The Hindu has released a new ad campaign titled Classroom. The campaign, created by Ogilvy, expresses the daily's viewpoint on how Indian youth perceives its politicians and parliamentary proceedings.
The TVC begins with a college professor announcing that the class will have a political discussion on rural development bill. He further explains that those on his left side will speak in favour of the bill, while those on the right will speak against it. In the end, he adds that he expects complete parliamentary behaviour. In the next sequence, a student from the right side gets up and starts making his point. Next thing you know, students from the other side get up and start attacking his notes and pulling him down. In no time, pandemonium breaks loose between the two sides of the classroom.The popular Hindi bhajan 'Vaishnava jana to' starts playing in the backdrop. A super appears in the foreground, that reads: 'Behave yourself, India. The youth are watching.'
Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and creative director, Ogilvy & Mather, South Asia, said, "When I was writing this ad, I was down with viral fever. I was watching television of the kind that I normally don't. I saw some scenes that disgusted me. In the next five minutes, I wrote the script for this ad."
Pandey added that in a country that is so young and needs powerful role models, one needs to caution the role models that their actions can spark off behaviour which can be damaging. "I’m reminded of the age-old saying: 'Don’t hit in front of the children, otherwise children will think it’s a norm'," he explained.
Arun Anant, chief executive officer, The Hindu Group of Publications, said, "Today's youth are tomorrow’s leaders and the critical question is, ‘What is the stage we've set for them?’ The Hindu urges the country to behave, since the youth are watching."
Siddharth Varadarajan, editor, The Hindu, added, "There are lots of powerful people doing lots of bad things in India today. The decline in political culture that this ad mocks is one important aspect. In subsequent ads, we intend to call out the other forms of bad behaviour we see around us - intolerance, exploitation, discrimination."
Simi Sabhaney, president- South, Ogilvy & Mather, said, "I’m delighted that The Hindu has taken up this cause to alert the adults and to caution the youth. Every generation needs leaders of stature to set standards and emulate. It’s time for today’s political leadership to acknowledge this and behave responsibly."
The ad was shot in Sophia College in a day's schedule. It features college kids from all over Mumbai. Prasoon Pandey, director of the film, said, "The kids really loved the idea and took off on their own. At first I had thought that I'll have to guide them but I really didn't have to do much. In fact, they were giving me ideas saying that they have been watching clips of parliamentary sessions." He added that at one point, he had to calm them down lest somebody got injured in the whole process of depicting a mayhem-like situation.
On the background score, Pandey (Prasoon) said, "When we were looking at the idea, it didn't occur to me as to what will I do for the soundtrack. My research suggested that the noise in a parliamentary session would be fantastic. But when the college kids were going at each other, in that very moment, it occurred to me that if I were to play 'Vaishnava jana to', it will bring out a spectacular irony. I am glad the idea came at the right time."
Client: Kasturi & Sons (The Hindu Group of Publications)
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather South India
Creative director: Piyush Pandey (creative director, O & M South Asia), Rajiv Rao (national creative director, O & M India)
Executive creative director (South): Joono Simon
Creative team: Arkadyuti Basu, Pradeep Ravindran, Sanjana Mathur
Account management head: Simi Sabhaney (president- South, O & M)
Account Management team: Vijaya Sriram, Karthik Hariharan, Aruna Narsi
Production house: Corcoise Films
Director: Prasoon Pandey