Ashee Sharma

CenturyPly Heroes: Celebrating the unsung heroes

Through its 'CenturyPly Heroes' campaign, the brand aims to pay tribute to the carpenters behind the scenes at Bengal's Durga Puja and at the same time evolve from being a commodity to a consumer brand.

Durga Puja brings with it a host of celebrations and rejoicings. But somewhere amidst the festivities are lost many untold stories. One among them is that of the pandal makers, the carpenters from rural Bengal, who far away from their homes and families for months, toil to make the festive season memorable for all.

Awards are not recognition enough for their efforts. To acknowledge and appreciate those who work behind the scenes, CenturyPly rolled out a campaign, 'CenturyPly Heroes', last year. What started as a simple activity of reuniting the pandal makers with their families, has today become a cause and a matter of pride for CenturyPly, informs Amit Gope, group marketing head, Century Plyboards.

CenturyPly Heroes: Celebrating the unsung heroes
CenturyPly Heroes: Celebrating the unsung heroes
On the rationale behind the campaign, Gope says, "There was an obvious brand connect with the carpenters since they are the people who actually work with our products. For us, this was a perfect tribute to their artistic skills which come to the fore during this festival."

As part of the initiative in 2014, CenturyPly planned a surprise reunion for the pandal makers and their families where the latter were brought from rural areas to Kolkata during the puja. Taking the campaign a step forward this year, CenturyPly appealed to 200 puja pandals through 'Smoke Free Pujo' to nominate one of their carpenters for the campaign. Three carpenters among these 200 nominations were chosen and their inspiring stories were told through a video uploaded on YouTube as 'CenturyPlyHeroes 2015'.

The campaign commenced on October 12 and will run across digital, print, radio and outdoor mediums until October 27.

On the challenges faced during executing the activity, Gope says, "Last year, the challenge was to make the carpenters' families confide in us. This time we had to make sure that we pick the three most inspiring stories without being unfair to the rest."

The three 'CenturyPly Heroes' chosen from the 200 nominations this year are Naren Halder, Mangal Panja and Lalit Biswas. Haldar, who is the sole earning member of the family, has three daughters and his wife is a heart patient. The company will reward him by paying for his daughters' education as long as they want to study. Panja will receive free blood transfusion for lifetime for his seven year old son who is a thalassemia patient. Biswas hails from a flood prone area in Nadia. When he comes to the city for work during Durga puja he is always worried about his mud house getting washed away. Biswas will be given insurance policies worth 3 to 4 lakhs.

CenturyPly Heroes: Celebrating the unsung heroes
Speaking about the business objective of the campaign, Gope shares, "With this campaign, we want to build an affinity between the consumers and our brands. Like with Asain Paints, this is our journey from being a commodity to a consumer brand."
CenturyPly Heroes: Celebrating the unsung heroes
Gope further adds, "During the Puja and other festivities the pandals are over-crowded and it is difficult to grab viewers' attention through traditional outdoor advertising. A campaign like 'CenturyPly Heroes' will not only help us to reach the right audience, it will also build an emotional connect with them".
CenturyPly Heroes: Celebrating the unsung heroes
CenturyPly has been involved in aggressive brand building lately, with
being launched in quick succession as well as a rapid proliferation of branding at the retail level.

Century Plyboards India (CPIL) which claims to be the first ISO 9002 Company in India for plywood and veneer, started its operations in 1986. The company was formed by Sajjan Bhajanka and Sanjay Agarwal. CPIL also received ISO 14001 Certification in 2004. With manufacturing units in Kolkata, Chennai, Guwahati, Karnal, Kandla, Myanmar and Laos, the company currently produces the entire range of commercial, marine, shuttering and decorative plywood. Other products include laminates, veneers, doors, MDF, prelam, faceveneers, exteria exterior laminates, nesta furniture and modular kitchens.

'Construction World', a business journal, has adjudged Century Plyboards India as "the Fastest Growing Company with the Highest Turnover" five times, for the years 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. It also featured in the SuperBrands India Top 500 in 2015, and the top 100 list published by Dunn & Bradstreet for 2014-'15.