Times of India targets obnoxious litterbugs

By Saumya Tewari , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | January 22, 2015
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The national daily's digital campaign aims to involve users to drive anti-littering message.

If cleanliness is next to godliness, India is the least spiritual country on the planet. From defecating in open spaces to throwing garbage on the streets and spitting - or urinating - on every possible wall in a locality the ugly Indian is the despair of the rest.

The Great Indian Litterbug campaign on YouTube

The Great Indian Litterbug print campaign

In a bid to shame these offenders, national daily The Times of India has launched 'The Great Indian Litterbug' campaign under its 'The Great Indian' series. The Great Indian Litterbug, according to the English daily, is a character who can convert a city into a wasteland. This character celebrates those Indians who, irrespective of their caste or status, take littering as their birthright. A digital film released by Times of India depicts such people indulging in different forms of littering.

Created by 101India and MSL Digital, the interactive campaign's objective is to bring the offenders into the limelight and shame them. Speaking about the campaign, Rahul Kansal, executive director, BCCL, says, "Cleanliness is a primary tool for development. This campaign looks at the problem of littering from a societal perspective. We aim to bring out the intrinsic characteristics of Indians who litter."

"The Great India series is an initiative to look at India through the lens of different species in the country. It celebrates unique types of Indians. Satirical in nature, The Great Indian Litterbug is an attempt to poke fun at people who indulge in littering," explains Cyrus Oshidar, managing director, 101India.

Cyrus Oshidar


The campaign is highly interactive in nature. It is being promoted through Times Group's print and television properties. The campaign is being heavily promoted on social media both through Facebook and Twitter (#TheGreatIndianLitterbug). Users can also share pictures and cartoons through Whatsapp on 8006371000.

A separate microsite ( has been created where users can participate by submitting their entries in three categories including videos and photos, cartoons, jokes and anecdotes and blogs on how 'great' the litter is. These entries could be a Great Paan Art on staircases, Carchucker (people throwing things from cars), Defacer (messages on monuments, signposts, benches and buses and trains), overflowing garbage bins or people relieving themselves anywhere.

The on-ground activation is led by college students across the country. The participants have to come up with interesting installation ideas that will be created by using garbage to be placed in public places to create awareness of the hazards of garbage and littering. A panel of judges will scrutinise entries to select the winners who will receive merchandise from Happily Unmarried. Besides, a lot of the good work will be showcased in The Times of India. The contest is open from January 20-February 10, 2015.

The Great Indian is a humorous campaign that celebrates uniquely Indian quirks that make us 'like that only'. The first campaign in this series was 'The Great Indian Chamchas' which was a satirical ode to sycophants across industries.

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