Transgenders take part in VithU’s video on the importance of safe driving
Transgenders. You see them at traffic signals. They strike up a conversation with you and offer blessings, accompanied by their signature clap, in exchange for cash.
This time around, they offer their blessings for a social cause — road safety. More specifically, to get people to wear the seat belt.
They star in The Seatbelt Crew video, an initiative by VithU; it has caught the imagination of nearly 10 lakh people who have viewed, liked and shared it across social media.
The video, created by Ogilvy India, stars a group of transgenders dressed like airhostesses, in blue-and-purple saris. Just as the signal turns red, they line up on a Mumbai road.
Their leader tells you that you might want to drive like a pilot, but you also need to stay safe. “But, you have no oxygen masks or life jacket below your seat. All you have is your seat belt. So, wear it,” she says, as her companions act out her words.
Prem Kamath, executive vice president & GM, Channel V & Star Pravah (VithU is a Channel V initiative), says they were “always on the lookout for ways to get the vithU safety app across to as many people as possible, and are happy that this video is helping in propagating it.”
Abhijit Avasthi, national creative director, Ogilvy India, says they chose trangenders to get the message across, because “you might or might not like them, but you can’t ignore them.”
The group that worked with them was game for the video, and had a great sense of humour, he says. “It’s we who need to open our minds a little more.”
A few topics need out-of-the-box ideas to strike a chord, he says, giving last year’s viral video ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ as an example.
The level of hits has taken even the creative team by surprise. “We knew we had a product that had the potential to capture people’s imagination,” says Abhijit, “but it is not always possible to predict what will go viral”.