Vedanta Group launches first national corporate campaign

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | January 31, 2012
Besides a heart-warming TVC, the campaign involves a first-of-its-kind film competition for India's young filmmakers.

The globally diversified natural resources major The Vedanta Group, has launched its first-ever national corporate campaign yesterday. Though the company's interests lie in aluminium, copper, zinc, lead, silver, iron ore and oil and gas, this campaign has little to do with these businesses and a lot to do with social reality.

Titled 'Creating Happiness', this integrated campaign has at its core the vision of contributing to building sustainable communities and integrating sustainability as a core part of the business. The authorities insist this is not a mere CSR initiative; that rather, it is a means of telling people what The Vedanta Group has done for the community in the past. Senjam Raj Sekhar, director, communications and brand, Vedanta Group, says, "We have several compelling stories to tell about the work that is being done in the areas of community and sustainability. This work is bringing about change and empowering our society. Our aim is thus to tell the world 'The Vedanta story'."

What is interesting is that besides the usual media vehicles such as traditional and social media, the campaign involves some unique initiatives as well. A large part of the campaign is a first-of-its-kind film competition for India's young filmmakers.

A hundred and fourteen students from 21 media and film schools across the country (including FTII, Whistling Woods, Symbiosis, School of Convergence, MGR FTI, IIMC, Assam University, Xavier's, Christ University, AAFT, ZIMA, Tezpur University, IP College and Ravenshaw) have produced 38 short films (three minute-long) that spell out real stories of the people and communities whose lives have been changed by Vedanta's community initiatives.

Each film was made by a group of three students, who travelled to the interiors in Rajasthan, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, and Chhattisgarh to shoot the videos. The participants were required to visit any of the 550 villages in which The Vedanta Group has a presence. The emphasis was on issues such as women's issues and the girl child besides the cinematic language used and social reflection of the observed life. Though the easiest thing would've been to make a corporate film on the Vedanta Group itself, participants were briefed to create human interest films instead.

Senjam Raj Sekhar

Piyush Pandey

Raj Sekhar explains, "With the film competition, we opened up all our projects and locations to budding independent film makers. The brief given to the teams was simple - visit our locations, see our community work, find a story, and make a film. The idea was to enable them to experience it first hand and make films on impact that the projects were having on the community."

The 38 films will now be judged in two categories - Popular Choice and Jury Award. There will be a winner and two runner-ups in both categories. All these films are open for public viewing and voting on YouTube until March 20, 2012. They can be viewed on the site group. One page view garners one vote for any film, and one 'Like' is equal to three votes. The films will also be judged by a jury comprising Piyush Pandey, executive chairperson and national creative director, Ogilvy India, Shyam Benegal, film maker and Gul Panag, actor. The winning video might be broadcast on TV.

The 39th film is a 90-seconds long TVC that has been created by Ogilvy India, the brand's creative agency of record. Released on January 30, the TVC narrates the story of Binno, the face of the campaign. Far from a fictitious character, she is a little girl who was chosen from one of Vedanta's community initiatives in rural Rajasthan. Shot in Rajasthan by Shivendra Dungarpur (of Dungarpur Films), the ad has been conceived and scripted by Ogilvy's Pandey.

The ad narrates Binno's story and that of her real parents, friends, doctors and school teachers. While highlighting the changes that have transpired in rural India over the years thanks to Vedanta, the film shows how her life is different from that of her earlier generations. "This campaign is extremely close to my heart as it's all about enabling India. I have worked on this campaign along with my team as an excited young copywriter and I look forward towards the people of India to not just appreciate Vedanta's efforts, but also get inspired to do something on their own to make India a happier place," says Pandey.

The media mandate for The Vedanta Group lies with Lodestar UM.

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