Ogilvy’s new initiative to support the Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA), aimed to ambush the smoker at what the agency’s thinktank considered the most ideal place. “We thought why not make the lighter itself the medium? And by lighter, we mean the public lighters that almost all cigarette shops in India are fitted with. This lighter isn’t just a convenience for a smoker who has just purchased cigarette in loose but it’s also a vantage point around which most smokers chat and catch up,” said the agency’s national creative directors Abhijit Avasthi and Rajiv Rao. “So all we did was turn this lighter into a ‘chanting lighter’ – and every time a smoker tried to light from it, it played ‘Raam Naam Satya Hai’ – a chant which is sung when people’s corpses are carried to the funeral pyre. Which meant whether the smoker loves the idea or hates it, he or she will not be able to ignore it.”
The “chanting lighters" were installed at 25 locations in Mumbai in February 2012. Avasthi explained that these were regular streetside lighters into which the sound chip was attached, and this was done in India itself.
Speaking to Campaign India, Anita Peter, director, cancer insurance, CPAA, said, “As an organisation, we aim at tobacco control and to create awareness. We approach corporations for support since we don’t have the funds to create an ad ourselves, and Ogilvy & Mather has always come forward to support our cause. The new initiative was to do something to scare cigarette smokers in a different way.”
According to the agency, smokers were taken aback by the new way of spreading the message. The YouTube video of the activity is getting comments, and international news organisations have also featured the campaign.
On continuing with the campaign idea, Peter added, “We want shopkeepers to keep these lighters at every shop. They may oppose it, since they will lose customers, which is why at the World No Tobacco Day conference in May, we will ask the authorities who attend, to tell them to keep these lighters.”
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather
National creative directors: Abhijit Avasthi, Rajiv Rao
Creative team: Mahesh Gharat, Pradyumna Chauhan, Makarand Joshi, Ankur Jain, Sandip Gaikwad, Shahnawaz Qadeer, Vivek Reddy, Adwait Kulkarni, Sandip Barge, Chaitanya Bendale