This long ad competes with the Thai tearjerkers in that it tells an emotional story quite expertly. We open on the young girl - Gayatri - on her way to boarding school and hear her inner monologue about her mommy wanting her to become a Doctor, which she has no plans on doing. Soon we find out that Gayatri was adopted after her own mother tragically died, and she was adopted by "mommy", who cared for her all night when she was ill, and treated her to scary movies and favorite lunches on Sundays. We understand from these glimpses that Gayatri's mother was a sex worker, she's never seen her father who was probably a customer, and she's being sent to boarding school now as to not have to witness some of the hardships mommy endures in life. And that is where it wraps up so nicely:
“My Civics book says that everyone is entitled to basic rights. Then why is my mother denied them? That’s why I want to become a lawyer, not a doctor -- for my mother”
Well done, we've come full circle. And we've now positioned Vicks as being about caring, even if we only see a glimpse of the night she's ill and mommy sits by her bedside. It's the entire ten-year memory about mommy that is all about caring that Vicks now claims. My only objection to it, I suppose, is making 'caring' a mother role. Wouldn't every parent be caring, as this ad so clearly demonstrates? And the children will care right back. Follow up with a father story, and then a child story, and I will approve of the brand now owning "family care", which works well for most Vicks products.
Client. Vicks / Procter & Gamble
Ad agency: Publicis Singapore
Directed by: Neeraj Ghaywan
Principal talent: Gauri Sawant - as themself