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Riding The Women’s Freedom Wave

While the advertising industry is making strides in showing the evolving role of women with the likes of the ‘Share The Load’ campaign, India still has a long way to go, as the new Bajaj Avenger campaign shows

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The meaning of ‘freedom’ for women in India is complicated. In fact, gender roles are still stereotyped globally. While the advertising industry is making strides in showing the evolving role of women with the likes of the ‘Share The Load’ campaign, India still has a long way to go, as the new Bajaj Avenger campaign shows.

Taking a shot at  what real independence for women will look like in India, Bajaj Avenger’s #RideYourIndependence campaign shows a female protagonist riding the Cruiser bike without turning heads . The campaign — executed by the brand’s agency Mullen Lintas, Mumbai — stresses on the kind of freedom where women can be friends with whoever they want, express themselves the way they like, or wear what they please and go anywhere anytime, without being judged or questioned.

Bajaj Auto marketing vice-president Sumeet Narang says, “Avenger stands for freedom and liberation ,and it is our endeavor to reinforce the brand equity with each communication. With so many women safety issues cropping up in India recently, we saw an opportunity to underline ‘liberation of women’ seen from an Avenger perspective.”

Women are often featured in ads for bikes, but very rarely is one shown riding one. “Avenger offers a certain sense of freedom and liberation. And liberation should be gender agnostic. We felt it was time to break the stereotype and show a rider from another gender who seeks this sensation just as much,” Narang opines.

Expressing her views on the idea and making of the film, Garima Khandelwal, executive creative director of Mullen Lintas, says, “It’s the 70th year of independence, but are we, man and woman really free alike? The film shows a woman riding through the outskirts, how a man does today. The indifference the world has to her presence is meant to reflect as respect of her freedom, it’s a utopian community. ”

Narang says, “On Independence Day this year, we asked what freedom meant in the current cultural context. We identified the glaring gap in freedom as experienced by many women. As a brand standing for freedom, we felt we could offer a reality check to the nation on where we were on freedom for women against what Mahatma Gandhi had envisioned 70 years ago. The message is stirring and we doubt any Indian can stand up and say that he is not the target audience for this, irrespective of his age, gender, race and socio-economic background.”