Countdown to Cannes 2012: Cheil's hopes tied to the 'Minus One Project'

By , Winners & Finalist, Mumbai | In Advertising | June 15, 2012
Cheil India's eco-friendly innovation for Samsung printers has already earned accolades at international award forums such as the New York Festival and Clio. The agency hopes the campaign picks up Lions next.

An integrated ad campaign for Samsung printers, hinged on a CSR initiative, is Cheil India's hope at the 59th International Festival of Creativity.

The crux of the campaign, as the name suggests, was to urge people to reduce the font size by one, each time they needed to print a document. This was the team's way of curbing de-forestation.

Minus One

The work has been entered in the Direct, Promo, Media and Titanium Lions categories.

The integrated campaign included a lot of BTL (below-the-line) activation efforts. The team approached organisations, schools, colleges and other such institutions, and had them take a pledge to always reduce the font size by one each time they printed something.

Alok Agrawal, chief operating officer, Cheil Worldwide SW Asia, tells afaqs!, "The idea was not to spend a lot of money; rather, we wanted to pass on this message to as many people as possible. We approached the administration at these institutions and told them about this particular message."

The authorities at the schools and colleges then got together and facilitated a movement, wherein everyone gathered and took a pledge to print only after reducing the font size by one.

Alok Agrawal

The idea was born around International Year of Forests in 2011, when the agency decided to take on a project (for its client Samsung printers) that urged people to print more responsibly. "We too wanted to contribute towards the cause of saving our invaluable forests. Paper is responsible for one-third of all the felled trees. And most of the paper is used for printing," says Agrawal.

A total of 73 organisations, schools and colleges adopted the idea and took the 'Minus One Pledge'. More than 1,50,000 pledges were taken.

Further, as a part of this campaign, the famous classic 'Gaban' by Premchand was re-printed with the font set at a size that was one size less than that in the original copy. The first print run of the 'Minus One Edition' included around 25,000 (twenty five thousand) copies. This effort saved more than 3,50,000 paper sheets.

Unlike other social programmes that restrain people from doing certain things, the Minus One Project encouraged people to carry on printing, albeit with a smaller font size. The campaign thus attempted to change consumers' habits with a simple idea, without really changing much.

A viral video on this initiative, titled 'Smaller fonts for bigger forests', was released across social media (Facebook, Twitter) and YouTube.

The agency is optimistic about a victory for the Minus One Project at Cannes 2012, which, it hopes, will serve to strengthen its position as an integrated agency.

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