“If you change nothing, nothing will change”

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Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, has promised to clean up India by 2019. But, open defecation continues to be a common practice esp. in rural areas. Much has been tried to flush it out – various government campaigns (which went unheard), subsidies to install toilets (which often disappeared into the underworld of regional and local government) and, worst of all, local campaigns that focused on mockery and humiliation of those still taking to the woods and grasslands for their daily business.

Sometimes, even the most obvious messages do not hit the mark. Whether it is a new exciting insight or a plain consumer truth – that may not be earth-breaking but critical, we all know that messages can get diluted, lost and ignored as they make their journey from the insights team to the inner workings of an organisation and then back out to the customer.

I’m sure boutiK is not alone in experimenting with different ways to present and summarise research results, eternally chasing the holy grail of getting heard loud and clearly. Oh yes, we too have produced various forms of the “$100,000” slide (i.e. a $100k research reported in one slide, originally a request by a very dear client way over a decade ago), with – admittedly – varying success.

More recently we have been experimenting with video – and we like it! And, more importantly, our clients like it too. Beautifully designed but blatantly authentic, our little productions tell the story, push the key messages, create excitement and engage the audience.  All this in just few minutes. And, they are easily shared. Our latest compilations have travelled the globe and up and down our clients’ organisations. What’s not to love?

Perhaps film will also come to the help of Mr Modi. Through sharp humour and endearing characters, “Toilet – a love story” tells the story of a newly married Indian woman refusing to move in with her in-laws unless they install a toilet at home, in true Bollywood style. Released in August, the film has been a financial success so the message is being heard. Whether actions will follow, of course, only time will tell.


Likewise, it’s too early for us to gauge the impact of our directing debuts. There’s never time for complacency at boutiK and we will continue to explore and experiment. But, a promising start has certainly been made. And, in the words of one of the toilet story’s protagonists: “If you change nothing, nothing will change”

PS: your blog’s author is proud of her toilet puns – how many can you spot?

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