Google has launched an ad film to inspire the Indian electorate to cast their ballots in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, through the real life story of independent India’s first voter. The ad film has been conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather.
The film is set in the snow-covered Kalpa village in Himachal Pradesh, 2759 m above sea level. An old man is introduced sipping a steaming glass of tea, while glancing at the snow falling on the mountains. As he gets ready to leave home, the story unfolds, in his own voice.
He explains that it’s a very special day; an opportunity to do something significant. As the camera captures him speaking with a bunch of school children, he explains that since the village would be snowed under, their turn came six months prior (in 1951). As he trudges through the snow to the post office, he notes that he still remembers that day he experienced the pride, and joy, for the first time. He undertakes the climb up a steep slope, to head towards the polling booth of the village. Come rain or snow, he underlines, this is a task he completes each time. He is welcomed with music and garlands as he makes his way to the booth. The titles introduce us to the protagonist, 97-year-old Shyam Saran Negi, independent India’s first voter – and a believer in the power of democracy. His face lights up on sighting the booth. Cheered by those waiting in line, he says he still feels the same sense of pride and joy, as he casts his vote. The film ends with the #PledgeToVote.
Sandeep Menon, director, marketing, Google India, said, “The 2014 general elections promises to be a landmark in the history of this nation. Perhaps more than any other election in the past, these elections are about capturing the imagination of millions of both first-time as well as experienced voters. This video has been developed to inspire Indian voters to vote this election. The story of Mr. Shyam Negi is a testimony of Indian voters’ belief in the power of democracy.”
Abhijit Avasthi, national creative director, Ogilvy India, added, "While all of us have cribs about the state of affairs in the country and a cynicism about the government, we forget that the only weapon of change we have in our hands is our vote. Like so many others, Google too wants to motivate people, especially youngsters to exercise their right to vote. But rather than being preachy, it wants to do it the inspirational and emotional way. And who better to inspire us than Mr. Negi, who has diligently, and with pride carried out this duty since 1951. We are all fortunate to have him present amongst us."
Navin Talreja, president, Ogilvy Mumbai and Kolkata, said, “Four out of 10 registered online voters don't plan to cast their vote because of lack of inspiration and/or information. Our task was to drive voting through a simple inspirational story. Behaviour change can be motivated in many ways and the best stimulus is often a real story. All the people who have seen the film have said, ‘If MrNegi can go out and vote at this age (97 years old), we should too’. Hopefully 800 million voters will think and do the same.”
Client: Google India
Creative agency: Ogilvy & Mather (Mumbai)
National creative director: Abhijit Avasthi
Group creative director: Sukesh Nayak
President - Mumbai & Kolkata: Navin Talreja
Business head: Namrata Keswani
Production house: Thinkpot Films
Director (film): Manoj Pillai