In recent years, India's become increasingly known for being a country that's inherently unsafe for women.
According to the BBC, 244,270 crimes against women were reported in India last year; one rape occurs there about every 22 minutes; female infanticide rates are at an all-time high; and as ABC recently reported, about one woman is killed every hour in the country over issues related to her dowry.
Anti-rape activist Parvati Pujari, told CNN earlier this summer that boys in the country may be able to identify the problem, "But somewhere in their minds, they see girls as weak."
As part of the effort to shift that perspective, ad agency Taproot joined with the nonprofit Save the Children India to create a new campaign, dubbed "Save Our Sisters."
Their posters re-create classic paintings of Hindu goddesses—edited to look beaten and bloodied—demonstrating the widespread nature of abuse against women in the country, and likening it to the degradation of these seemingly invincible sacred figures.
The tagline on all the posters reads:
Pray that we never see this day. Today, more than 68% of women in India are victims of domestic violence. Tomorrow, it seems like no woman shall be spared. Not even the ones we pray to.
As Taproot explained in its creative brief at the Spikes Asia festival:
There have been umpteen campaigns that try to invoke a response from the prospective audience. How do we create a campaign that hit where it hurts the most? The challenge was to find a suitable execution that would get people talking. The typical old traditional posters are seen and worshipped in almost every India house...Usually Indian people are great believers in God, they do have a great faith in God, hence we decided to choose this medium to communicate the message.
Taproot also reported the ads have received a lot of attention:
As expected it did create a controversy—a few got the message, others couldn't handle it, females really felt proud of this campaign, we received a lot of mail from females with thanking gestures.