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O&M’s Meridian goes green with an extensive campaign on debutant ‘Bangalore Bias’

09-November-2006
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O&M’s Meridian goes green with an extensive campaign on debutant ‘Bangalore Bias’

Meridian, O&M’s agency that was launched in January this year, is spreading the message of planting trees through 30 print campaigns. And the agency has found the perfect platform to carry this message, ‘Bangalore Bias’, a newly-launched city centric afternoon newspaper.

The team of N Ramesh, National Creative Director of Meridian, and Vinod Lal, the writer of this campaign, made this ad to raise awareness among people to plant trees and the advantages of having more greenery even though they didn’t really have any specific client for this. It was only later that WWF, with whom the agency has done some projects in the past, joined in.

The campaign, ‘Please plant trees for a living planet’, has been launched in ‘Bangalore Bias’ sports the tagline ‘For better living’. The print ads have been created in 30 different versions with the same line ‘Please plant trees’.

Ramesh is upbeat about the campaign, which he says is honest and sincere in its approach. He said, “It’s not a commercial advertisement but something that’s addressing a real problem with its simplistic approach.” Ramesh informed that plans were afoot to take this campaign forward and were looking at partnering with other media to spread this message on a national level.

He added, “We felt that the best way to launch a ‘no-nonsense’ newspaper like ‘Bangalore Bias’ was to do a campaign that actually makes a difference to its readers’ lives. They sincerely want to make things better in Bangalore. That’s why the tagline of ‘For better living’. And what better way to bring this to life than through a campaign to plant trees?”

To take a look at the campaign, all 30 print adverts show a sapling ready to be planted with lines such as ‘Free Oxygen - Please plant trees’. Another one says, ‘No one ever attained enlightenment under a lamp-post’. There is another, which emphatically states ‘If you can read, thank a tree’. There is one that takes a leaf out of Bollywood, it states, ‘In the future, what will Indian filmstars dance around?’ And yet another that states simply, ‘Family – without a tree?’

Commenting on the campaign and its association with ‘Bangalore Bias’, Prakash Belawadi, Editorial Advisor, ‘Bangalore Bias’, said, “Bangalore, India’s garden city, is fast losing its tree cover to make way for ‘growth’. Planting trees is the easiest, surest and cheapest way top solve most of the ecological problems we face today.”

He added, “So, we decided that this was a better way to launch instead of doing another ‘me-too’ newspaper campaign that boasts of it being the best read. After all, action, any action, will say it better than words.”

Talking of ‘Bangalore Bias’, its Managing Editor, Vedam Jaishankar, who also authored cricketer Rahul Dravid’s biography, said, “Journalism today, for the larger part, unfortunately has been reduced to skin exhibition, gossip and sensationalism. Often, things are blown out of proportion.”

“We’ve always believed that the media has a great responsibility towards the people and the community. ‘Bangalore Bias’ is all about engaging with the community with that responsibility. And our readers seem to think, in this early period itself, that the content of our newspaper is good and consistent with its intent,” Jaishankar further said.

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