It was not so long ago that Manmohan 'Mac' Anchan, creative director, O&M, Bangalore, was enjoying a quiet evening sitting at Koshy's restaurant in Bangalore when a colleague's seemingly harmless comment planted an idea in his head.
His friend said Bangalore was "still" one of the better places to live in compared with other big cities in India. "Still." The word kept ringing in his head.
Things are obviously not the same as before. Bangalore has lost much of its earlier charm. Pollution, filth, the vices of big city life was catching up with it. Mac, however, is not one to sit and watch. He decided to go ahead and do something about it. Thus was born the massive "I love Bangalore" print and outdoor campaign, which was released earlier this month. The agency has roped in The New Indian Express in support of the cause. "We are committed to the betterment of the city and we will put in all possible efforts," says Shantanu Datta, editor, Karnataka, The New Indian Express. This partnership has meant a regular half-page ad every Monday in the city supplement of the newspaper called City Express.
The Bangalore campaign invites readers to send in photographs of the city that would be released as an ad for this campaign. This effort, which started in print, now covers outdoor as well, and one can see big billboards at most prominent locations of the city that have been devised from reader contributions. "We have got private hoarding contractors to sponsor our outdoor efforts; but eventually we hope that some corporate will take up this noble cause," says Prateek Srivastava, vice-president, O&M, Bangalore.
That should not be too difficult for a city that has had very high level of private sponsorship and initiative in such efforts. For instance, the Bangalore Agenda Task Force launched by the city administration some time back has been one of the more successful efforts to combine both state and private sponsorship efforts. As part of this drive, roads, parks and other public spots have been adopted by corporates for maintenance and beautification.
"Such a trend is heartening and the response for the 'I Love Bangalore' campaign has been overwhelming," says Datta. Some of the pictures posted by the participants are enough to make the local people and authorities sit up and take notice. For instance, there is this shot of private vehicles parked in a "no-parking" zone near MES Inspection Bunglow. Then there was this shot of an overflowing garbage can, which reportedly forced the municipal authorities to swing into action. "Next day on, there were no vehicles outside the bunglow and the bin was clean," says Mac. Other pictures showing people jumping traffic lights, or answering the call of nature in public places have also driven home the message hard.
Clearly, the campaign is off to a great start. Needless to say, a lot will depend on private sponsorship efforts to take this campaign forward. © 2002 agencyfaqs!