Namah Chawla

Ghadi’s COVID vaccine awareness spot draws parallel with India’s polio fight

A chat with Nakul Sharma, VP and ECD, ADK Fortune Communications, about the campaign.

India launched the world’s largest COVID vaccination drive on January 16, 2021. But soon, there was a lot of vaccine hesitancy and misinformation.

Now, Ghadi Detergent has created an ad film to tackle misinformation and rumours around the vaccine. The campaign, titled #TeekaUmeedKa, aims to tackle vaccine hesitancy in rural parts of the country.

The film has been scripted and executed by ADK Fortune Communications, a WPP company and part of Wunderman Thompson South Asia Group.

Commenting on the campaign, Rahul Gyanchandani, joint managing director of Kanpur-based RSPL that manufactures Ghadi Detergent powder, said in a press note, “....The pandemic is a challenge like no other for each one of us. With this campaign, our attempt is to convince people that vaccination is the only way to a brighter future.”

Speaking to afaqs!, Nakul Sharma, vice president and executive creative director, ADK Fortune Communications, says that the brief for the campaign was simple. It was to tackle vaccine hesitancy, which is going to be a big problem in the days to come. “Ignorance, or no information, is making it worse in the rural areas. We put our might behind a campaign that tackles this problem head-on.”

The problem India faced with Polio was the unavailability of vaccine and also the reluctance of rural mothers to walk up to the vaccination camps set up by the government. As a means to combat the same and appeal to a wider population, actor Amitabh Bachchan was roped in as the brand ambassador for the Polio Eradication Campaign in 2002. Soon after the advertisement was aired, mothers started thronging Pulse Polio camps in all of rural India.

On drawing a parallel between COVID and the country’s fight against polio, he informs, “From the beginning, we were sure that preaching, or flooding the viewer with facts concerning vaccination, will not do. We decided to use an example like polio, as it is part of our collective memory. Misinformation and lack of awareness about the polio vaccine had impacted our population way back then as well. The comparison was hard-hitting and the similarities were uncanny. It is precisely why the commercial has grabbed eyeballs.”

Nakul Sharma
Nakul Sharma

Both the brand and the agency’s teams were confident about this campaign, and there was no back and forth. Once the agency hit upon the idea, it got the go ahead from Ghadi’s team almost immediately.

Sharma adds, “There was no apprehension, as our goal was to be honest and hard-hitting. And to tackle vaccine hesitancy through a story that the whole of India could relate to. During the brainstorming, we all felt a strong stirring of hope as well. We, as a nation, overcame the polio crisis and we believe the same will happen against our battle with this pandemic.”

According to him, it is rural India that will decide whether we win this battle against the virus, or not. “Our belief is that we needed a real-life conversation starter to try and convince rural India that vaccines are the only way out. We hope that our honest effort has made an impact and convinced many more to take the jab.”

Industry review:

Anupama Ramaswamy, national creative director, Dentsu Impact says that it is a very simple and beautiful ad. “The fact that the comparison was done with polio is a great insight.”

Anupama Ramaswamy
Anupama Ramaswamy

Ramaswamy highlights, “The fake news and fear generated against vaccination in smaller towns and villages is for real. People actually believe that getting vaccinated is not good and can be fatal. Such a communication coming from brands is fantastic.”

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