afaqs!

The undying spirit, just like Mumbai

By Savia Jane Pinto , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Marketing | January 18, 2010
The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon was an ode to the spirit of Mumbai that can overcome all

The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon celebrated the spirit of Mumbai in its seventh year, too. In these seven years, there have been many stories of how fears have been conquered; how goals have been achieved; how lives have been changed and how confidence has been regained.

As in the past couple of years, the campaign by Standard Chartered Bank highlighted the causes, the bank and the marathon addresses. The idea was conceived by its creative agency, TBWA India and the film was shot by Roshan Shetty of Bang Bang Films.

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The registrations for the marathon began six months ago, while the other activities were conducted a few weeks before the final day (January 17).

The theme for the marathon this year was 'I will win', taking off from last year's theme of 'Run for a cause'. Rahul Sengupta, national creative director, TBWA India, says, "The film tried to get across the various causes that are reached and addressed by this marathon."

The camera captured many moments in the TVC, including a child crawling up a huge pile of garbage to raise his arm in victory, saying 'I will win'; two school girls sitting on a flight of stairs mouthing the same words; a housewife, too, saying that she's going to win; a prostitute, the blind - all claiming confidently that they're going to win. The frame then showed shots from an earlier marathon to finally say that when Mumbai runs the marathon, a child can conquer illiteracy, a woman is empowered and more people prevent AIDS.

The crux of the film was that the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon was a platform for numerous causes.

The first phase of the communication for the seventh edition of the marathon was flagged off with the registrations six months ago. A microsite and a helpline number to address the various queries were set up. The campaign, like always, was an integrated one, involving print, radio, outdoor, the Internet, cinema and the bank's existing communication channels such as intranet, ATM and account statements, website and branches.

According to Geraldine Matchaba, head, corporate affairs, Standard Chartered Bank, the six months time gap was given so that the runners could practice and raise awareness and funds for their causes.

An aggressive PR plan was put in place, where the marathon was announced at various important events.

The TVC was launched in the second phase of the campaign, along with certain other on-ground events. Among the first was the Flame of the Marathon Run, where, for the first time, Mumbai played host to the Marathon Flame that had travelled from the town of Marathon (in Greece) to Mumbai. The flame continued to burn till the end of the marathon.

'Seeing is Believing' is Standard Chartered's global initiative to prevent avoidable blindness. Hence, on January 12, paralympic gold medalist Henry Wanyoike conducted a training camp for underprivileged women, who ran to raise awareness about various aspects important to the city.

The Get Active health and lifestyle exhibition, conducted by Standard Chartered Bank along with several other partners on January 13-16, acted as a build up to the marathon and was expected to attract visits from at least 30,000 runners. Read for Good, an initiative that aims to create a pool of audio lessons for the visually challenged, was also a part of the same exhibition. The programme, aimed at spreading awareness about preventive blindness, encouraged visitors to pledge their eyes under the 'Seeing is believing' initiative.

Prior to the final run, a Pasta Party was organised for elite athletes who participate in the Mumbai Marathon every year. It also had enthusiastic participation from government dignitaries, partners and celebrities, where a high-carb, high-energy nutritious lunch, ideal for runners, was served.

On the day of the marathon, a contest recognised and rewarded the teams that participated in fancy dresses.