Mid Day campaign celebrates Mumbai's transition

By , agencyfaqs! | In | June 21, 2004
On the occasion of its twenty-fifth anniversary, Mumbai-based Mid Day's advertising aims to capture the change that Mumbai has witnessed over the last 25 years

Twenty-five years is a long time by any standard. And much can - and does - transpire in a span of 25 years. But the evolution that a teeming metropolis undergoes in that timeframe is particularly striking, especially when the city in question happens to be Mumbai. And that evolution and progress is what the latest multi-media campaign for Mumbai-based daily Mid Day aims to capture on the occasion of the newspaper brand completing its twenty-fifth anniversary this month.

The silver jubilee campaign, centered at the theme 'Mumbai on the move', comprises a nine-ad print campaign, three radio spots and three television commercials, apart from outdoor advertising. The focus of the campaign is the change that the city has witnessed since the time Mid Day started, and uses some typical city-specific imagery to track this evolution. So, for instance, one of the print ads has the 'dated' visual of a group of boys playing a game of seven tiles. 'Bowling Alley, circa 1979,' the copy reads. Another has the visual of the insides of a taxi, a small fan sitting primly on the dashboard. 'Cool cab, circa 1979,' is the explanatory copy. (A relatively recent phenomenon, cool cabs are, for those unfamiliar with Mumbai, a fleet of air-conditioned taxis that ply in the city.)

However, the most interesting print ad in the series has the visual of one of Mumbai's suburban rail terminuses, with trains coming and leaving the station. 'Mid day, circa 1978,' says the copy. A closer look at the visual shows a clock hanging over the platform, it's hands joined at twelve noon. A clever little twist to the significance of Mid Day in the average Mumbaikar's life.

Through the use of the split-screen technique, the three television commercials also reflect the changes that Mumbai has seen over the last 25 years. The first film, for instance, is about the change in the portrayal of romance in Bollywood. While a T-shirt and white trouser-clad gent and a buxom lady in a shocking pink dress do a bizarre hip-hop in a flower garden on one side of the screen, a bare-bodied stud romances a svelte girl in a short black satin dress on the other. While jhatkas and matkas abound in the garden, sensuality smoulders amidst burning candles in the other frame. The two pairs of amorous lovers close in for a kiss. The camera on the left focuses on two silly-looking flowers, while the camera on the right watches the smooch… 'Bollywood 1979, Bollywood 2004,' the super explains.

The second film is about a dabbawalla and a waiter in a downtown restaurant (on two sides of the split-screen). Both are focused on delivering food, and the camera follows their progress from the kitchen to the table. As the dabbawalla plunks a battered dabba on one table, the waiter gently sets a jumbo burger down on another table… 'Fast Food 1979, Fast Food 2004,' the super explains. The third film is about the 'Laptop in 1979' (a girl seated on a guy's lap in a quiet corner of a park) and the 'Laptop in 2004' (well, a notebook seated on a guy's lap in a corporate park).

Speaking about the campaign, Raj Nair, associate vice-president - creative, Contract Advertising, explains that the idea was to communicate Mid Day twenty-fifth anniversary, without being overt about it. "The key message wasn't to be the amazing graph of Mid Day over the last 25 years," he says. However, Mid Day is and always has been quintessentially Mumbai. That, in a nutshell, was the brief given to us by the client."

The creative idea that the agency hit upon was to demonstrate 'Mumbai on the move' over the last 25 years - through the eyes of Mid Day. "Mid Day is synonymous with Mumbai, and the brand's proposition has been 'We deliver Mumbai'," explains Suresh Balaji, associate account director, Contract Advertising. "Now, over the past 25 years, nothing has changed as dramatically as Mumbai, and no other paper has tracked and mirrored this change the way Mid Day has. So 'Mumbai on the move' is something that only Mid Day can lay a claim to. Knowing no one else can own this platform, we decided to appropriate it for Mid Day."

The focus of the creative execution was to capture the change in the city through typical Mumbai imagery. "We wanted to convey the flavour of Mumbai from 1979 in a way that brought a smile to the faces of people who have seen all this change," says Niranjan Kaushik, creative director, Contract Advertising. Nair adds, "If you look at the accoutrements that sum up today's living in Mumbai, and turn them around to the significance the same words had 25 years back, you really get a sense of how much the city and its people have traveled. That was the idea here."

Interestingly, the idea here is not so much to capture the spirit of the city as it is to capture the progress and pace of change. "If we had taken the 'spirit of Mumbai' route, the idea would have been limited to Mumbai as it is today, for the spirit is current," explains Shaista Lulla, account group head at the agency. "The idea was to celebrate 25 years, so we had to find a route that single-mindedly tracked the progress of the city."

The Team:
Creative : Raj Nair, Niranjan Kaushik, Ramamurthy S, Padma Malegaonkar, Ashutosh Karkhanis, Bina, Manjula
Account Management/Planning : Rajiv Sabnis, Abhijeet Pradhan, Shaista Lulla, Padma Priya
Production House : Film Farm
Filmmaker : Rajesh Devraj
Music : Rupert
Photographer : Shekhar Supari © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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