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Dainik Bhaskar headlines 'Positivity'

By Sohini Sen and Devesh Gupta , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | March 24, 2015
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The publication is running a campaign #livenonegative, urging people to drop all negativity in them and pledge to be positive.

DB Group-owned Dainik Bhaskar is one of the older publications in the Indian print industry. Very recently, the newspaper positioned itself as a publication with no negative news on Monday. The positioning aimed at differentiating from other products, clubbed the negative news into one segment and put it with the headline 'Negative News'.

Taking this campaign a step forward, it has launched #livenonegative - urging people to shed all their negativity and be positive all the time.

Be positive campaign from Dainik Bhaskar

The campaign is led by a TVC that includes four different stories shot in a way as if a crime scene is being re-enacted. The four stories are separated from the climax by a viewer-driven function asking whether he wants to see the end. On pressing the 'yes' button, the film shows stories ending positively with someone helping, saving a life, playing with a kid and rearing a new born. If the viewer presses 'no', the film immediately ends with the message 'Thanks for not being negative'.

The message of the film is to think positive in the vitiated environment around us. The campaign has been designed by Orcomm Advertising.

Vikas Singh

Amit Koserwal

Speaking about the campaign, Vikas Singh, AVP, brand marketing, DB, says, "A common grouse against print media is that, nowadays, newspapers are full of negative news like crime, corruption, scams etc. This makes readers feel that all that is happening in the society is negative. He, thus, starts his day on a negative note and at times with a depressed feeling. This is quite in contrast to the general wave of optimism sweeping the country. Taking this current positive outlook forward, Dainik Bhaskar is pioneering a change that has never been witnessed in the history of media anywhere in the world- 'No Negative Monday'. We are trying to initiate and drive a movement that on Monday, since it's the first day of the week and people plan their week, they should start with a positive note. Thus, unlike majority of other newspapers, Dainik Bhaskar will give its readers the confidence to start their week on a positive note. We are trying to give a new direction to journalism with this initiative. And we are confident that our readers will appreciate this."

The campaign is being supported on print, radio, digital, OOH and on-ground. For OOH, it has roped in Milestone Brandcom as its partner.

Amit Koserwal, director and chief creative officer, Orcomm Advertising, says, "The idea was to take this initiative beyond 'product differentiation' and build it into a movement towards a 'No Negative' way of living for a positive society and a positive nation. There's widespread fear in our society today. A large part of it can be attributed to the way crime (specifically) is reported in media, day in and day out. Such news and incidents build negativity in our minds, and we start looking at every situation through the same lens. Our film taps into the same sentiment. It questions the very fabric of our thinking today. The way this film ends leaves a strong message and a lingering thought on the viewer's mind. Our biggest challenge was to pack everything into 30 seconds."

But isn't a newspaper's job to report news and not decide whether to carry positive or negative news? Singh answers: "For too long, we have erroneously believed that readers only want to read negative news. The same rat race can be seen even on news channels today. Each medium is trying to outdo the other on sensationalism and negative perspective. But, does the reader really find it attractive? Possibly not. In all this cacophony, somewhere the role and responsibility of the fourth estate is getting compromised. As a responsible newspaper, we will not deprive readers from the negative things going on in society, but we will be mentioning it separately. If the issue is very big and negative, then we will publish it prominently (as we do now), but it will have a clear box saying that it was necessary for our readers to know this news, hence even on Monday i.e. 'No Negative News' day, we are putting it up for you."

The publication has also created a microsite for the campaign urging people to take a pledge for being positive. The brand plans to share stories of positivity on it (http://livenonegative.org/lnn/).

Dainik Bhaskar has been running several campaigns to reach out to people and differentiate itself from other publications. Previously, it launched a TVC titled 'Zid Karo Na' where it urged people to fight for what is right. It also has initiated several print and on-ground campaigns in this regard.

Creatively Positive?

Sarvesh Raikar

Minakshi Achan

Sarvesh Raikar, ECD, Scarecrow Communications, feels that the film is gripping, the storytelling is terse, while the camerawork itself is great.

"In today's scenario, where prolonged exposure to any news medium can qualify as a potent cause of depression, the stance is fresh, clutter-breaking and bang-on. The heartening twist on clicking 'YES' works, and does full justice to the thought. Two thumbs-up," says Raikar.

However, he adds,"it is on clicking NO, that the film turns out to be a damp squib. The super 'Thanks for not being negative', not only feels like a shortcut but, more importantly, seems to promote escapism, turning a blind eye to the reality - which is a very dangerous stance for any news medium to take."

On the other hand, Minakshi Achan, former CCO, Rediffusion and founder, Salt Brand Solutions, did not share the same views. Achan did feel that the brand lost out on an opportunity to make it more interactive by using a crowdsourced technique for the second part of the film.

"While saying 'No Negative' was a good idea, the execution failed to live up to the mark. I felt that to say something positive, the brand still started off from something negative. The dark imagery makes it like that from the very beginning, while the second half is like any happy commercial. While it cannot be called clutter-breaking, the dark imagery may make it memorable for viewers," says Achan.

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