Tehelka, committed to fearless journalism, has just launched its cinema campaign that can be viewed on 22 screens across various multiplexes in Mumbai and simultaneously in screens across Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Lucknow. This will be followed by a hoarding and print release which will hit Mumbai first.
Keeping the brand salience -- honesty, integrity, justice, truth and exposing lies -- the new campaign has been designed to awaken the nation’s conscience and make citizens demand honesty in public life and not settle for compromised journalism.
Commenting on the decision to come up with a commercial at this point of time, Tarun Tejpal, Tehelka founder, said, “We believe that while we have been able to build the brand salience, that is not enough. We need to communicate and bring the product to the people. Till now, resource crunch had held us back in coming up with a commercial. So, when during a dinner I met Prasoon (Joshi), he offered a helping hand and I very much jumped at it, as I didn’t want to let go of the opportunity.”
He added, “The commercial very aptly conveys the core message of the paper which is courage, truth and expose.”
Prasoon Joshi, Executive Chairman, McCann Erickson, has conceived the campaign and the film has been produced by Blackmagic. The commercial is in keeping with Tehelka’s image which in the past has broken many exposes, be it on match fixing, defence deals, peadophilia in Goa, the Jessica Lall murder case or Zaheera Sheikh, and more recently the Nithari killings and the cop cover-ups.
Joshi is so impressed with Tehelka’s works that he agreed to work on the film on a shoestring budget. Said Joshi, “The paper is a testimony to Tarun’s commitment to fearless journalism which does not shy away from showing the true picture of the nation. It was creatively satisfying to work on Tehelka.”
The ad, shot in black and white, shows a politician making the usual promises. It is interrupted by the sudden arrival of crows whose numbers keep increasing. This prevents the neta from completing his speech and leaves him bewildered. The campaign ends with the line `Jhooth bole kawa kate’ -- subscribe to the truth.
Joshi said, “We decided to shoot the film in black and white as it manages to convey the stark reality and leaves an impact. Interestingly, in the film, I have experimented with something new -- the audio is played in a reverse track. This is intentional, as the result is gibberish and what we wanted to say is that whatever the politician is saying is meaningless and doesn’t need to be understood.”
Also interesting is the fact that most of the crows seen in the film are computer generated. While shooting, the crew managed to film with only a few crows and the rest were replicated.
Besides the campaign, which will currently run in cinemas, there are also plans to air it on various television channels. This will be supported by on-ground activity with a very aggressive special offer of one year’s subscription for only Rs 100.