Free Press Journal displayed ads from Bang In The Middle, Havas Group, Laqshya, Publicis, Rediffusion, RK Swamy BBDO, Scarecrow M&C Saatchi and Wunderman Thompson.
These are testing times for everyone. During such times, people usually turn to creativity for much-needed solace. The Free Press Journal (FPJ) and Mogae Media recently joined hand to conceptualise the ‘Social Communication Initiative’. Eight Indian ad agencies worked together to make this possible.
FPJ and Mogae Media called upon some of the country’s best known creative agencies to create ad campaigns on the current Coronavirus crisis and related social issues. Every campaign’s ad was to be in full-page size. The agencies were allowed to choose their own themes related to the pandemic and create what they wanted the world to see.
Creative minds from the eight agencies, including Bang In The Middle, Havas Group, Laqshya, Publicis, Rediffusion, RK Swamy BBDO, Scarecrow M&C Saatchi and Wunderman Thompson, delivered a total of 10 campaigns. Each of them focused on different social aspects of the crisis. The print ads were given prominent display in FPJ. The ads featured either on the jacket, or on a full page of the newspaper.
Abhishek Karnani, director, FPJ, commented, "We as a newspaper aspire to actively engage with our readers. One way of doing so was to run these advertisements from these creative agencies. Through this, we have sought to communicate messages of hope and tenacity – so vital during this lockdown period. Subtle yet strong messages were wonderfully crafted and conveyed by these agencies. We are thankful to them. And, special thanks to Mogae Media, which conceptualised this entire campaign."
Dr Sandeep Goyal, a media veteran and chairman, Mogae Media, added, "Abhishek Karnani and FPJ are large-hearted to give their media space for communicating messages of societal good. The agencies, too, gave us their talent and time without demur. I also noticed that despite full page sizes on offer, the copy was minimal. Obviously, faith in long copy has waned!"
“They say a newspaper is a one-way broadcast medium, but our creative team took up the challenge of making the newspaper interactive! The ads encouraged readers to get together with their families and have a bit of fun in this otherwise grim lockdown period,” says Nakul Jambotkar, associate VP, Wunderman Thompson.
“The FPJ initiative gave us an opportunity to say what we strongly felt on this issue. It was from our heart. What was more rewarding was that a number of established NGOs and voluntary groups saw the work and reached out to us for using the creatives for their mission. We are now helping some of them with lockdown-related communication. So in some sense, one led to the other. We are happy to have made a little contribution in these trying times,” mentions Rahul Jauhari, joint president, Rediffusion.
“This initiative allowed the creative community to freely express themselves about various aspects of the pandemic. It allowed the creatives the use of the print medium, which is a dying art. I hope they extend it to other public causes as well from time to time,” writes Ajay Gahlaut, chief creative Officer and MD, Publicis.
“It was a lovely initiative by FPJ and Mogae. In the general mood of anxiety and disquiet, this initiative worked as a wonderful gloom-breaker and a motivator for the agency team as a whole... Further, the consistency of the program over a period of time really pushed the positive messages through to all the readers,” says Sangeeta Swamy, president and NCD at RK Swamy BBDO.
“This initiative allowed us to express our thoughts, a point of view through the creative medium. I know the teams were genuinely excited and had so many ideas they wanted to share. Finally, we had two routes we managed to create among the many,” says Rana Barua, group CEO, Havas.
“Given the atmosphere around us currently, we are only seeing negative news across all media. In this backdrop, this initiative by FPJ and Mogae Media was like a bright spot. It was really a fun way to spread awareness about the virus and our responsibility to fight it,” says Arunava Joy Sengupta, founder director, Scarecrow M&C Saatchi.
“When FPJ reached out to us to create a series of ads on the issue of the Coronavirus, we knew this would be a challenging brief. The debate internally was around both the subject and the way to say it. We stuck to the normal practices of personal hygiene, mask and social distancing. We have all three in a visual twist to grab attention,” says Naresh Gupta, CSO & managing partner of Bang In The Middle.
“Very few media owners have a large heart and the guts to donate a considerable amount of space for a social cause. Kudos to Abhishek Karnani and the Free Press Journal for showcasing the creative work done by various agencies addressing the current crisis,” says Sai Nagesh, chief strategy officer, Laqshya Media.