Truck art inspires Tata Motor’s Dipper condoms’ packaging in India

From safe driving to safe sex

Freestyle

News - India & You

August 21, 2016

/ By / Kolkata

Tata Motors launches truck art inspired condoms. Image Copyright Dipper condoms,Tata Motors.

Tata Motors launches truck art inspired condoms. Image Copyright Dipper condoms,Tata Motors.

Tata Motors, a major truck manufacturing company in India, launched Dipper Condoms this year, targeting truck drivers to create HIV awareness and to  promote practice of safe sex. The vibrant packaging and artwork it contains has been inspired by the truck art in India, a practice that has prevailed among truck drivers since decades and conveys many messages, from religion and spirituality to safe driving.

Highly decorated, colourful, vibrant and often times textual, truck art in India is widely popular and can easily be spotted among the large trucks travelling across the vast expanses of the Indian highways. Tata Motors launched condoms with a social purpose but a packaging that found its basis on the truck art.

A peak into the world of truck art in India reveals that the art, apart from being aesthetically pleasing, is filled with religious and spiritual symbolism and also contains practical advice for other drivers. Eyes being drawn on both sides of the truck, scenes from religious texts, symbols of goddesses and holy items drawn across the outsides of the truck and often mantras (spiritual spells) written in radiant colours – these features of truck art serve as a way to bless and protect the driver and the vehicle as they make their journey on the road.

Tata Motors, apart from being aesthetically inspired by truck art, arrived at the name “Dipper” as a play on the popular phrase “Use dipper at night”, painted on trucks across the country.  This is a sentence that encourages other drivers to use their headlights at low beam at night, so as to not blind the other vehicles.

Perhaps the most popular sign drawn on trucks apart from the call for using low beam lights, is Horn Please or Blow Horn. It requests other vehicles to indicate an approaching event of overtaking by pressing their horn.  This is a tradition that stands strong even today, in hopes to keep respect for other vehicles but also possibly to avoid crashes and accidents.

Bollywood style notes are to be found on trucks that may contain a very deep meaning, but are often considered hilarious because of the way they are put across. With sayings whose meanings loosely translate to “Those with bad intentions or wishes (for the truck) should live for a hundred years and your children should die drinking alcohol excessively” truck art sometimes contains unique, strange messages that often lead a person to think about the meaning of life.

Truck art in India is a traditional form of art that adds to the cultural richness of the country. One can only hope it doesn’t fade away with changing times but instead persists and evolves. This launch of truck art themed condoms is a surprising but quiet powerful way to perpetuate the spirit of this unique art form.

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