Aishwarya Ramesh

Rediffusion's campaign highlights plight of migrant workers during COVID-19

A little sensitivity can go a long way in times like these, claims Rahul Jauhari, CCO of Rediffusion, which has created ads for the Free Press Journal.

Of all the people who have been forced to practice social distancing due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the migrant workers have been hit the hardest. Most of them have been displaced, and have no source of livelihood.

Although the government had promised to help 800 million poor people, there are claims now that they have been left to fend for themselves. There have been protests in different parts of India in the aftermath of Prime Minister Narendra Modi extending the nationwide lockdown till May 3.

The Free Press Journal (FPJ) has now teamed up with Rediffusion for three full-page ads as part of a public awareness initiative. The first ad was published on April 14, and the others are expected to be published in the coming days.

In a conversation with afaqs!, Rahul Jauhari, chief creative officer at Rediffusion, says that this is the agency's attempt to speak on behalf of those who may not be able to express their grief. "These are challenging times for all of us, across all sections of the society. Most brand communication today focuses on hand-washing, social distancing and self-isolation. As privileged people, most of us are consuming a lot of communication on how to keep busy at home, how to practice social distancing and how to practice hygiene. We do not realise that these can have a lot of consequences for those who may not be able to access a meal, or may not be able to practice social distancing," says Jauhari.

Rahul Jauhari
Rahul Jauhari

"We were told there is space available in the Free Press Journal to communicate on the issue, and if we wanted to add our voice to it. We felt we had the chance to speak on behalf of those who normally don’t reckon as target audience for most brands. The ones who struggle for a meal, or a roof, let alone hygiene. And if we could remind people that there are many whose needs are far more basic and human than ours, then we could try and make a difference. This may be a drop in the ocean, but for us at the agency, this is from the heart," says Jauhari, adding that this is a pro bono effort.