Lokmat Media's initiative attacks excessive honking on streets

By Biprorshee Das , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | May 03, 2012
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Started in Nagpur, the social campaign called Horn Bajane Ki Bimari soon became a state wide initiative receiving recognition from senior officials in the administration and the police force as well.

Many complain. Few act. Lokmat Media has taken up a cause that has long irritated citizens - unnecessary, excessive honking on the streets. With a social campaign titled Horn Bajane Ki Bimari, Lokmat Media began the initiative in Nagpur that gradually covered the state of Maharashtra across Aurangabad, Ahmednagar, Nasik, Jalgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur and Solapur.

The objective behind the campaign was to educate the people about the ill effects of honking that adversely affect the physical and mental health of the people, particularly in the metros and Tier II cities of the country.

Signature campaign

To create curiosity, Lokmat launched a teaser campaign across media posing the question - 'Are you suffering from HBKB (Horn Bajane Ki Bimari)?', 'Have you got yourself treated for HBKB?' and 'Stop the spread of HBKB'.

Having generated interest about the 'disease', Horn Bajane Ki Bimari was revealed on a single day on all media across Maharashtra. Lokmat Group Publications carried a two-page innovative jacket about HBKB, detailing the ill effects of excessive honking.

With the initiative being noticed in Nagpur, the campaign spread across the state on the request of corporators from the respective cities.

The teaser was first launched in Nagpur on March 29 and the campaign was revealed on April 8. In other cities, the teaser released on April 16 and the complete campaign on April 25.

The campaign has been welcomed by the common man as well as municipal corporation chiefs, seniors in the police force and politicians.

The campaign has been backed by editorial content and field activities, too. People were appealed to pledge their stand against HBKB by sending text messages to a short code.

Among other on-ground activities, one involved employees of Lokmat coming together at each unit, vowing to shun honking. Group photographs of the same were published in the Lokmat publications to drive the message to the masses. About one lakh bumper stickers were printed and pasted on vehicles, too.

Students from prominent schools and colleges also were approached, making the youth a part of the campaign. Signature campaigns were also launched across the state involving citizens, mayors, collectors and police commissioners.

Mandir Tendolkar

The campaign has been supported across media by Bright Outdoor (OOH), Radio Mirchi (radio) and IBN Lokmat (television). Lokmat Media also took the campaign to its digital properties such as, Lokmat on Facebook and Twitter.

Devendra Darda, managing director, Lokmat Media dedicates the success of the campaign to the people of Maharashtra and also expects that the campaign will make people think twice before honking and help to bring down noise pollution in the state.

Mandir Tendolkar, vice-president, marketing, Lokmat Media tells afaqs! that the campaign's success was further triggered by the way the marketing and editorial worked together.

Tendolkar adds that having taken the thought leadership, Lokmat Media will ensure that the campaign continues further to keep the issue relevant and fresh in people's minds.

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