliate us, the stronger we emerge. I am saddened and hurt by the attacks, but I have learnt from Indira Gandhi that the truth becomes courage," she said, referencing her grandmother and former prime minister, to whom she bears a striking resemblance. "I tell my children that one day, truth will prevail," she further added. 

The message was carefully designed to strike an emotive chord, remind the people about her resemblance to Indira Gandhi and her family legacy – a potent combination for the Indian voter. Priyanka was also careful to avoid specifically answering the charge of crony capitalism and corruption – which has not been easy to explain away.

The specifics have been left to party loyalists like Digvijay Singh to defend, who tried to make an Adani – Vadra comparison in a five column lead edit piece in The Times of India on Tuesday.

Does this translate into any change in the fortunes of the Congress at this late phase of the election? –probably not much. But Priyanka has certainly re-scripted the messaging on a core issue about the Gandhi family.

This entire week, she has enjoyed front page, often lead coverage, and made a dent into the over energised Modi PR machine – not an easy thing to do.

Bad PR

Ramdev’s “Honeymoon” remark creates bad press for himself and BJP

Hmmm. Ramdev’s remark about Rahul Gandhi is wrong at so many levels that I hardly know where to begin. To recap, here’s what the “great yoga guru” had to say about Rahul Gandhi’s much publicised visit to Dalit homes.

Ramdev developed a severe case of foot in the mouth disease (should be easy to do given his yoga contortions!) by declaring that, “Rahul goes to Dalit homes for picnics and honeymoon”.

This remark has embarrassed the BJP and Modi, whom Ramdev has openly supported. At first the BJP supported Ramdev, saying that his remarks were misinterpreted. But given the outcry against Ramdev and the slew of FIR’s filed against him in various states under The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act; the BJP swung into crisis management mode and publicly distanced itself from Ramdev. Well known BJP Dalit leader Udit Raj said: “We disassociate from him on this aspect and we don’t agree with it. The FIR has been lodged and the law will take its course…The party has clarified its stand. He is not a spokesperson of the BJP and the party is not owning him as a leader. It should not have any impact electorally.”

Clearly the BJP was worried enough about the political fallout of offending Dalits at this crucial last phase of the elections to clearly speak out against Ramdev’s statement.

Ramdev since has also been banned from holding any yoga camps, a platform he was using to canvass for Modi and the BJP.

The very fact that the Ramdev was even considered important enough to influence votes reflects on the Indian desire to venerate “Babas”, even self-declared ones like Ramdev. Ramdev who is essentially a Yoga teacher, one of thousands like him in India , has  managed to position himself as a “ spiritual leader “ by adding the “ Baba” tag to his name.

About time such charlatans were exposed for what they are.

Have you seen any good and bad PR?

Write to Paarul Chand at paarul@prmoment.in or tweet @PaarulC or @PRmomentIndia throughout the week and we’ll happily credit you for your trouble.

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