Aishwarya Ramesh

Lintas campaign attempts to paint BMC in a new light…

The campaign tells the story of two BMC workers in an attempt to humanise them.

Mumbai is famously known as the city that never sleeps - but few stop to wonder about the infrastructure that helps it stay awake. As the governing civic body of Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is responsible for civic infrastructure and administration of the city and some of its suburbs. Through its latest campaign, conceptualised by Lowe Lintas Mumbai, the municipal body aims to highlight how its efforts contribute to Mumbai’s welfare. The main objective of the campaign seems to be an exercise in image building, since the BMC has garnered some criticism over Mumbai’s infrastructural issues over the years.

Lowe Lintas has crafted a campaign that aims to build a positive perception about the BMC and help reinforce trust in the civic body, while highlighting the magnitude of the work that it has been doing for Mumbai. The agency uses emotional storytelling to encourage behavioral change and prompt citizens to take ownership for their own actions by not littering or wasting water.

Talking about the multi-film campaign, Anaheeta Goenka, president, Lowe Lintas, says, “It was an interesting task from a perspective of discovery, about the BMC. But the best way to approach it was by being authentic and honest, as “restless Mumbai” needs “restless Mumbaikars” to keep it going. Real truths were unearthed and real stories told.”

Commenting on the campaign, Sagar Kapoor, chief creative officer, Lowe Lintas, says, “We had the most unique briefing sessions on BMC. We were just asked to send our team to key BMC operational zones and observe. To meet the BMC staff and observe them. Our team came back all inspired ready to fire with stories that were true and tugging at the heart. We just learned one fact. These people do not just see their work as a service, they truly love Mumbai. Hence, we captured real people with real stories. A special mention to our team at LinProductions and our directors who also are a part of the writing and conceptualising creative team at Lowe Lintas Mumbai."

The multi-film campaign that highlights the efforts of the BMC’s departments is live across online and offline media. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is expected to release the other films shortly.

Experts Speak

MG Parameswaran or Ambi as he's fondly called, thinks it's a good attempt by the agency to humanise the corporation. "Very few municipal corporations even take part in such brand building operations. It's a good stance to take when a company doesn't directly call itself good, but claims to have good people working for it," he says.

MG Parameswaran (Ambi)
MG Parameswaran (Ambi)

"It's an open secret that the BMC is a very wealthy corporation. Unfortunately, most of its money tends to be mismanaged and it has a bad reputation with the citizens for that. This could be the BMC's way of attempting to change how people perceive them. The point of this campaign isn't necessarily to prompt people to be better citizens, it's primarily to change the image of the BMC that people have in their minds," he states.

Navonil Chatterjee, chief strategy officer at Rediffusion, finds the campaign paradoxical and called it 'Janus-faced'. "What I like about the creative rendition and what I don't like about this 'image-building' exercise, is the one and the same thing - AUTHENTICITY - or the lack of it. On the one hand, the story telling is emotive and very real with what I assume are real life people being used in the films, and that's the part I really like. Real heroes don't come dressed in super-hero gear and with superpowers, but they still need to be acknowledged and that's what touches a chord with me," he states. On the other hand, Chatterjee points out that he finds this entire image building exercise very fake, because despite being the richest municipal corporation, Mumbaikars struggle on a daily basis.

Navonil Chatterjee
Navonil Chatterjee

"There is hardly any respite or real improvement there. Effort is great and should be lauded, but what matters far more for tax paying citizens is the result, and you can't fake that," says Chatterjee. He speculates that the purpose of this communication is to present the human face of the BMC, to build bridges, in a manner of speaking. "I'm not convinced that behaviour change is a key deliverable for this campaign. It may be a good-to-have, but not a must-have. Empathy is key here, not action," he signs off.

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