Do you remember the famous ad campaign released by Bajaj Auto on the Republic Day in 2016? Leo Burnett had created a minute-long ad film for Bajaj V, the motorbike that is built by using a partial amount of scrap metal from the decommissioned INS Vikrant warship.
In the second leg of the campaign, Bajaj V launched 'Invincible Indians: Stories that invoke pride every day' with an aim to uncover the stories of ordinary Indians who, by their sheer determination, perform extraordinary acts to serve society. Five digital films - 'Didi', 'The Iceman', 'Aagun Pakhi', 'Medicine Baba' and 'Ambulance Dada' - conceptualised and created by Leo Burnett, India, were released as part of the initiative. The films portrayed five 'Invincible Indian' awardees - Vijaylaxmi Sharma (who is leading a movement to eradicate child marriages in the villages of Rajasthan), Chewang Norphel (who created 15 artificial glaciers in Ladakh to solve the perennial water crisis and was also awarded the Padmashree in 2015), Bipin Ganatra (a man who rescued people from more than 100 fires in Kolkata and has been recognised as a volunteer fire-fighter by the Kolkata Fire Department), Omkar Nath Sharma (who travels across Delhi and NCR to collect medicines from people who no longer need them and distributes them to clinics and hospitals who serve the poor) and Karimul Haque (who converted his bike into an ambulance and offers a 24x7 ambulance service, free of cost.)
Now, the auto major has released its 'Postcards of Pride' film under the Invincible Indians series. Through this film the brand urges all Indians to spare a moment to remember over 22,000 brave Indian soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice in military actions since 1947 and display their respect through a small gesture of lighting a candle outside their home at 8.00 pm on Martyrs' Day, observed on March 23.
The film, 'Postcards of Pride', has been produced by the Publicis Groupe's in-house production division i.e. Prodigious. It captures the story of Jitendra Singh Gurjar, a Surat-based security guard, who has been writing postcards to martyrs' families for the past 19 years. So far, Jitendra has written letters to 4000 families. Through the film, Bajaj V attempts to convey a message to the citizens of India to come together on Martyrs' day to pay tribute to our fallen heroes.
"We feel that like 'Medicine Baba', 'Ambulance dada' and others, Jitender Singh Gurjar is also a true Invincible Indian and hope that his story will inspire millions of Indians to do their bit to pay tribute to our Martyrs," says Sumeet Narang, vice-president, marketing (Motorcycles) at Bajaj Auto.
We asked Narang that once a campaign becomes a hit, how the brand decides the frequency of the creative rendition of it.
"We always try and go for campaign ideas that are deeply connected with the brand and customer insights. When we get that right, freshness does not become an issue. Stories of solidarity and pride have been relevant in our country for thousands of years. We look for topicality in our executions and not communication strategies," says Narang.
But finding/ identifying these unsung heroes is an uphill task and a very rigorous process as it's not something that can be googled. Hence, while some stories are crowdsourced, most are found through very tedious desk research that the brand and agency conduct.
"After generating a shortlist, we prune it further by evaluating stories on their uniqueness, impact on beneficiaries and ability to inspire others. We then contact the nominees to get a first-hand idea of the kind of work they are doing. We are very proud of the fact that two of our 'Invincible Indians' went on to be recognised through the Padmashri Awards. It's a great testimony to their work and our search process," informs Narang.
The brand has released over 10 films in the past 15 months and some have gone viral all across the globe. "Having launched the platform, we now develop a new film if either an extremely compelling story comes along or there is an occasion that demands national pride to be invoked," says Narang.
Bajaj Auto Team
Dy. General Manager, Marketing - Soumya Das
Manager Marketing- Ashish Ohlyan
Creative agency credits
Creative agency: Leo Burnett India
CEO, Publicis Communications and Leo Burnett, South Asia: Saurabh Varma
Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett South Asia: Rajdeepak Das
Executive Creative Directors: Prajato Guha Thakurta, Sachin Kamble
Senior Creative Director: Kevin Lobo, Vikrant Yadav
Art Director: Deepak Jage, Vikrant Wadkar
Copy Director: Vivek Unnikrishnan, Piyush Jaiswal
Executive Vice President: Sanju Menon
Vice President: Rajiv Wadhwa
Brand Associate:Shreya Bhalla, Amol Borkar
Digital agency credits
Digital Agency: Indigo Consulting
Client Servicing Director: Reuben Borah
Senior Account Director: Chaitanya Shah,
Associate Creative Director: Sacchidanand Chavan
Copy Supervisor: Ralston Dsouza
Production house credits
Production House: Prodigious
Head of Prodigious: Vandana Watsa
Senior Producer: Akshay Multani
Associate Producer: Brendon Benjamin
Post Producer: Sajid Shaikh
Directors: Kevin Lobo, Vikrant Yadav