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‘Lead India’ is not just an advertising campaign, says Prasoon Joshi

09-January-2008
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‘Lead India’ is not just an advertising campaign, says Prasoon Joshi

Yet another commercial has been launched for The Times of India Group’s ‘Lead India’ initiative. Launched on India’s 60th year of Independence, the initiative is a search for a new bold leader for the country. Although Fortune Communications has been handling the creative duties of the campaign, the recent commercial that will soon go on-air has been conceptualised by Prasoon Joshi, Regional Creative Director for South and South East Asia, McCann Erickson.

Black Magic has produced the TVC, while Abhijit Chaudhary has directed it. Already a number of films featuring some well known personalities have been rolled out on television, and this new TVC adds to that repertoire.

One of Lead India’s recent TVCs featured a small boy who tries to move an uprooted tree from a busy street to help the traffic move again. The new TVC has been created on similar lines – of taking a correct decision and having the courage to stand by it.

Commenting on the thought process of the new TVC, Joshi explained, “The thought behind it is very simple. Leaders do not come from some other planet. They are among us. It can be a small step in the right direction. It’s about taking a correct decision and having the courage to stand by it. Leadership qualities can be found in anyone - a child, a simple housewife or even the peon in our office. It's about recognising this and celebrating the leaders among us.”

Joshi further elaborated that the commercial was a simple leaf out of the book of a young girl, who was concerned about the noise and the disturbance it caused to the patients in a hospital. But her concern is backed by action. She goes on to make a marriage party aware that a celebration should not be minus concern. The campaign is based on the fundamental belief that the goodness in people needs to be brought to the fore.

On pointing out the fact that other agencies too were working on the ‘Lead India’ campaign, and therefore the possibility of any challenges while working on the new TVC, Joshi replied, “It is not about agencies. TOI has taken a step that concerns all of us as citizens of the country. There are emotional reasons and it’s about having some commitment towards our society. We will trivialise this if the talk of competition and agencies comes in. Let the intent behind the campaign shine forth.”

On the decision of Joshi being associated with the campaign, Rahul Kansal Brand Director, The Times of India, said, “The account is with Fortune Communications. However, Prasoon is a good friend. He came forward with this idea, which was too good to let it pass. So we requested him to work on it.”

On the communication strategy, Kansal explained, “It was with a certain aim in mind, to provide a platform to bright and committed men and women who were eager to get into public life and do their bit for the nation. As a newspaper, we felt it was an initiative whose time had come if the cynicism of the current political system was to be challenged.”

Believing that ‘Lead India’ is a social objective and not a marketing one, Joshi was of the opinion that any media, especially newspapers that reached out and had a huge role to play in mass consciousness, had a responsibility towards the milieu they operated in. Thus any such goodwill that is generated for the brand is welcome, but will be clearly seen as a by-product.

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