Condom chant helps win kabaddi match

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | March 14, 2008
The second segment of the Jo Bola Wohi Sikander campaign has been released. It takes the condom normalisation programme a big step forward

The second

segment of the social campaign, Jo Bola Wohi Sikander (JBWS), is now out. Created by the BBC World Service Trust, the campaign is part of an awareness initiative aimed at pushing men to talk more and more about the use of condoms.

The BBC World Service Trust claims that the first segment of the campaign, which ran between November 30 and December 20, 2007, reached 52 million men in four states in just three weeks, and around four lakh people called in. Nearly 70 per cent of those who saw the ad discussed condoms with their friends. The NGO claims that the cost per man reached worked out to barely Re 1. The campaign was funded through a 3.5 million (US$5.9 million) grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The three week campaign used a riddle and a prize of a mobile phone with free talk time to get people talking about condoms in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

A still from the ad
So, with mission accomplished in phase one, the BBC World Service Trust has launched phase two with a TV commercial woven around a kabaddi match. Kabaddi is a team sport in which the word, kabaddi, is chanted without pause. The TVC shows a kabaddi match in which the protagonist wins against an obviously macho team by chanting 'condom' instead of kabaddi. The ad also features an animated parrot, which represents talking and smartness. (Submit your opinion on this ad.)

Says Radharani Mitra, creative director, BBC World Service Trust, "After the riddle idea, we toyed with other ways of translating normalisation to a sharp insight. It came down to how we could make the word condom part of everyday vocabulary in a dramatic way. And that gave birth to the kabaddi idea." The kabaddi match has been fictionalised in the TVC in the sense that it has already taken place and everyone is talking about it, with the majority thinking "smart men talk about condoms".

The campaign will also run for six weeks in radio and print. It will use the print medium to generate an SMS poll on the issue; the radio spot is similar to the TV ad.

Mitra says, "We want our campaign to act like a compass. It points towards a space where men can feel good and clever by doing something that they would not have done earlier. And if this fictionalised kabaddi match can stimulate some discussion about new patterns of behaviour, then we will move a few steps closer to condom normalisation."

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