Devesh Gupta

Mumbai Mirror Thanks The Baddies

The English daily's new campaign thanks the 'unwanted' elements of society for hating the publication for its fearless journalism.

'I am Mumbai' went the chant when BCCL's English daily 'Mumbai Mirror' kicked off a campaign in 2011. The film showed real life stories of people protesting about issues on the streets of Mumbai and how the publication took their voice to the people.

Mumbai Mirror Thanks The Baddies
Mumbai Mirror Thanks The Baddies
Three years on, the brand has again launched a campaign with the same brand positioning but this time the stories are of people that society has labelled as unwanted elements or, more commonly, anti-social elements. Designed by Taproot, the film showcases four situations where these unwanted elements are brought to justice because of fearless reporting by the newspaper.

The first situation is of local street thugs who indulge in molestation, eve teasing and cat calling; the second one showcases a doctor whose organ-selling racket is busted by the newspaper; the third is of a lady whose prostitution racket is exposed and the last one is of a building contractor who gets penalized for a job not done well.

In each of the situations, the affected people defend themselves by saying that it is absolutely normal to do what they were doing and blame the Mumbai Mirror's reporters for their losses. The film ends by the protagonists saying that 'I am not Mumbai'. The film ends with shots of the paper burning and captions that say, 'Hated by Some. Every Morning. Thankfully.'

Reverse logic

The insight behind the campaign is that, in India, the criminals and the corrupt do what they want to do with impunity and get away with it too. However, the average citizen is impatient to bring an end to this. The film showcases these bad elements in society being finally brought to book, thanks to the Mumbai Mirror.

Mumbai Mirror Thanks The Baddies
Speaking about the campaign, Rahul Kansal, executive director, BCCL, says, "This film is actually saying the same thing as the first film, fundamentally. However, it has inverted the prism through which the story is being told. The last time around, we showed it from the point of view of the citizen, who had been hurt by the system and was fighting back. Now we are showing it from the point of the 'baddies', who are running scared. The brief to Taproot was to continue to portray Mumbai Mirror as a fearless voice of the common citizen of Mumbai."

The campaign video, which is on YouTube, is also being promoted via social media handles of Mumbai Mirror and other verticals. It will be shown in theatres such as PVR, Inox, Fun and Big Cinemas as well as on television networks such as the Times Group channels, Aajtak, ABP News and UTV Movies.

Industry speak

Mumbai Mirror Thanks The Baddies
Mumbai Mirror Thanks The Baddies
Aditya Jaishankar, Percept/H's national planning head, says, "I think this a unique way of creating love for the brand by bringing alive what those who hate the brand feel about it. It is one-of-a-kind where hatred is a sign of how popular the brand is. It will enjoy high recall value. Each of the dialogues in the ad strikes you with its gravitas."

Chraneeta Mann, national creative director, regional, Rediffusion Y&R, says, "The film is a dramatic shift from highlighting the truth-seekers of Mumbai to using the voice of the fairly pronounced underbelly of the city to drive the point home."

Jaishankar says that the positioning - rather the overall thought - could be "hated by wrong doers". "This positioning is important because a newspaper that stands up for what is right will always have a few haters. In fact, hatred is a sign of Mumbai Mirror never falling back in its pursuit of eliminating the ills of our society. It indicates that the brand stands up for welfare of Mumbaikars and does not tolerate any injustice. Full marks to the ad, but it could have been shorter," he adds.

Mann adds that everything - from the cinematic grittiness of the film to the cast and the music - contributes towards making a film that's dark enough to make you stand up and take notice. "What's interesting is that the film does not talk of the discerning reader, or the brave whistleblower, or the journalist going beyond the line of duty, but brings out the impact by focusing on those who have reason to fear the truth. It is a powerful reinvention of the same message though," adds Mann.

Have news to share? Write to us