Aishwarya Ramesh
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Percept's new pro bono ads pay tribute to policemen, ground workers

The films aim to highlight the sacrifices the ground forces, Mumbai Police and Pune Police personnel have to make to safeguard citizens.

The newest entrant in the long list of agencies paying tribute to Coronavirus warriors, is Percept. The agency is undertaking a series of pro bono public service communication campaigns for government agencies across the country. A press release states that the objective of the films is to create public awareness on the importance of social distancing, and to ensure that citizens follow the 'stay at home’ rules, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the country.

The first film for Mumbai Police is titled 'Mumbai First…Together We Can'. It was launched on March 30, 2020 on Mumbai Police's official social media handles. The film's about instilling confidence in Mumbaikars that Mumbai Police is committed to their safety. The campaign emphasised that Mumbai can only win the COVID-19 battle collectively by following rules. It also says that the city's massive infrastructure will function seamlessly during lockdown, due to the sacrifice, dedication and tireless efforts of Mumbai Police.

The second film for Pune Police is titled 'Stay Home, Stay Safe... Together We Can'. It is meant to highlight the dedication, commitment and service of Pune Police personnel to the city. It urges Punekars to abide by the rules to ensure that the multiple precautionary measures installed and implemented during the pandemic are successful.

Percept has also joined hands with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) and Kumar Properties to create an emotive Hindi film, titled 'Hum gharpe surakshit hai kyon ke kuch log apna farz din raat nibhate hai'. The film focuses on the selfless efforts of the PMC and PCB workers against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The film also acknowledges the efforts of all the doctors, medical staff, sanitation workers, water and electricity supply departments, fire brigade units, and all the other visible and invisible ‘karmacharis’ (service providers)

A senior Percept official says, “It is vital for the citizens to understand the gravity of the current situation, and maintain faith and confidence that the government is doing everything possible to safeguard them from the threat of COVID-19. The government agencies have been putting in extraordinary efforts towards ensuring that citizens remain safe. It is important that their efforts be recognised and communicated to the citizens. As a member of the media fraternity, it is our duty to create public awareness and drive home the message on the importance of social distancing, and maintaining the 'stay at home’ directive.”

Percept has also conceptualised and produced a film for smartphone brand OPPO, titled ‘Stronger With Hope’. The OPPO CSR initiative thanked the frontline warriors for their courage, strength, resilience and efforts to keep all citizens safe during this difficult time.

Percept is currently working on multiple CSR films and campaigns for the government. A work-in-progress film for Nashik Police is focused on appeals for social distancing, while another film for the Pune Collector highlights the diligent and assiduous efforts of the frontline doctors and healthcare staff. These films will roll out across digital media platforms in the coming week.

Commenting on the campaign, Titus Upputuru - creative head, Taproot Dentsu, Gurgaon, and national creative director, Dentsu One, says that this type of messaging is important, given the circumstances. “I guess asking people to stay at home is the need of the hour. It’s a very important message to send out to public at large. As also to salute these modern day warriors, who are working day in and day out in hospitals, police stations, chemist shops, etc. But I believe the most urgent issue to address right now is mental health," he says.

Titus Upputuru
Titus Upputuru

He adds that the lockdown has resulted in an unbelievable rise in violence against women and children, and that this is a cause that needs to be addressed urgently and swiftly... "It’s important to convey that we must follow peace and, as men, be co-partners in looking after our homes and bear with the situation. We are all in it together. There’s no reason why we should lose our equilibrium just because we have to stay at our homes. It’s time to be peaceful, patient and helpful. I can’t imagine the plight of women who are locked down with violent men. It’s really disheartening and shocking. We must do all we can to check on the well-being of our sisters, mothers, nephews and nieces...,” Upputuru signs off.