Well, these are testing times for everyone. But it is at such times that creative minds rise above the noise and tears, and bring forth messages of hope and deliverance.
That is exactly what, Mogae Media in association with The Free Press Journal, have gone on to do. The duo called upon some of India’s best known creative agencies, requesting them to create advertising campaigns on the current coronavirus crisis, and related social issues. Each ad of every campaign was to be in full-page size. Beyond that the agencies were allowed an open brief: choose your own theme related to the pandemic, and create what you would like the world to see.
Creative minds from agencies such Bang In The Middle, Havas Group, Laqshya, Publicis, Rediffusion, RK Swamy BBDO, Scarecrow M&C Saatchi and Wunderman Thompson delivered a total of 10 campaigns. Each of them focused on different social aspects of this crisis. These print ads were featured either on the jacket or a full page of the newspaper, and were given prominent display in The Free Press Journal.
Abhishek Karnani, Director, The Free Press Journal, commented, "We as a newspaper aspire to engage with our readers in the best possible way. One way of doing so was to run these advertisements from these nine esteemed agencies. Through this we have sought to communicate messages of hope and tenacity – so vital during this lockdown period. Subtle yet strong messages were wonderfully crafted and conveyed by these agencies. We are thankful to them. Special thanks are owed to Mogae Media which conceptualised this entire campaign."
Dr. Sandeep Goyal, media veteran and Chairman, Mogae Media, said, "Abhishek Karnani and FPJ are really large-hearted, and very generous, to give so willingly of their media space for communicating messages of societal good. The agencies too gave us their talent & time without demur. The creative quality was uniformly high. I noticed also that despite full page sizes on offer, the copy was minimal. Obviously, faith in long copy has waned! The art direction across campaigns has been 10/10. I am really glad we did this Social Communication Initiative. "
"They say a newspaper is a one-way broadcast medium but our creative team took up the challenge of making the newspaper interactive! The ads encouraged readers to get together with their families and have a bit of fun in this otherwise grim lockdown period," says Nakul Jambotkar, Associate Vice President, Wunderman Thompson.
"The FPJ initiative gave us an opportunity to say what we strongly felt on this issue. It was from our heart. What was more rewarding was that a number of established NGOs and voluntary groups saw the work and reached out to us for using the creatives for their mission. We are now helping some of them with lockdown related communication. So in some sense, one led to the other. We are happy to have made a little contribution in these trying times," says Rahul Jauhari, Joint President, Rediffusion.
"This was a wonderful initiative by the Free Press Journal to invite print ads about the Covid crisis. Firstly it allowed the creative community to freely express themselves about various aspects of the pandemic. And second, it allowed the creatives the use of the print medium which is a dying art. I am grateful to the FPJ to have come up with this initiative. I hope they extend it to other public causes as well from time to time," says Ajay Gahlaut, Chief Creative Officer & Managing Director, Publicis.
RK Swamy BBDO
"Lovely initiative by FPJ and Mogae! In the general mood of anxiety and disquiet, this initiative worked as a wonderful gloom-breaker and a motivator for the agency team as a whole,regardless of whether they were from creative or not. Further, the consistency of the program over a period of time really pushed the positive messages through to all readers. Well done!" says Sangeeta Swamy, President & NCD, RK Swamy BBDO.
"It’s indeed a wonderful initiative that FPJ & Mogae done for our industry. Allowed us to express our thoughts, a point of view through the creative medium. I know the teams were genuinely excited and had so many ideas they wanted to share - finally we had 2 routes we managed to created among the many," says Rana Barua, Group CEO, Havas.
Scarecrow M&C Saatchi
"Given the atmosphere around us currently, we are only seeing negative news across all media. In this backdrop this initiative by FPJ and Mogae Media was like a bright spot. It was really a fun way to spread awareness about the virus and our responsibility to fight it. Our team really loved working on it," says Arunava Joy Sengupta, Founder Director, Scarecrow M&C Saatchi.
"People may not be going to the gym but the lockdown is giving people a chance to flex their creative muscles. This is a great initiative that gave our people an opportunity to use creativity for societal good. Last but not least, it led to some fresh thinking and really good ideas," says Raghu Bhat, Founder Director Scarecrow M&C Saatchi.
Bang In The Middle
"When we were reached out by FPJ to a series of ads on the issue of Corona, we knew this would be a challenging brief. The debate internally was around both the subject and the way to say it. We stuck to the normal practices of personal hygiene, mask and social distancing. We have all three a visual twist to grab attention. We absolutely enjoyed being a part of this initiative by FPJ," says Naresh Gupta, CSO & Managing Partner, Bang In The Middle.
"Very few Media owners have a large heart and the guts to donate a considerable amount of space for a Social cause. Kudos to Abhishek Karnani and the Free Press Journal for showcasing the creative work done by various agencies addressing the current crisis. All of us at Laqshya would like to thank them for this magnanimous gesture and are delighted to have been given the opportunity to participate in this Social Initiative. A big thank you also to Carol Goyal of Mogae Media for the flawless coordination and scheduling," says Sai Nagesh, Chief Strategy Officer of Laqshya Media.