Maa Nishaada Pratishthaam Tvamgamah Shaasvatee Samah
Yatkrouncha Mithunadekamavadheeh Kaama Mohitam
"O cruel hunter, you will never get respect in this world because you have killed the innocent heron who was engaged in making love."
Legend has it, sage Valmiki had recited the Sanskrit shloka â€" thought to be the first verse ever created â€" when he came across a heron crying in grief over the murder of its partner.
Right through human history, birds have inspired poets, musicians and ordinary people. Today, they totter on the verge of extinction. And, if humans fail to contain their greed, birds will become feathered relics of the past.
Birds, endangered and vulnerable, are the focus of an innovative piece of communication from Lowe for Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).
The programme titled, Adopt A Rare Bird, is communicated through a collectible that serves as a talking point for the 120-year-old NGO's conservation and awareness efforts. A photo frame with a picture of a rare bird bears a brass plate with the name of the species along with the name of the individual who donates Rs 300 for the cause. (Comment on the ad)
The concept works like this. There are ten rare birds up for adoption, including the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, Green Munia and the Imperial Eagle. For a donation of Rs 300, a person can adopt any of these birds and have his/her name attached to it. One could thus be the benefactor of an Imperial Eagle Krishnamurthy or a Green Munia Shivani. The same could be also gifted to another individual; an idea that has apparently caught the corporate world's fancy to a certain degree.
"The idea was not only to speak to bird lovers â€" who are very few in number â€" but also more ordinary people," says Preeti Nair, group creative director, Lowe, Mumbai.
The idea was to give the concept a personal touch. "Unlike adopting a child or a dog, it is difficult to create the idea of adopting birds, which are completely out in the wild," says Nair.
The creative team of Brijesh Jacob and Hemant Chonkar came around the difficulty by coming up with the concept of giving one's name to the bird adopted. "This helps in personalising the act of donating for charity and a worthy cause. At the same time, as a display piece or gift item, the phto frame serves as a good conversation piece," explains Nair.
As with most NGOs, BNHS faces a cash crunch in spite of its pedigree (it serves as a conduit for the UK-based Royal Society for Protection of Birds' conservation programmes in India) and a commendable body of research. Thus, the usual route of mass media campaigns were counted out as production and media space costs are considerably high.
"This communication serves a dual purpose," says Ruby Madan, director and manager, marketing resource mobilisation, BNHS. "It brings awareness to a larger number of people, and also helps us to mobilise funds."
The Adopt A Rare Bird creative concept came from the agency, backed by information from the NGO. "We had initially hoped to raise around Rs 2 lakh for the project, but all we could manage is Rs 50,000," rues Madan. But the response, generated mostly by word-of-mouth, has been great and has found mention in the prestigious Sanctuary magazine.
The money can now be channelised towards promoting the creative, she says. This will be through ads in the in-house journals and other routes, determined by the flow of funds.
Â© 2004 agencyfaqs!First Published : December 28, 2004