Bangalore Mirror has come up with its highly visible ‘4ever B’lorean’ campaign, which is creating ripples among its readers. Rajesh Gangwani, Senior VP, JWT Bangalore, exclusively speaks to exchange4media about the creative and execution process of the entire campaign.
Gangwani explained, “In today’s age of the ‘citizen journalist’ and
heightened consciousness of the average reader, the role of the
newspaper in provoking public opinion, debate and action assumes
critical importance. Bangalore Mirror as a publication is the voice of
the city, echoing hopes, concerns and issues that pertain to its
residents. The attempt in communication is to offer a platform for
people to share their views, express their angst and demonstrate their
love for the city.”
Speaking further, Gangwani said, “Over the last couple of years, the charm that was the hallmark of Bangalore has been waning. Never ending traffic snarls, loss of green cover, pubs shutting down early, and potholes that would rival the lunar surface, all contributed to making the city the butt of jokes. Even die hard Bangaloreans were feeling depressed and worried about the city. Given this background, the brief to JWT was simple. ‘Put the buzz back into Bangalore’.”
“Early on itself, we realised that for the initiative to work, it needs to be more than just an ad campaign. It not only needed to connect with the average Bangalorean on the street, but also facilitate initiatives that would go a long way in putting that buzz back in to the city,” he added.
The first step was arriving at the ‘4ever B’lorean’ umbrella concept.
Phase 1 was concept introduction through press and editorial write-ups
in the publication. In this phase, Bangalore Mirror took on a host of
local issues to build empathy and a broad level of awareness about the
campaign. This was around the time when the 300-odd pubs in the city
faced the threat of closure, a topical issue that was used to launch
Phase 2 was all about further reinforcing the approach in a manner that had the distinct tongue-in-cheek Bangalore Mirror stamp on it – young, irreverent, fun – without trivialising the issues. Outdoor, too, took the same track forward.
“Valentine’s Day, which fell in-between, gave us a wonderful opportunity to take the idea forward. What better way to showcase your love for the city than to make the city your Valentine,” Gangwani added.
Phase 3, which is currently going on, is more about literally putting the buzz back into Bangalore – the parties, the musical events, the works. This apart, Bangalore Mirror, along with the Art of Living Foundation, conducted a stress management workshop for the people of Bangalore.
According to Gangwani, “The initial response has been quite positive, leading to people interacting and expressing their views on why they love Bangalore despite everything. Bangaloreans have suddenly realised that even with all the drawbacks that their city has, it is still one of the better places to live in. More importantly, they feel proud of being a Bangalorean and realise that they can make a real difference to their city and their lives.”
Comparison with Lead India campaign
Gangwani explained that both were completely different. “The closest that one can get in terms of comparison is to the ‘I Love NY’ campaign that changed people’s perceptions about New York,” he added.
Other media vehicles
Since it was all about changing perceptions about Bangalore among Bangaloreans, media had to be extremely localized, he further explained. In addition to print, outdoor was used extensively. Offbeat mediums like bumper stickers, coffee shop accessories, etc., were also used, in addition to extensive editorial coverage. Bangalore Mirror also tied up with those institutions that were uniquely Bangalore to add credibility to the entire initiative.
How will it help the brand Bangalore Mirror?
Gangwani replied, “Bangalore Mirror’s fortunes are closely tied to that of the city. Not only did the campaign succeed in building saliency for the brand, it cemented a bond with the average Bangalorean that will be difficult to break.”