Ogilvy Mumbai Introduces ‘The Self-Defense Umbrella’ for Vodafone

By Erik Oster 

Ogilvy Mumbai launched a new campaign for Vodafone in India, providing women in remote locations with a means to protect themselves in case of an attack: “The Self Defense Umbrella.”

The idea stemmed from the insight that many men from smaller villages are forced to go to larger cities to earn a livelihood for their family, leaving behind their wives and children. Since these men typically use Vodafone’s M-Pesa money transfer service to send money to their families, the agency decided that adding “The Self Defense Umbrella” to these transactions would be an easy way to implement the initiative. The umbrella features pictures depicting different ways it can be used for self defense in the case of an attack. While it’s depressing that such a tool could be necessary, speaking to the harsh realities faced by many of the women, their reactions show that they appreciate having the protection. Hopefully, none of them have to use it. Director Praytit Seth documented the implementation of the program in Mumbai and the Jaunpur village in Uttar Pradesh in the two minute video above, shot over the course of two days.

“Essentially we were not there to shoot a film. We were there to capture the moment,” the director told LBB. “All we wanted to do was to be present when these women received the umbrella and see how they reacted. These women didn’t know what they were going to receive over and above the money and the moment they got the umbrella their natural reactions said it all.”