NDTV Media, a subsidiary of NDTV, is inviting advertising agencies to participate in the NDTV India Cast Your Vote film contest, wherein agencies have to create a 30-second public service commercial that 'will convince people to get out of the comfort of their easy chairs and perform their civic duty of voting'. The commercial, which has to be on a Beta format, could be in either Hindi or English. Although the last date for submission of entries was March 10, NDTV Media, at the behest of creative and agency heads, has decided to extend the deadline to March 18.
Shaking the voter out of his lethargy should, by itself, present a juicy challenge for ad folk, but three agencies that manage doing this in the most effective manner will have the satisfaction of seeing their respective entries on air on NDTV India and NDTV 24x7 during the course of forthcoming elections. And to top it all, the best entry will make it to leading international advertising award shows such as Cannes and the One Show, with NDTV Media footing the submission fee. The best entry would also get a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh.
Speaking about the rationale behind the creation of the NDTV India Cast Your Vote property, Raj Nayak, CEO, NDTV Media, says, "The marketing rationale was to use an opportunity to create a buzz among creative people in advertising agencies, and get the best minds in the industry to work on a public service television spot that will get people to the polling booths. The key issue here is that since there is no specific brief from the client, there is no restriction on creativity. Simply put, we wanted to create an ad that will be effective, and in the bargain, also win an award. Most award-winning ads are not necessarily effective." However, Nayak adds that the real motivation for the contest came from NDTV's sense of social responsibility. "As a responsible news broadcaster, we would have anyway created a promo to educate the viewer on the importance of exercising his franchise, and getting him to go out and vote," he explains.
Explaining the reason for promoting the contest under the NDTV India banner Nayak says, "We had to choose between the two channels, and we chose to go with NDTV India because it is still the No 2 Hindi News channel, and therefore, needs greater push, unlike NDTV 24 x7, which is already the No 1 English news channel. This, however, does not mean the chosen commercials will not air on NDTV 24x7. The chosen commercials will be telecast on both channels." For the record, till yesterday, 104 entries had been received, and the shortlisting begins next week. © 2004 agencyfaqs!