"We speak about issues that plague the nation": Sushant Dash on new Jaago Re ad
The latest film from the house of Tata Tea is an attempt to wake up to the issue of student suicides.
Tata tea has once again launched an ad campaign under the 'Alarm Bajne se Pehle Jaago Re' thought umbrella. The new film '#ItsOk' demonstrates how simple gestures can go a long way towards relieving the immense pressure that students undergo when it comes to performing well during exams. It highlights the pressing issue of depression and suicide among students and the need for parents to do something about it before it's too late.
In the year 2007, Tata Tea for the first time, introduced its iconic 'Jaago Re' campaign which created a strong impact in the minds of the viewers. Ever since, a number of ad films were launched under the campaign, focusing on various topics ranging from
. Earlier this year, the tea brand released the first TVC of 'Alarm Bajne Se Pehle Jaago Re', urging people to stop reacting after tragedies hit and instead start 'pre-acting' to prevent them from happening.
The digital film, conceptualised by Mullen Lintas, takes forward the conversation on 'pre-activism', and captures how every timely action works towards preventing a future tragedy. Part of the Jaago Re 2.0 campaign, the film is inspired from a report released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), which states that 8,934 students committed suicide in 2015. And this number doesn't even take into account the plethora of attempted suicides that go unreported.
"We've always spoken about issues which are plaguing the nation. Student depression and suicide is an increasingly relevant issue in India today as these students are the future of our country. Therefore, as a brand that rallies for behavioural change, we took the conscious decision to address this issue and showcase ways in which the simple gesture of saying '#ItsOk' to a student, can make a difference," says Sushant Dash, regional president - India, Tata Global Beverages.
Tata Tea claims to be India's largest packaged tea brand. Its website states that currently, one in every three Indian households consumes tea from the brand's extensive range of variants. With four national and three regional brands, Tata Tea keeps the diverse preferences of its consumers in mind, offering an eclectic range of flavours and tastes in its portfolio, which include Tata Tea Premium, Tata Tea Teaveda, Tata Tea Gold, Tata Tea Acti Green, Tata Tea Chakra Gold (South India), Tata Tea Kanan Devan (Karnataka), Tata Tea Gemini (Andhra Pradesh) and Tata Tea Agni.
"Our agenda for all our Jaago Re campaigns has been to address a pressing issue and to drive behavioural change. So far, our digital metrics suggest that it's resonating well with our consumers," says Dash adding, "The Jaago Re campaign was visualised for societal good while achieving business objectives... we are looking at more ad films to take this conversation forward."
For quite some time, Tata Tea has been doing stellar pieces of communication around the core brand thought of 'Jaago Re' to create social awakening around chronic societal issues. And being in a country mired with social evils, there won't be any dearth of topics for the brand to cover in the coming days. Therefore, societal and parental pressures leading to depression and even suicides amongst students makes a relevant subject. However, it's not the first time any brand has addressed this issue. Bournvita did a beautiful piece of communication on the same subject with the launch of their Almond flavoured drink - Badaam Booster, titled 'Tayyari Har Exam ki.' Similarly, Mirinda recently got teens to write candid open letters to their parents for its '#ReleaseThePressure' campaign. So in that sense, it's not a very fresh topic to begin with.
Also, societal evils have become the holiest of the holy cows for brands to create clutter breaking communication. Of late, it has been kind of a trend for brands to be the voice of society and create awareness about societal prejudices/injustice from Idea Cellular
. The problem is, after a point of time not only does it start looking preachy, but even shallow because these brands are not doing much to mitigate the issues, they are only capitalising the issue to sell products.
So we asked Shriram Iyer - national creative director, Mullen Lintas, "What gave you the confidence to take up this subject as a theme?"
"We know that the youth of today are under tremendous pressure to deliver when it comes to education. So much pressure that sometimes they tend to break down mentally. We also sadly hear or read in the papers about kids committing suicide every year come exam/results time. This realisation made us feel that we must talk to the parents because as parents, it is important to be cognizant of the pressure and help them ease it. A simple act by the parents can help kids deal with the fear of failure before the results come out," says Iyer.
"The idea of the campaign is to 'awaken people' towards their responsibilities. 'Jaago Re' struck a chord with the people and we have seen how positively they have reacted and are open to making an actionable change," Iyer adds.
Making an Impact?
When a catchphrase/tagline works, brands typically slice it many ways and come up with more and more renditions of it. Tata Tea has been doing this with 'Jaago Re'. So we asked the experts "Doesn't this ad dilute the original (anti-corruption, pro-voting) flavour of the line?"
According to Bikram Bindra, vice-president and strategic planning head - Delhi, GREY group, this ad will stand out, not just because it is making a powerful point, but it also seems like a departure from the usual brand voice. "The beauty of 'Jaago Re' as a brand philosophy is that it can be seamlessly used to highlight anything that requires an awakening, as is this case. The subject is topical, but more than that this is a subject that truly needs people to 'wake up'. I don't think this dilutes the original, in fact it is a surprisingly new take on the larger theme," he says.
Sumanto Chattopadhyay, executive creative director, South Asia, Ogilvy & Mather Advertising, Mumbai considers that while the brand may have taken up corruption or encouraged voting in the past, the platform is both strong and wide enough to encompass wake-up calls in other spheres of our life.
"There are too many children suffering from severe exam-related stress and sometimes the pressure leads them to take extreme steps. This ad could help open a dialogue between parents and children and diffuse the situation. If it saves even one life, then it is worth it," Chattopadhyay maintains.
On the other hand, independent advertising and marketing consultant Vibha Desai says, "As Indians, we have always taken our family obligations very seriously. We are a rooted in culture. Still, there will always be challenges which require you to look at life anew. The ad falls into that category and to my mind does not have the civil society angle. It's dangerous to weaken a strong proposition and I worry that is what happening here."
"There is nothing wrong with the thought, it's just that it doesn't have the weight that an issue should to be under the 'Jaago re' umbrella," she adds.