Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi picked up a broom and started cleaning the city on the birth anniversary of Mahatama Gandhi two years ago, it evinced popular support from celebrities and common people alike for a single cause – to make India cleaner.
“A clean India would be the best tribute India could pay to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary in 2019,” said Modi at the launch of his government’s nationwide campaign Swachh Bharat Mission in New Delhi.
Hopping onto the cleanliness bandwagon and leveraging this movement were brands which were definitely going to benefit from this campaign as the overall spends on health and sanitization increased exponentially.
Just a day after the Prime Minister announced the Swachh Bharat movement, Reckitt Benckiser announced a new wet wipes product aligning their launch with the campaign. Dettol and Lifebuoy locked horns in the battle of hygiene products by keeping their campaigns subtly on the lines of the campaign.
Surf Excel’s ‘Daag Acche Hain’ proposition was further impressed upon with mothers encouraging young children to be responsible citizens to take the first step to contribute towards the Swachh Bharat mission.
Hindustan Unilever launched a new TVC last year to educate people about three simple habits to prevent illness.
Watch it here
It also announced that it would set up 24,000 toilets under the Domex Toilet Academy in an initiative aimed at pushing cleanliness.
With a total advertising budget of Rs 170 crore allocated to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) for this initiative, at least one new promotional campaign has been released every month as part of the planned ad blitz for the country’s biggest cleanliness drive.
MIB has launched six commercials on the project - an ad film by advertising agency Grey Group India, two partly animated videos by Akash Deep Films, and three radio anthems composed by lyricist Prasoon Joshi.
Modi nominated nine celebrities, asking them to nominate nine more people to make the initiative go viral. These included Goa governor Mridula Sinha, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, yoga guru Baba Ramdev, Congress lawmaker and former union minister Shashi Tharoor, industrialist Anil Ambani, actors Kamal Hasan, Priyanka Chopra and Salman Khan and the team of popular TV serial Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashma.
And it’s not just brands related to health and hygiene that are leveraging this initiative. Corporates such L&T, DLF, Vedanta, Bharti, TCS, Ambuja Cements, Toyota Kirloskar, Maruti, Tata Motors, Coca Cola, Dabur, Infosys among others have committed funds for the ‘Swachh Bharat’ project which aims to clean up their surroundings, build toilets, thus supporting the mission.
Furthermore, life insurance giant LIC who is partnering with the government on this project has roped in advertising agency J Walter Thompson to script a campaign. Also, brands like FastTrack have subtly talked about the cleanliness drive in their campaign ‘Dump Them-Move On’. The cleverly devised TVC by Lowe Lintas speaks about how to deal with social irritants that litter public spaces.
Watch it here: https://youtu.be/PgiVBpAMSgg
On the government’s part, it launched a website https://swachhbharat.mygov.in in an effort to bring all aspects of the campaign under one roof. The site offers options to accept challenges and invite others to share their experiences and a section to share ‘before and after’ pictures of the campaign.
Currently, as per the official website, 8617 pledges have been taken while 716 challenges have been completed and 5950 activities done. There are 6666 participants contributing 100,11,12,217 hours to the campaign.
Swachh Bharat on Social Media
The Swachh Bharat campaign has struck chords with people on various social media platforms. On Twitter, the campaign is run by the hashtag ‘MyCleanIndia’. People from all over the country are actively participating in the campaign and taking an initiative to complete tasks taken up.
However, on Facebook, the Swachh Bharat Mission page has 38697 likes, far less as compared to how social media runs in the country. The Facebook page displays stories of motivation for common people in India while other major corporate companies use the platform to build their presence among the campaigns among Facebook users. On an average, the pages see two to five posts every day.
With two years of the campaign gone by, the entire nation seems to be working towards the Swachh Bharat campaign, the brands and its commercials, the governments and its social media initiatives are trying to make efforts to unite the consumers and citizens alike to be a part of the movement. As time flies by, it will be left to see if the government succeeds in its initiatives at the grass root level or will there be a lot left to do even after Narendra Modi office runs into the new polling session.