May 16, 2019

ZEITLINES | 05.16.19

Sun’s out… so we’re out of office.

With the May 2-4 long weekend right around the corner, Republic and ZED will be taking some time to relax, recharge and reboot in preparation for a busy, work-filled summer. In addition to the Statutory holiday on Monday, our office will be closed tomorrow, May 17th.

As a result, this week’s Zeitlines comes to you a day early. This long-weekend read is brought to you by Karishma Karia, our resident Coordinator of Client Success, pop culture queen, and IPA enthusiast. In her blog post, Karishma explores the growing topic of global food waste, connecting it to both her Indian culture, and to her industry of choice: advertising.

Happy long weekend, and enjoy the read.


Reducing Food Waste - One Grain of Rice at a Time
by Karishma Karia

If you’ve read Zeitlines in the past, you may have come across Joline’s post about food waste and the impact it has on our planet. Over the last few years, we’ve started to see more conversation surrounding the topic, with people and brands taking a look at their practices to see what they can do to help reduce this problem. There are some great campaigns out there that aim to raise awareness about food waste, but one that recently struck my interest came from the rice brand India Gate.

For those of you who have not attended an Indian wedding before, there is a tradition where guests are asked to throw rice at the bride and groom as a symbolic way of showering them with blessings as they start their new life together. With this being such an engrained (no pun intended) part of my culture, I never thought much about what happens with the rice after the ceremony. Naturally, the event space is cleaned from top to bottom and no grain of rice is left behind. While this might not seem like a ton of rice thrown away, it’s reported that one wedding uses (and then ultimately discards) between 2 - 5kg of rice. When you think about the number of weddings that take place around the world, this really adds up.

As part of their campaign #IndiaDegaAashirvad (which roughly translates to ‘India gives blessings’), the brand is offering families the option to swap the bags of rice for individually wrapped packs of grains, which guests can use to offer their blessings. The money earned from the sales of these packs then goes towards providing rice to the non-profit organization Feeding India to help give the rice saved to those in need.

Check out India Gate’s campaign video HERE to learn more about their new initiative.

In our industry, we often talk about the importance of targeting your message to fit the needs and context of your audience. When a brand does this successfully, their message is able to break through and resonate with the audience. After I watched India Gate’s campaign video, the first thought that came into my mind was “they nailed it.” The brand did more than just cast actors who reflect their consumer or use imagery from Indian culture – they took a very common and special event and used it as an unexpected backdrop to educate the viewer on a global problem. Even though I would consider myself knowledgeable about food waste, putting the problem in this context exposed me to a new side that I had never thought of before. After all, the first step towards enacting change is to bring awareness to the cause!