By Srikanth Kanchinadham. Posted on May 19, 2016
Internet has enabled filmmakers & given them a platform to distribute their films to millions of potential viewers at the click of a button. While this has resulted in a flood of cat-videos & spoofs on our timelines, the very same potential can be used to deliver powerful messages that are socially relevant to a wide audience.
Some of the most impactful & viral videos online, tend to be those that both, engage & enlighten us. Unlike conventional advertisements, Public Service Advertisements raise awareness towards a social issue. We've seen many of these on traditional TV and with the shift in viewership, internet is emerging as an ideal platform to showcase solutions and try to change public behavior.
With the right video, this medium can check the three E’s essential for a video to strike the chord – Educate, Empower and Entertain. In the recent times, PSA’s have seen a shift from the usual dry, boring campaigns to hilarious, subtle and entertaining videos. In short, the primary goal of a PSA is not to lecture viewers but to change their perspective of a problem and/or get them to act.
Seeing how impactful these videos can be, YES FOUNDATION has come up with an initiative called YES FOUNDATION Social Film Grant, which is inviting ideas for one minute films that focus on UN's sustainable development goals. If you get selected in the first round, you will be mentored by a team of professionals after which you will get to pitch your script. Grants worth Rs 20 lakhs are up for grabs, if you are amongst the final winners. So go ahead & register yourself before the deadline runs out.
Making a one minute film with a social message, isn't as easy as it may seem. One has to convey the message in a very short time and also has to make it entertaining so that people get hooked on to it. We understand that it can be really confusing for young filmmakers, which is why we have compiled five of the many amazing PSAs, which convey different social issues in an entertaining way. There are several examples of brilliant PSAs online, and they should be help you get started.
We are all aware of the ill effects of steroids, but the drive to succeed at all costs sometimes takes over. Even the best aren't immune to this, as is evident from the number of heroes who've fallen at the altar of drug abuse. Most kids end up taking steroids without realizing how dangerous the consequences might be. This video does a great job of highlighting the stigma that comes with steroid abuse.
Ads with cute little babies don't usually go wrong. Almost all baby care products do this, but a PSA that talks about infant malnutrition? A serious topic like that deserves respect & shouldn't be treated trivially, no?
You are right, but your concerns, unfounded. The way this ad gets its message across is beautiful. There is a thin line between trivializing something and being adorable, and this PSA nails it with its cuteness.
Now domestic violence isn't an issue that can be spoken against in a cute or adorable manner. It should make us angry, or guilty. It should give hope to the victim.
This PSA below is part of the brilliant campaign titled 'Bell Bajao'. The award winning ad, directed by Bauddhayan Mukherji (director of award winning films like Teenkahon & The Violin Player), not only sends across the message of stopping domestic violence, it's also a tight slap against the tendency of people to remain passive even after coming across incidents of domestic violence taking place. We often see people dismissing the acts of domestic violence as 'woh unke ghar ka maamla hain' (it's their personal matter) and not even trying to interfere. The ad, in all its clarity and simplicity, conveys the message perfectly!
For years, prejudices, ignorance and lack of knowledge has prevailed in our country against even treatable and noncontagious disease like leprosy. There's so much stigma around it, that people are often alienated by their peers and family and often are rejected or abandoned in marital relationships as well. This PSA here, directed by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, throws light on this stigma, while also educating people about the curability of the disease and the fact that the government provides free treatment to patients. The ad uses the dramatic setting of a courtroom kind of a situation to evoke interest and garner audience attention. It's truly a great example of achieving the three E's.
Literacy is one of the important issues that we need to address. This advertisement raises awareness about the importance of literacy and education in a feel good way. Capturing the beauty of Kashmir, the ad brings together young Kashmiri pupils to create a beautiful picture of an educated and literate state! Watching this ad would make one understand that PSAs seldom need to be verbose and full of 'awareness' dialogue. It can be sweet, simple and effective like this one!
You can easily end up making a dull PSA. But what's the point if no one's gonna watch it. The idea is to get the world to see your PSA & get as many of them to act on it.