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Facebook and Pink Underwear - Global News - Advertising Age

Facebook and Pink Underwear - Global News - Advertising Age

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Published by Sourabh Mishra
Article in Ad Age Global on the Pink Chaddi campaign
Article in Ad Age Global on the Pink Chaddi campaign

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Published by: Sourabh Mishra on Nov 14, 2010
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Sourabh MishraStay on top of the news,sign up for our free newslettersE-mail License Print Comment RSS
Newest Tools in India's Culture Wars:Facebook and Pink Underwear
How Digitally Savvy Indians Are Fighting the 'Talibanization' of Their Country
Posted bySourabh Mishraon
02.12.09@ 10:39 AM 
The word "chaddi,"which means underwear in a couple of Indian languages,has become a potent symbol of protest in its pink avatar by a section of young online Indians against what is increasingly being seen as the"Talibanization" of India.Right-wing Hindu organizations have, over the last few years, taken on therole of moral authority, policing against what they perceive to be activitiesgoing against the grain of Indian and Hindu culture. This moral policing often takes on the formof vigilantism, which is a sure-fire recipe for media coverage. They typically target young couplesin parks and beaches, and the smaller shops selling Valentine's Day-related merchandise. Theyphysically intimidate these soft-target victims, usually after giving sufficient notice to the pressand TV channels, to ensure that the cameras are there to put them in the news.The latest such incident took place on Jan. 24. Hooligans claiming to be from a little known right-wing Hindu outfit called Shri Ram Sena attacked a pub in the coastal city of Mangalore andmercilessly beat up the young men and women spending a Saturday afternoon there. See anews story here.
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|PopularityNeat..isn't this a live example of what you guys at TBWA call Media Arts and what we at Publiciscall Contagious Ideas..:)By kaustavdas | BangaloreFebruary 13, 2009 08:24:42 am:This may be fun and games for Facebook aficionados and trendy advertising metrogeeks, but itunderscores something far more perfidious -- the exponential growth of worldwide rightistradicalism. U.S. evangelicals, from James Dobson to Rick Warren, Islamic extremists, Talibanis of various stripes are actually more united than one may think; the aim of all their ideologies andbeliefs is essentially the same, the dissolution of Western liberalism, particularly in the sphere of social mores. So, cool Facebook widgetry and cute marketing phrases like "viral transmittance"notwithstanding, don't think that this new age tent show revival has no possibility of comingsoon to a park or a school or an office or a home near you. Just know that when it does, thevigilante chorus won't be persuading, cajoling, or asking anyone anything. They'll just be layingdown the law.By paynetaylor | ANDOVER, MAFebruary 13, 2009 10:38:17 am:The most amazing part of it all, as I see it is, the online groups actually take shape in the realworld. Commendable.A bunch of completely unrelated strangers ganging up on a networking site is one. But the samebunch of people taking time off from work and studies to make their voices heard in the realworld is totally bizarre (in a good way, that is).By jayanth2811 | ChennaiFebruary 13, 2009 11:30:18 am:The usual expressions of outrage happened with politicians and other similar creatures gettingtheir own shot at instant media fame, giving their party-appropriate soundbites. And that wouldhave been the end of it.But the age of Facebook activism has now dawned. A bunch of agitated people, mainly women,created a group called "A Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women"and launchedthe "pink chaddi campaign," which exhorts everyone to send the Ram Sena a pink chaddi onValentine's Day, "because chaddis are forever."At the time of writing, it had about 8,000 members, increasing bythe minute. The mainstream media has also picked this up, withtheTimes of India carrying the story on its front page. AnotherFacebook group based on this premise is "Kamasutra Day -- A TrulyIndian Cultural Event."The silent Indian minority seems to be finding a platform inFacebook to voice its opinion and it will be interesting to see if thisbecomes more than a passing fad. I am personally loving it and amhoping that this fringe activism soon metamorphoses into a full-blown movement.Viva la Pink Chaddis!
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One more example of social networking playing a big part in youth and youth led initiatives waswhen a couple of students from a Mumbai college started the iVote campaign - spreadingawareness about the importance of voting among college students. It is but undeniable that theparticipation of students in the Indian political scenario has been, over the years, pitiable.The success of that campaign itself depended greatly on its own awareness among the collegestudents. And thanks to facebook, the word spread far and wide, even to Non-Mumbai residentslike me.But whether the 'e-gen' way to garner support is a double edged sword or not, is something, likealways, only time will reveal.Sure, platforms like Facebook are allowing completely unconnected people to connect up andcome together for a cause. Could brands like Jockey and Vanity Fair have ridden the Pink Chaddibandwagon to fan the flames of passion.By kjottyiet | BangaloreFebruary 14, 2009 09:16:34 am:I agree. This is the most refreshingly original response one has witnessed in years. More powerto Facebook and the Internet. One worry remains: most politicians in India continue to hold theworking, outspoken, and liberal woman in contempt. And they do have a significant following.These hoodlums will probably start a campaign against social networking sites and beat upeveryone who logs in. It's the Age of Intolerance. But fight back we must.By Rajesh | MumbaiFebruary 15, 2009 02:57:16 am:I just read your article on Chaddi Day and thank you for bringing that news. I am a 47 year oldAmerican woman who's had the honor and privilege to do business in India. It has left me with adeep love of the country and the people within it. Resilience is one word that comes to mind,kindness and understanding as well. But deep in there is a distinct sense of independence and alove of the democracy that you fought so hard to obtain. I love how Indians use that!The Chaddi campaign left a smile on my face as I joined. Long live freedom!Thank you for bringing it to my attention, I've shared it with my other India loving friends.Sincerely,Margaret A. De Young Las Vegas, NVBy mad8343 | LAS VEGAS, NVFebruary 17, 2009 11:35:34 am:What a beautiful and effective example of netroots (political activism organized through socialmedia) approach and how online communities are about shared passion (not shared zip codes).Paired with citizen journalism, it has the power to unmask social issues and to travel fast and farto force cultural change.As a marketer I salute the idea as being artful in its approach and understanding how people live& digest social media to leverage its full potential with clicks leading to real world action.Viva la Pink Chaddis!- Frank StrieflerTBWAMEDIA ARTS LABBy strieflerf | los angeles, CAFebruary 17, 2009 12:50:33 pm:To submit comments you must be registered. PleaseLoginorRegister Now  Username:Password:Comment:
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