Tata Tea encourages 'Kala Teeka' for women

By Prachi Srivastava , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | February 21, 2014
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The brand has rolled out its second TVC under the 'Power of 49' umbrella campaign, encouraging women to put a 'kala teeka' (black dot).

Since the huge success of the Jaago Re campaign, Tata Tea has launched several campaigns to alert people about their responsibilities as citizens. In its latest campaign, 'Power of 49', Tata Tea Gold reminds women about their duties and encourages them to exercise their voting rights as informed and independent electorates.

Tata Tea TVC

'Power of 49' campaign promotion with Hindi GEC shows' protagonists

Tata Tea content tie-up with CNN-IBN

Tata Tea new pack

Amer Jaleel

Vikram Grover

Sanchayeeta Verma

Titled 'Kala Teeka' (Black dot), the TVC is the second in the 'Power of 49' series, just ahead of the General Elections. While the first ad, released last year, talked about how a politician should not ignore women as they constitute 49 per cent of the voter base in India, this one encourages women to vote if they want to bring a change.

According to its creative partner Lowe Lintas, while the last campaign awakened 'women in general', the new TVC aims to awaken the 'educated or so called well informed class of India', who don't believe that voting can make a difference. The task this time is to 'awaken the awakened', to tell them about the power of voting and the change it can bring about.

'Kala Teeka', directed by Gauri Shinde, portrays a few women in a beauty parlour talking about how they carry pepper spray in order to protect themselves. A girl working at the parlour tells them they should put a kala teeka (black dot) instead. The lady getting a manicure assumes the dot refers to the superstition of putting a black dot to ward off the evil eye. However, the girl clarifies that it actually refers to the black dot on the index finger of a person who has cast her vote. She tells them if they vote for the right people, they will ensure better safety.

Talking about the television commercial, Amer Jaleel, national creative director, Lowe Lintas India tells afaqs!, "It all started with Shahrukh Khan's ad 'Chhoti Shuruaat'. First, we focused on how women should be more powerful, then we talked about how a politician should not ignore women and now, with this ad, we want women to be aware of their own power. We hope for the state of affairs for India's women to improve as soon as it can, but as an immediate effect, misconceptions about India's woman-force need correction and the right balance of power between men and women needs to be achieved to bridge an age-old, pointless gap."

Jaleel adds that there are many layers in the TVC. "There is an issue of women's safety and also the attitude towards voting. We have also added a delicate layer to the ad where we are saying that whether you belong to one class or the other, there are issues which need to be resolved together. That's why the ad brings together women of different economic strata, encouraging them to stand together in the electoral process."

Vikram Grover, head, marketing, South Asia, Tata Global Beverages, says, "With the excellent response to the earlier phase of the campaign, we realised that we were sitting on an opportunity to make a real change in society . With Tata Sons extending support to the campaign, we set ourselves for a very challenging vision to awaken 100 million informed women voters."

To encourage participation from women, Maxus (the media agency of record for Tata Tea) has lined up several initiatives, including one with TV18 to air content relevant to the campaign thought. "On CNN-IBN and IBN7, there is content especially created to extend this campaign thought. There will be women talking about their problems, experts talking about how they can be solved and also politicians' take on the same. Within the Tata group, we are engaging with employees to create awareness about the 'Power of 49' as most of them fall under the 'India' category and not the 'Bharat' one," Grover adds.

For 'Bharat', the group has tied up with multiple Hindi general entertainment channels to integrate the brand and the campaign thought. Maxus ESP, the content division of Maxus, has associated with leading Hindi GECs to bring protagonists of popular shows to communicate the message. The female leads involved in this initiative are Hina Khan (Akshara in Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, Star Plus), Toral Rasputra (Anandi in Balika Vadhu, Colors), Deepika Singh (Sandhya in Diya Aur Baati Hum, Star Plus), Shilpa Shirodhkar (Kamala Tai in Ek Muthhi Aasman, Zee TV), and Rupal Tyagi (Gunjan in Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke, Zee TV).

"Television soaps play a major role in shaping society. Hence Tata Tea and Maxus have devised a never before media integration to bring popular soap protagonists together in an initiative called 'Bahu nahin bahumat'," Grover says.

Celebrated news anchors and journalists like Rajdeep Sardesai, Sagarika Ghose, Suhasini Haider, Sandeep Chaudhary and Richa Anirudh of the TV18 group will champion the initiative for the urban audiences, enabling debates and discussions with politicians. Added to that will be support from an increasing list of Bollywood stars, social activists and other celebrities like Shahrukh Khan, Shabana Azmi, Nafisa Ali, Nandita Das, Parineeti Chopra, Preity Zinta, Dia Mirza, Divya Dutta, Sonu Nigam, Boman Irani, Arjun Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Anurag Kashyap and Abhishek Bachhan.

Sanchayeeta Verma, managing partner, Maxus, elaborates on the initiative, "Power of 49 addresses the most immediate need of an angry nation. While conceiving this campaign, staying true to Maxus' philosophy of Leaning Into Change, we looked at the changing nature of communication planning and leveraging the power of content and digital, thereby bringing TV advertising to life. Through this, we are using the collective power of influencers beyond mere endorsements in bringing women's issues to the forefront, facilitating their debates with politicians, creating a Power of 49 manifesto, thereby creating an informed female electorate."

The brand also plans to launch an anthem in the later stage of the campaign, to which women can relate to.

Power packed?

Sohini Dasgupta

Saurabh Parmar

Sohini Dasgupta, ECD, Publicis Ambience believes the ad is well handled. "It offers a perspective that hasn't really been handled before and is a competent extension of the Jaago Re campaign. How many people have considered tapping into the women voter base as a subject? And yet they've done it while keeping the core thought of the campaign alive. The message is crystal clear without being ham handed. It also subtly takes a hit at prejudices women have towards other women as well. The whole thing is handled succinctly, and comes across as being exactly what it is, a call to action for women voters across the country."

She adds, "I believe the entire campaign is pretty clutter breaking. This isn't the first time they have used a woman's voice to send a message - which again is something not many brands do. Moreover, the 'Jaago Re' ads worked because they were relevant to the times. In a sense the atmosphere is more charged than during the last election. So this ad strikes all the right notes."

Saurabh Parmar, CEO, Brandlogist, says, "Like most other ads of the 'Jaago Re' campaign, I think this is brilliant. It manages to depict the reality of India where the choice of right/wrong leaders affects all of us including the upper middle class and beyond yet the voting percentage among this segment, especially the women, remains low."

He adds, "People will always connect with a message which they think will definitely and quickly have an impact. The challenge with a strong message like this is that it will always be larger than the brand but I think brand 'Tata Tea', and even bigger 'Tata', benefit from such an empowering message. Probably the creative execution can be more on the lines of the earlier 'Power of 49 politician' ad, which incorporates the product clearly in the storyline."

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