Saffola makes you listen to your heartbeat on World Heart Day

By Justin Thomas , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | September 30, 2008
Saffola Life and six radio stations in Mumbai came together on World Heart Day to create awareness through a unique campaign

Removing & #BANNER1 & # sound from radio is like taking out its soul. If taken out to highlight the risks faced by the heart, the message comes across very strongly - that the heart silently bears the excesses of our strenuous and fast lifestyles and therefore, should be taken care of.

Prominent radio stations in Mumbai were part of a unique initiative on September 28, when at 10 am, regular programming halted and the sound of heartbeats reverberated on the airwaves for 30 minutes. The campaign was run by Saffola Life, along with Red FM, Radio City, Big FM, Radio One, Fever FM and Meow.

RJs from across radio stations supporting the cause
Commenting on the conceptualization of the initiative, a spokesperson for Marico says, "Though we were regularly spreading the message for a healthy heart, we wanted to send out a message that was disruptive and offbeat. With September 28 being World Heart Day, Saffola decided to do something out of the box. We felt that radio was the perfect medium to send across the message, as silence on the airwaves could be related to how the heart functions silently, despite the toll it takes."

While sharing their thoughts with radio operators, the response was encouraging and the feedback from listeners has been overwhelming, informs the spokesperson.

Rana Barua, executive vice-president and national head, programming and marketing, Radio City, says, "Saffola Life's endeavours towards enhancing awareness on heart care are well known. Understanding the power of the medium, they're known to use radio truly effectively to take their message across to the consumer."

Giving a thumbs-up to the initiative, he adds, "We enjoy huge listener connect and involvement and we can capitalise on this to spread this relevant message. An initiative like this helps our listeners lead a healthier and happier life and it makes great sense for us to be a part of it."

Anuj Singh, national marketing head, Red FM, says, "Saffola's initiative on World Heart Day is commendable. It's also a very innovative way to spread awareness about something like heart disease. As it's not every day that the jocks of various stations come together for a good cause, we are happy to lend our support towards it."

About the response received by his station, he says, "The simultaneous playing of heartbeats across different stations in Mumbai created a lot of buzz and helped spread awareness about heart problems and ways to get more information about the same."

No doubt, sacrificing its most precious asset, sound, the campaign has managed to use radio as a powerful medium to deliver its message. As the popular Russian orchestral conductor, Andre Kostelanetz, said, "One of the greatest sounds of them all - and to me it is a sound - is utter, complete silence." Add heartbeats to it and you have a sound that is pumping and alive.