Remember, we covered some of the funniest commercials on contraception in one of our #FunnyFridays segments? Well, as funny as they might have been, the truth is that contraceptives and family planning are serious issues and must be treated as such. Thankfully, brands know perfectly well how to treat these delicate topics with the sensitivity they need.
So, here are 5 powerful advertisements that went a long way in spreading awareness about contraceptives and birth control.
1. Gates Foundation: Where’s The Controversy in Saving Lives? (2012)
This 2012 advert by the Gates Foundation sought to highlight why it’s important to give women the right to determine if and when they want to have children.
The 100-second spot unveils various statistics to showcase how effective family planning can indirectly help us in various other areas like housing, healthcare, and public services. Giving women access to family planning tools, information, and education is the easiest way to empower them to determine their futures when often they do not have the choice to determine their own family choices. Inch by inch, local women’s organizations are increasing equality and opportunity in their communities and countries. And the Gates Foundation, with such impressive adverts, has been at the forefront of these efforts all along.
2. Shops Plus: Hai Goli Me Vishwas (2019)
Shops Plus teamed up with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in India to create a TV campaign on oral contraceptive pills in 2019 to break myths around the consumption of contraceptive pills.
The advert shows a group of ladies traveling in a local train when one of them sees her co-passenger gulping down a pill. When she asks her about the side effects that such pills might cause, the other women in the compartment cite several other misconceptions perpetuated by society, which must not be taken seriously. The best thing about this 60-second video is that it encounters all society-driven myths while keeping the element of humor fully intact.
3. Department of Health (Philippines): A Planned Life is an Orderly Life (2014)
I don’t think any advert could explain the importance of contraceptives and family planning as well as this short 45-second advert by the Philippines’ Department of Health.
The ad showcases the plight of a young girl who has to do everything to help her large family get by in life- from selling stuff in the market and giving up education to sleeping with her parents and seventeen other siblings in the same room. The look on her face when she comes across a family of four toward the end of the advertisement has the ability to rip apart anyone’s heart🥺
4. KhairKhwah: Brown Bag (2021)
It’s a well-known fact that sex as a subject is not much talked about in South Asia and anything even remotely related to this topic is shrugged underneath the carpet as if those issues don’t exist at all. Pakistan-based NGO KhairKhwah came up with this hard-hitting 100-second advert in 2021 precisely to break taboos around contraception and family planning.
The powerful commercial sought to change the way South Asians, especially Pakistanis, view family planning and address the stigma associated with it. The main objective behind the ad was to normalize such conversations to engineer long-lasting behavioral change. And I must admit, the ad seems to have hit a chord with many of its viewers, including myself!
5. Gates Foundation: No Contraceptives (2017)
And here’s my favorite one! If the Gates Foundation commercial at the top of the list was about helping people understand the significance of contraceptives, this one takes us to an imaginary situation wherein it’s not easy to get access to contraceptives. Well, guess what, about 214 million women around the world still don’t have easy access to contraceptives.
Access to contraceptives enables women to make informed decisions about their health and future, unlocking a cycle of prosperity that benefits everyone. Thankfully, organizations like the Gates Foundation are doing their bit to ensure that all women, including those 214 million without access to contraceptives, can make informed choices about their health as far as family planning is concerned. Also, such thought-provoking ads surely help market their cause much better.
And that was a wrap of some of the best commercials on contraceptives and family planning. Contraceptives aren’t a luxury but a basic necessity in today’s day and age. And these impactful adverts very well highlighted why that’s the case. Hopefully, these will help bring about a major change in reality too.
We’ll be back with more awesome commercials. Until then, stay tuned!