Watching back-to-back episodes of 'Modern Family' on the tube, without budging too often from the couch, was admittedly a fun thing to do on Republic Day, but therein could lie a problem. Shantanu Bhanja, head of marketing at Hindustan Times, said, "All around the country, people are spending an inordinate amount of time watching television. One often hears people saying 'I don't know how my weekend went, I didn't do anything'. A lot of things that one wants to do get subsumed by just lounging in front of the idiot box and letting the time go away."
On January 29, Hindustan Times is asking the residents of Mumbai to do what for some could be the unthinkable: switch off the TV, and get out and enjoy the city with their families and loved ones. Bhanja said, about choosing Mumbai for this initiative, "It's an event that has the potential to reverberate all around the country. If you look at the Mumbai context, it's a continuation of our 'Mumbai First' series of the last six months, where we've been continuously trying to connect with the city and create connections for citizens with the city. One of the things we discovered in the conversations was that Mumbaikars don't spend enough time with the city, enjoying its many opportunities with their families. So we wanted to create a day for people to go out with their families and enjoy a city as lovely as Mumbai to the fullest."
An extensive campaign, created by Lowe Lintas, which includes print, outdoor, radio and viral, hopes to do the convincing.
View the print and outdoor ads (Click on image to enlarge)
Watch the viral videos
No TV Bedroom
No TV Gateway
No TV Park
No TV Sealink
No TV Terrace
The print campaign, in fact, appeared not just in the Hindustan Times, but as full page advertisements in MidDay and The Times of India as well. Bhanja said, about the choice of vehicles, "Once we were set on creating a large scale initiative where we wanted to inform everyone about spending time with their city, it was almost like a social responsibility. So we wanted to connect with the entire audience of people, and not just our own readers, through a large number of vehicles, which included Mid-Day and The Times of India, and non-English newspapers like Gujarat Samachar. We've also used outdoor and radio extensively."
Amer Jaleel, national creative director of Lowe Lintas, added, "The communication campaign was a mix of two objectives - one, make the brand feel new and contemporary, and on the other side, make a connection with Mumbaikars. The tagline 'Switch off TV. Switch on Mumbai.' says just that - we are a brand that is connected to the city and thinks of its people."
69,378 people have "liked" this initiative on the Facebook page at the time of filing this story; when asked whether the attendance at the Hindustan Times events would be an indicator of its success, Bhanja said, "The HT events are an excuse to go out and do something, but if we hear of people writing in, calling, and posting on our Facebook page that they were a part of the initiative, we'd consider it to be success."
Creative: R Balki, Amer Jaleel, Deepesh Jha, Shayondeep Pal, Harpal Singh, Priyank Narain, Ajay Sharma, Ira Gupta, Arijit Adhikari, Arko Provo Bose, Gurmeet Singh
Planning: John Thangaraj
Business: Naveen Gaur,Tanul Bhartiya, Shiv Sagar, Abhinav Deodhar