Exams are close. Terrifyingly close. So close, in fact, that they’re around the corner with a frying pan waiting to smack you in the face. Every student knows the struggle. The relentless pressure placed on young shoulders. The unfair and daunting results expected of us. Our uncles and aunts are oblivious; our teachers think we’re being dramatic and our parents only want the very best grades.
No one seems to understand the unyielding pressure we face except, various famous brands throughout India. Mental health, depression, anxiety and suicide have all been talked about and discussed in context to growing exam pressure. But the current view toward exam pressure continues to be mere nonchalance. Brands have released campaigns asking parents to release the pressure, conducting social experiments or presenting real-life scenarios that are all too familiar, successfully starting a conversation around this issue, giving it a voice and weight.
Let’s take a look at seven brands who have released brilliantly influential campaigns.
1. #RELEASETHEPRESSURE, MIRINDA
This powerful advertisement depicts several teenagers writing open letters to their parents asking them for a break, to stop checking up on them every thirty minutes, to stop yelling at them to study and to stop the pressure. The parents are invited to read the letters in a highly dramatized fashion, showing regret and sadness at the expectations they have placed upon their children. This advertisement by Mirinda tries to create the awareness that a little break can go a long way in easing exam pressure and stress from the minds of young students. It has a simple message “No more pressure panti, only pagal panti.” This ad opened up an important discussion on this grave issue of exam stress amongst large numbers of young people.
2. #FUNDA CLEAR HAIN, EXTRAMARKS
The ‘Funda clear hai’ campaign by Extramarks was slightly on the comedic side. With exams nearing, parents can get even more harrowed than the children themselves. It showed various children telling their parents to relax and ‘chill’ because they’ve got all their studies under control. The campaign also talks about a more dynamic style of learning. Extramarks encouraged students to use more visual aid, practice tests and a variety of other such tools to enjoy the process of learning. The essential impact that this campaign had was to let children know they shouldn’t spend hours slaving over books. They should study smart, and then go and have fun!
3. #THE EXAM COLLECTION, BOURNVITA
‘One t-shirt doesn’t fit everyone.’ This brilliant and insightful ad campaign by Bournvita perfectly captures the cage that most children feel they are trapped in. The campaign begins with people entering a popular fashion store that had all of its original clothes removed and replaced by plain black XL shirts. All black. All XL. The customers were furious, and asked to speak to the manager. And out came the children. They told the adults of their aspirations, and how their parents were pushing them to be something else. Just like a black XL shirt doesn’t fit everyone, these children aren’t all one piece of clothing. They’re all different, with different hopes and they deserve to be recognized, heard and make their own choices. This ad campaign helped some parents open their eyes, and look beyond the marks to where their children’s dreams lie.
Don’t miss their Tayyari har exam ki ad, that questions parents if they are chasing the right thing when it comes to their children’s education.
4. #DAD, WHAT IF I FAIL? JAAGORE
This is a simple advertisement, but one that touches the heart for sure. It shows a young boy and his father hurrying to get the boys’ results. On the way, the father stops to buy ice cream, and the son is confused by his father’s nonchalance, as his results are about to come out. ‘Dad, what if I fail?’ he asks, clearly afraid. ‘It’s okay’ the father replies, as he pays for the ice cream. Sometimes, as children we seek such immense approval from our parents and most of the times they don’t even know it. Sometimes, we need our parents to simply tell us it’s okay. The campaign evocatively tells parents that academic excellence does not determine a child’s capabilities to succeed and to relieve children of the stress caused by the need to excel in academics. Being successful in life is not limited by grades and marks in school or college.
5. #GIFT THE BELIEF, LENOVO
Children often have the tendency to take one decision as covenant law. One bad grade, one rejection letter and we are left drowning and gasping for air. Lenovo saw that, and made this campaign. It depicts several parents, at their various places of work simply talking about failure. They failed too. They got rejection letters too. And you know what- it didn’t matter. Children watch this campaign and this is what they see and learn. That one B grade you got, it won’t matter. That rejection letter you got from your Top University won’t matter. There will be other grades; other universities and you will be fine. The primary message from parents (who were once children) to their children is – no matter what happens, believe in yourself, because you and your life are beyond bad grades and rejection letters. You may fail, but is failure not a part of life?
6. #PARENTS LEARN VALUABLE EXAM LESSONS, CELLO
I’m sure most children have thought in a bitter anger ‘why don’t you give the same exam I am giving’ at their parents. Well, Cello did exactly that. They asked parents to write the same exam that their sixth-grade children were writing, and as you’ve probably guessed, the children did better. It was an eye opener for the parents who for the first time really and wholly understood what their children go through by being placed in their shoes. This ad campaign is an appeal to all parents to understand that examinations and tests aren’t an easy feat to master, and the undue pressure by parents only stresses their children out. This ad is an appeal to parents to reduce the expectations they place upon the shoulders of their children.