Poverty! We often see it around us with people struggling to make ends meet and getting by with whatever limited means they have. But how often do we, the privileged lot, think about it? And what have we ever done to help someone out of it? If these questions make you uncomfortable and you find yourself wanting an appropriate answer, this blog is for you.
Over the years, several brands have taken up social causes and poverty eradication is amongst the most significant ones. So, here we are with 5 moving commercials that sought to spread awareness about poverty eradication by appealing to viewers’ conscience.
1. Pilion Trust: Fuck The Poor (2014)
We know most of us care for the poor and the needy but unfortunately, our actions are limited to doing only the bare minimum for them like not saying anything bad about them. When it comes to making any significant efforts to help them, most of us conveniently tend to look the other way and that’s exactly the London-based charity Pilion Trust sought to highlight in this impactful advert.
The commercial shows people going berserk and confronting a man who wears the signage “Fuck The Poor”. But when the same man wears the signage “Help The Poor” and asks people for donations, nobody seems to care much. And that tells us a lot about what the real problem is; it’s not poverty my friend, it’s our apathy.
By the way, when did you last donate or do something for the poor?
2. USAID: Choices (2014)
Most of us tend to think of poverty as only a measure of one’s financial capabilities but there’s always more to it. This impressive USAID commercial sheds light on what extreme poverty actually means and what its implications could be.
The 135-second spot highlights the tough choices that people living below the poverty line have to make. Some of these include choosing between clean water and daily transport, new shoes and a meal, or education for children and house rent. Often these choices lead to potentially catastrophic consequences. When you have to prioritize one of your most basic needs over another, that is extreme poverty.
I can only hope that we don’t ever have to experience it to understand what poverty feels like!
3. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: Poverty Line (2008)
This heart-wrenching commercial by the US-based Christian body United States Conference of Catholic Bishops perfectly summarizes what it is like to be below the poverty line.
The 30-second advert highlights what a struggle it is to get by every day for the poor, especially if they have children and families to feed. Most of them are barely hanging by their teeth and have to live hand-to-mouth with no respite in sight. Losing one day’s pay could push them to levels from where it might be impossible for them to recover all on their own. The video ends with a donation appeal and exhorts audiences to ensure that they don’t let any more people fall below the poverty line.
4. Dastak: Split The Plate (2019)
They say that someone is secretly praying for the things that we take for granted. This soul-stirring advert by the Pakistani cooking oil brand Dastak bears ample testimony to that.
The ad showcases a rich guy often wasting food and asking his peon to throw away the leftovers. One fine day, the boss sees the peon gorging upon his leftovers. Probably moved by his guilt and indifference toward the lesser-privileged sections of society, he does something that will surely win your heart. Watch the ad to know how he redeems himself.
5. Joseph Rowntree Foundation: This Is Poverty (2020)
In case the USAID video on choices that poor people have to make didn’t give you enough clarity on what living in poverty is like this rather lengthy advert by UK-based charity Joseph Rowntree Foundation will help you.
The ad features 7 people across the UK with very limited means. The advert shows each of them expressing what poverty means for them as there are varying aspects attached to it. For instance, for someone, it may mean not being fully sure whether they’d be able to meet someone in a week as they don’t know if they’d have enough money then. For someone else, it may mean prioritizing the water bill over electricity or choosing between paying up the gas bill and council tax.
The only thing that all poor people probably have in common is the efforts that they need to make to survive and get through each day.
And that was a wrap of some of the best commercials on poverty and the need for its eradication at the earliest. Poverty is a bane in any society and age and the commercials discussed in this blog shine light on the need to take it head-on at the earliest. When popular brands take on poverty, viewers realize the impact of global poverty on the world and tend to act on their purest emotions., thereby, helping the world become a better place for millions of people.
We’ll be back with more awesome commercials for you. Till then, stay tuned!