'I am Mumbai' went the chant when BCCL's English daily 'Mumbai Mirror' kicked off a campaign in 2011. The film showed real life stories of people protesting about issues on the streets of Mumbai and how the publication took their voice to the people.
The first situation is of local street thugs who indulge in molestation, eve teasing and cat calling; the second one showcases a doctor whose organ-selling racket is busted by the newspaper; the third is of a lady whose prostitution racket is exposed and the last one is of a building contractor who gets penalized for a job not done well.
In each of the situations, the affected people defend themselves by saying that it is absolutely normal to do what they were doing and blame the Mumbai Mirror's reporters for their losses. The film ends by the protagonists saying that 'I am not Mumbai'. The film ends with shots of the paper burning and captions that say, 'Hated by Some. Every Morning. Thankfully.'
The insight behind the campaign is that, in India, the criminals and the corrupt do what they want to do with impunity and get away with it too. However, the average citizen is impatient to bring an end to this. The film showcases these bad elements in society being finally brought to book, thanks to the Mumbai Mirror.
The campaign video, which is on YouTube, is also being promoted via social media handles of Mumbai Mirror and other verticals. It will be shown in theatres such as PVR, Inox, Fun and Big Cinemas as well as on television networks such as the Times Group channels, Aajtak, ABP News and UTV Movies.
Chraneeta Mann, national creative director, regional, Rediffusion Y&R, says, "The film is a dramatic shift from highlighting the truth-seekers of Mumbai to using the voice of the fairly pronounced underbelly of the city to drive the point home."
Jaishankar says that the positioning - rather the overall thought - could be "hated by wrong doers". "This positioning is important because a newspaper that stands up for what is right will always have a few haters. In fact, hatred is a sign of Mumbai Mirror never falling back in its pursuit of eliminating the ills of our society. It indicates that the brand stands up for welfare of Mumbaikars and does not tolerate any injustice. Full marks to the ad, but it could have been shorter," he adds.
Mann adds that everything - from the cinematic grittiness of the film to the cast and the music - contributes towards making a film that's dark enough to make you stand up and take notice. "What's interesting is that the film does not talk of the discerning reader, or the brave whistleblower, or the journalist going beyond the line of duty, but brings out the impact by focusing on those who have reason to fear the truth. It is a powerful reinvention of the same message though," adds Mann.