STAR India has long been an example of a company that embeds purpose in what it does, in particular when it comes to advancing the societal roles of women and girls. In its latest campaign, STAR India’s No.1 Hindi general entertainment channel, STAR Plus, has recruited three of India’s biggest cricket stars for a series of television promos to combat stereotypes and push the agenda for the country’s half-billion women. The campaign is part of a brand partnership with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) called “Nayi Sochi” (“New Thinking”).
In the three promos, Indian cricket superstars MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane each replace the last name on the back of their jerseys with their respective mother’s names. The goal is to convey that these real-life stars have become who they are today in large part because of their mothers, and that others also draw their identity as much from their mothers as they do from their fathers, a notion that pushes against societal norms in the country.
“We at STAR India are very happy to partner with BCCI for an iconic brand initiative of ‘Nayi Soch’,” said Sanjay Gupta, managing director at STAR. “STAR Plus has been a lighthouse brand for women. We have always put women first, told their stories and are now set to take it to the next level – by challenging orthodoxy and stereotypes that come in the way of progress for women.”
The promos were unveiled on Oct. 16, during the India-New Zealand ODI series.
The campaign builds on STAR India’s long tradition of using its media platforms to advocate for the rights of women and girls. On-air, Aamir Khan has dedicated multiple episodes of his social awareness series Satyamev Jayate to issues affecting Indian women, including sexual violence and female feticide, and in honor of International Women’s Day in 2015, STAR Sports launched the #CheckOutMyGame campaign celebrating women in sports. The company also developed the VithU smartphone app, allowing women to send out GPS distress signals when they fear they are in danger of assault. The app has seen millions of downloads since its launch in 2013.