The Hindu’s latest campaign, titled ‘Classroom’, hits out at Indian politicians for setting a poor example of governance in the minds of the youth. The objective of the ad is to get the youth talking about the brand and to get mindspace in other parts of the country as well, especially Mumbai and Delhi.
Focussing on Indian politicians’ behaviour during Parlimentary sessions, the TVC captures the youth sentiment – one that constitutes a wake-up call to Indian politicians, reminding them to be conscious of the millions of young Indians who follow them on media.
The TVC has been created by Piyush Pandey, Rajiv Rao and his team from Ogilvy & Mather. Prasoon Pandey has directed the film. The ad was shot in Sophia College, featuring college students from all over Mumbai.
Commenting on the thought process behind the campaign, Arun Anant, CEO, The Hindu Group of Publications, explained, “Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders, and the critical question is: ‘what is the stage we’ve set for them?’ The Hindu urges the country to behave since the youth are watching.”
He further said that The Hindu urges the youth to take responsibility for the governance they get, by putting politicians on the spot for their unparliamentary behaviour. It may be recalled that the previous campaign from The Hindu took a stand against junk news consumption. The brand now focuses on a democratic system gone awry and urges the youth to take a proactive stand.
The TVC shows a college professor announcing that the class will have a political discussion on the Rural Development Bill and divides the calls into ‘for’ and ‘against’ groups. To add an interesting peg to the discussion, he says he expects complete ‘parliamentary behaviour’. Complete chaos reigns as the students turn unruly and hit out at each other; amid all the melee, two students even watch some clip on their mobile phone – a case of from real to reel. The ad ends with the line ‘Behave yourself India. The youth are watching’.
Siddharth Varadarajan, Editor, The Hindu, remarked, “There are lots of powerful people doing lots of bad things in India today. The decline in political culture that this ad mocks is one important aspect. In subsequent ads, we intend to call out other forms of bad behaviour we see around us – intolerance, exploitation, discrimination – that have become so pervasive in our society.”
He further said, “The Hindu has never hesitated to express its point of view on the country’s topical issues, whether in its editorial section or in its advertising. The previous campaign, for instance, had taken a stand against tabloid-style reporting masquerading as news. This time, the brand raises the issue of unacceptable behaviour in the political arena and its effect on malleable minds.”
According to Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman and Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather South Asia, “In a country that is so young and needs powerful role models, we need to caution the role models that their actions can spark off behaviour which can be damaging. I’m reminded of the age-old saying: “Don’t hit in front of the children, otherwise children will think it’s a norm.”
Simi Sabhaney, President - South, Ogilvy & Mather, added here, “I’m delighted that The Hindu has taken up this cause to alert the adults and to caution the youth. Every generation needs leaders of stature to set standards and emulate. It’s time for today’s political leadership to acknowledge this and behave responsibly.”
The Hindu will be predominantly focussing on social media and TV. There will also be an extensive in-house print campaign and road shows in select cities.
The ad has received mostly positive reviews from the industry. Appreciating the campaign, Thomas Xavier, Chairman and National Creative Director, Orchard Advertising, said, “A national newspaper is the standard bearer of a country’s IQ and moral stance. Of all the newspapers in India, The Hindu is perhaps the only one that is eligible to take a principled posture. Such has been its track record. That’s why this communication is spot on.”
He further said that the ad talks to a new generation, invokes the old one, and provokes both. “The end line is the best I have seen in any category in India in a long time. With this film, the brand stands up and marks a turning point in the landscape of the nation’s consciousness. Well done O&M,” he added.
Hari Nair, Creative Director, Havas Worldwide, felt that the ad has a powerful message to the political class by mocking their bad actions. He commented, “This ad has become a mirror to the decaying political culture of India today. Through this ad The Hindu urges politicians to behave responsibly and set the standard for the future generation of this country.”
Nair added, “The current political situation has made this ad more entertaining and more tactical in nature. In a flip side to it, our democracy is in its nascent stage and it is not that bad as what we think. Otherwise an ad of this nature would never see the light of day! Nevertheless, the unplugged treatment of the ad gives a more ‘real’ feel to it and the ‘ironical’ background score has made this ad an impeccable execution. As a newspaper, The Hindu has brought more scams to the public than any other newspaper in India. It will go well with the persona of the brand. Yes, our nation is watching!”
Client: The Hindu Group of Publications
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather South India
Creative Directors: Piyush Pandey – Creative Director O&M South India, Rajiv Rao – National Creative Director O&M India, Joono Simon – Executive Creative Director, O&M Bangalore
Creative Team: Arkadyuti Basu, Pradeep Ravindran, Sanjana Mathur
Account Management Head: Simmi Sabhaney, President- South, O& M Advertising
Account Management team: Vijaya Sriram, Karthik Hariharan, Aruna Narsi
Production House: Corcoise Films
Director: Prasoon Pandey