Abid Hussain Barlaskar

Heartwarming story of migrant labourers from Rajasthan town makes it to Birla White’s ad

The true story about migrant labourers renovating and painting a school in a small town called Palsana in Sikar, Rajasthan, was replicated in a Birla White commercial.

Almost a month back, a small town school in Rajasthan made national news when labourers quarantined in its building decided to give it a facelift. The 54 labourers were among million others who're struggling to return to their hometowns from various cities amidst the national lockdown. This true story from Palsana town in Sikar, Rajasthan, was replicated in a Birla White commercial. Birla White is a wall care brand that sells products like white cement, wall care putty, etc. The film has been conceived, produced and promoted by AutumnGrey, the agency that manages the integrated marketing mandate for Birla White.

The labourers were asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days in the government school, though none of them had tested positive for the Coronavirus. With the hygienic conditions around and food being provided to them, the stranded labourers decided it was time for them to give something back to the town. They decided to give the entire school a makeover by repairing and painting it. The labourers were skilled in painting, house building and renovation – a community most important for Birla White. They discussed this with the school authorities. The school, along with the locals, chipped in with paints and other materials required for the makeover.

“When this story was pitched, Abhijeet Kumar, VP - marketing, Birla White, and the entire brand marketing team were all excited and gave us an instant go ahead to start the production of the film,” says Bodh Deb, VP and branch head, AutumnGrey.

Conversations were initiated with the school authorities through a local contact for securing permissions and scheduling a shoot. The set and the backdrop is the school itself, with the labourers being the actual cast members. The video is a collection of dynamic images shot with a smartphone. The shoot was done keeping all possible safety precautions in mind. The film was promoted on the brand’s Facebook and YouTube profiles.

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