afaqs! news bureau

'Be no fool', says Mathrubhumi to its readers

The newspaper launched an interactive campaign on April Fool's Day highlighting the Government's numerous unfinished projects.

On April 1, Mathrubhumi, a Malayalam newspaper, released a campaign via its classifieds pages apprehending that the people of Kerala (like all Indians) aren't made fools of only on April 1, but every day of every month and often, for years.

'Be no fool', says Mathrubhumi to its readers
'Be no fool', says Mathrubhumi to its readers
'Be no fool', says Mathrubhumi to its readers
Titled 'Goodbye Foolish Stones', the creatives showcase foundation stones of largely publicised Government projects on which no progress has been made. These foundation stones were the first and last step of the development. There has been no progress made on these schemes after their inauguration. Even as everything around it is in a state of absolute decay and ruin, the foundation stone stands as a stark reminder of outright government indifference.

Executed by the Kochi office of DDB Mudra South and East, the brand claims that the ads appealed to the readers to open their eyes and react. A call of action was generated where in the readers were requested to act as citizen journalists and share instances of such neglect by the Government through pictures, emails, WhatsApp, or by contacting the Mathrubhumi agents and reporters.

The publication claims to have received over 1,000 claims in just three days. The brand conducted its own unbiased enquiry and investigated every claim.

The continuous apathy from the Government made Mathrubhumi Classifieds turn the tables and celebrate April Fool's Day with a powerful message to the people and the Government.

When Mathrubhumi did a check, they concluded that, every year the State Government of Kerala announces numerous projects and public benefit programs with great fanfare. Yet, apart from an announcement, the projects never take off and get wasted away for years and decades. One can easily find such projects in plenty across the length and breadth of Kerala.

Speaking on it, Jayakrishnan N, cluster head, Mathrubhumi, says, "April Fool's Day is an occasion for real and virtual pranks predominantly played by the youth. This year, we decided to participate not just by playing the prank, but bringing to light the pranks that are played on people by politicians for ages. Mathrubhumi wanted to connect with the younger audiences using classifieds, by elevating the conversations beyond the paradigm of transactions."

Commenting on the campaign, Dominic Savio, vice president, DDB Mudra South and East- Kochi, says, "The Mathrubhumi Classifieds campaign resulted in people enthusiastically owning the campaign, besides contributing to a greater good towards the society and creating an impact. It was overwhelming to see people integrating the campaign with their own social media channels, delivering maximum reach for the campaign."

Jaffer Vemmully, senior creative director, DDB Mudra South and East, says, "People in Kerala are very active on social media when it comes to raising their voices for or against something, or for activism. They post pictures, share experiences, create groups etc. But, this campaign has helped us translate that activism to a newspaper. Mathrubhumi Classifieds gave the people an opportunity to react and highlight the issues around them."

After collecting all the true claims, the newspaper carried a special supplement on April 1, mentioning all the verified instances sent by alert, socially conscious citizens of Kerala. This supplement was especially shared with the chief minister of the state.

Mathrubhumi Classifieds gave common people a platform to put the blunt reality and truth in front of the Government's eyes and inform them that people are watchful and not to be made a fool of.