HIT: Sending off the mosquitoes

By Nandana Das , afaqs!, New Delhi | In OOH News | August 30, 2011
The campaign has been kick-started in Mumbai by Godrej Consumer Products, with participation from school kids and other citizens; it aims to spread awareness about malaria and encourage preventive action.

Godrej Consumer Products' insecticide spray, HIT, has recently kicked off a nationwide, multi-city campaign called 'HIT Kill Malaria'. Starting with Mumbai, the campaign will reach out to people of various cities across the country, with activities in schools and public places.

To carry forward the campaign, HIT has tied up with municipal corporations across cities for cleaning of localities, distributing informative handouts about prevention of malaria, street plays to spread awareness about prevention of malaria and the recommended preventive measures.

In various schools across the country, apart from distributing handouts explaining the symptoms of the disease and preventive measures, there will also be quiz contests to drive awareness.

Similar activities are being carried out in housing societies and slums to educate people about the disease.

As claimed by the company, the initiative is expected to touch about 10 lakh citizens across the top eight metros, namely Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Pune and Ahmedabad, by reaching out to residential societies, schools and slums.

Talking to afaqs!, Kapil Dev Pillai, category head, household insecticides, Godrej Consumer Products, says, "Our experience indicates that people tend to take less precaution when there are few mosquitoes around. With this campaign, we intend to spread the awareness that even a single mosquito is dangerous and may prove fatal. As a brand, HIT wants to encourage people to take responsibility to spread awareness about this deadly disease."

The campaign is being driven by a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Synergie.

Speaking about the brief given to Synergie, Pillai says, "We asked it to plan out an awareness campaign against malaria, which would reach out to a large audience across social strata, through various media. The NGO was also asked to create something which would engage the consumer with the cause and create a strong recall for the HIT brand."

He adds, "It is a common misconception that malaria is caused only in rains. The reality is that the disease spreads through stagnant water. So, it's not necessary to have this campaign time-bound to monsoons. In fact, the end of the monsoons is a good time to create awareness about malaria as there is collection of stagnant water in the city and the chances of the disease spreading are high."

There have been a lot of challenges while conducting the activity. Pillai explains, "Apart from creating a strong engagement with the audience, the real challenge is to co-ordinate the planned activities. The campaign was recently flagged off in Mumbai. Now, replicating the same activities across eight cities will require strong co-ordination and a huge ground work force."

The campaign has also been active on social media through the Facebook page, Malaria kills opportunities (www.facebook.com/HITKillMalaria). For every fan who joins the page, Rs 2 will be donated by HIT towards this initiative. The collective sum will be utilised in its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in slums to conduct awareness campaigns, and clean up and fumigation operations.

As claimed by HIT, the Facebook page has accumulated more than 97,000 fans, which effectively means that more than Rs 1.9 lakh has been collected already through this initiative.

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