With creative partner Saatchi & Saatchi, Springwel has launched a nationwide integrated campaign for its 'Sleep Exchange' programme that not just communicates a discount offer but also takes up the cause of homeless people.
As per this activity, consumers can exchange their old mattresses to get a new one at a discount. What is innovative in this otherwise regular offer is that the old mattresses will be donated to NGOs that run shelters for the homeless.
The campaign includes a 60-second film, on-ground activities and promotions on social media.
Harinder Singh Sachdev, director, marketing, Springwel Mattress, says, "This is first a social campaign and then an exchange offer. And, while it definitely would help to enhance the brand image, it was never the initial or only intention."
Jaibeer Ahmad, vice-president, Saatchi & Saatchi, explains, "The brief was simple - to build a campaign around a two-month exchange offer. We went back with the suggestion of taking up the cause of a larger good, which was appreciated and accepted by the client."
According to the agency, the idea came from the insight that over eight crore Indians are homeless - most of them children, who sleep anywhere they can - on pavements, under flyovers, on railway platforms, bus stops and park benches.
"Usually, in an offer like this, the old products are either sold off by the dealer or disposed. We thought there could be a better use for old mattresses. They could help get someone a good night's sleep," adds Ahmad.
The film that has been directed by Anuj Alia shows a bunch of homeless kids frolicking together at the end of the day before they retire for the night to their regular place to sleep on the streets. Finding the place littered, they quickly clean it up and lay cardboards and newspapers that serve as the 'mattresses'. The video clearly pulls an emotional chord complete with music and a voiceover that explains the plight of such unfortunate ones.
Both Sachdev and Ahmad make no bones of the fact that the campaign is being run on a tight budget and the television medium will only shoot up costs.
"It is a 60-second film that has been made. You cannot edit it to fit ad slots on television. Editing will make the film lose its charm and the message," says Sachdev on not choosing television.
"A campaign like this depends on public support and we have been getting enough encouragement from people who have seen the film online. Moreover, this campaign is not entirely revolving around a film. It is led by various activities. The film is not the focal point," Ahmad adds.
A campaign such as this requires a lot of on-ground activities to garner awareness and support, which is exactly what is being focused on by Springwel and Saatchi.
Besides the viral video, Facebook users are being informed about the on-going activities of the campaign, as well as actual stories of homeless people on the Facebook page. Mumbai also witnessed an activity where artists created illustrations of homeless children on a Marine Drive pavement. In the time that it took to complete the illustration, the onlookers photographed and shared the message via social media. A similar activity was also conducted in the Fort area of the city.
Ashutosh Karkhanis, executive creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi Mumbai, says, "We got a fantastic response. Joggers, visitors and passersby were intrigued by the activity and were interested to know more about the initiative."
A wall painting project on the same lines will be conducted next week at Dilli Haat in New Delhi. Also on the anvil is a photography contest-cum-exhibition with the central theme of 'Dreams of the Homeless'. The contest will be open to all and will be judged by a panel of photojournalists. The proceedings from the exhibition will be donated to the cause.
Sleep Exchange can be followed online on Facebook at (http://www.facebook.com/springwelsleepexchange); YouTube at (http://www.youtube.com/springwelsleepx) and Twitter at (https://twitter.com/springwelsleepx).
The campaign will also use radio extensively. Radio activities began in New Delhi and Bengaluru today, and will be gradually extended to other cities.
Springwel does not have a media buying agency on board yet and Singh says that one shall be signed on soon. The campaign will run till August 15.
An interesting observation about the initiative, apart from the social cause, is how the strategy very interestingly communicates the product benefit without being overt about it. Let the cynics be; with the heart in the right place, Springwel hopes this initiative will gather steam going forward, suggests Sachdev.