Sunday, 7 November 2010


The ‘reality’ of a plastered picture alongside the walkway leading up to the underground platform on Euston station seized my attention and managed to sustain it enough, resulting in the familiar act of it being photographed with my cell phone camera.

The grey gamut of the picture stood out against the yellow background, only to enhance the already dramatic impact of the visual. The drooping postures, the compelling body language, the helpless (somehow seemed enacted or forced) facial expressions, the battered attires, but most of all the scale (in terms of it being blown up to a larger than life size) would not let it go unnoticed.

The faces were quite evidently Asian, if not of Indian origin.

Another teaser campaign for a charity? I wondered as I made my way onto the tube, only to find out on the very subsequent day that it wasn’t.

As I walked past the South bank, these were plastered on the exteriors of the Hayward gallery, this time, even larger in size. Before my curiosity could grow any further, I spotted a three- dimensional, neon lit installation abutting the National theatre.

It was identifiably in sync with both the pictures which had caught my attention at the Euston underground station and the Hayward gallery.

A touch screen surrounded by a number of cubic installations. Each cube had the same face plastered on all its four planes. The touch screen acted as an interface to the panel (cube) lighting the picture corresponding to the one being touched on screen. My attention was drawn to this system by a few kids playing around and almost using it as a game where they physically touched the picture that was being lit up.

After having read the essence of the campaign and physically seen the installations, the message clearly was and can be summed up by ‘I was able to react to him just as one human being to another’.

The Aviva Insurance company touched the very sensitive human aspect in a manner that anybody could easily relate. At the time of crisis, which is when insurance is generally claimed, the people approaching the company are in a devastated state of mind.

At this juncture, a polite gesture would mean a lot. The installation bore a few layered testimonies displaying the pleasant relationships built by the customer and the Aviva Life Insurance representative in times of crisis, where just being human and lending a shoulder or a hand for the customer (stepping out of the so called ’professional’ garb) could mean a lot. A very well thought campaign, where I would think one can not go wrong.

Sensitivity, emotions and ‘human’ness!

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