IndiaPicture launches Blow Up, an initiative to save public property

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | April 13, 2011
The campaign titled Blow Up, which was launched about a week ago, has been conceptualised by Publicis Capital and utilises the on-ground and online media.

Image bank IndiaPicture has launched an on-ground-cum-online campaign called 'Blow Up'. Crafted by creative agency Publicis Capital, Blow Up is a combination of an advertising/marketing campaign for the brand, as well as an initiative to save public property.

The concept draws from the reality that during protests and political movements, a lot of public property is damaged and burnt. In order to avoid this in the future, IndiaPicture hatched the idea of providing potential protestors with free images of public property to burn and vandalise instead.

The challenge for the account is, apparently, to test the power of images beyond advertising and to change the bad reputation of the nation that is known for destroying public property worth considerable amounts during rallies and protests.

IndiaPicture is currently re-launching its website ( and a bunch of product level changes that were under construction over the last three-four months will see the light of day in the next few days. Thus, the team decided to take the unconventional route and generate excitement amongst the creative fraternity, the campaign's main target group.

An NGO, iCongo (acronym for the 'Indian Confederation of NGOs'), is supporting this movement by helping the team at IndiaPicture reach out to politicians and communities. iCongo is an organisation that aims at sensitising people about socio-political issues and looks at instilling a sense of individual social responsibility amongst citizens.

The campaign was rolled out on April 1, with its very first Blow Up event. The first of many such events, this one was held in Neemka village in Haryana. Emmanuel Upputuru, national creative director, Publicis Capital, informs, "At these events, the political leaders, with a past record of damaging public property, accept their mistakes (that is, vandalising public property in the past) and promise never to indulge in such acts in the future. As a symbolic gesture, an image is burnt, for one minute, at the event."

While the first event involved the Gujjar community headed by Lalit Nagar, subsequent events will see the participation of other such political leaders across the country.

The upcoming events are slated to be held in Bihar, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Assam, and maybe even in the city of Mumbai in the coming days. "Each time, a different image will be burnt," adds Upputuru.

Swapnil Tripathi, head, marketing, IndiaPicture, tells afaqs! that while at the first Blow Up event, a bus-sized picture was burnt, the images that will be used in subsequent events will be far more symbolic, that is, smaller (around 2 feet X 3 feet in size). The image of the bus was covered in petroleum jelly to minimise the fumes and facilitate quick burning, it is learnt.

"Not all these events will see the burning of images," Tripathi says, "For instance, the one in Jammu & Kashmir will have people pelting stones at an image, instead."

Besides Upputuru, the creative team includes Tanuja Goyal and Ayan Das.

Several communities have already been contacted for participation in Blow Up events. Additionally, interviews with leaders from key political parties across the country (regarding their take on this idea) are in the pipeline.

All videos and pictures from the Blow Up events will be documented and exhibited at the India Habitat Centre around the third week of April, where members of the advertising industry (core target audience of this movement) will be invited, along with political leaders such as Ajay Maken and Sheila Dikshit.

The online bit of the campaign includes a very active and informative Facebook page.

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