The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has opted for JWT for planning and execution of three of its major projects – HIV Youth Campaign, Polio Campaign and Sports For All Campaign. The decision on the project is still under discussion, while the work on all the campaigns has already begun.
Stating the project’s importance, Rohit Ohri, Managing Partner, JWT, in an email conversation, said, “UNICEF works in conjunction with central and state governments and many other organisations – non-profit, non-government, etc. There needs to be a consensus on issue-based communications among the multiple stakeholders. However, since the goal for everyone remains singular, it is an interesting and complex process.”
McCann Erickson, Draft FCB Ulka and Mudra were the other agencies in the fray for the business. The pitch for the HIV Youth Campaign was called on February 1, 2010; the Polio Campaign pitch was held on March 3, 2010, while the agencies were invited for the Sports For All pitch on April 22, 2010.
The HIV Youth Campaign is targeted at unmarried people in the 19-24 age group. Ohri said, “We will develop a mass media campaign to encourage young people to adopt safe sexual behavior for protection from HIV/ AIDS.”
He further said, “The Polio Campaign involves multiple stakeholders – care givers/ parents of children less than five years old, service providers, high risk groups like minority communities, migrant and infants less than one year old. This project will focus on Polio endemic regions such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. We will develop ‘Behaviour Change Communication’ to encourage adoption of comprehensive protection practices for protection against polio. This includes taking regular dosage of OPV and adopting four key care practices – routine immunisation, breast feeding, hygiene and sanitation, and diarrhoea management.”
The Sports For All Campaign will be designed for both parents and children. “Here, parents and children in SEC B, C, D, E, R1 and R2 would be the target audience. The project involves developing an anthem film, which will create an environment that recognises the value of sports, that is, overall development, in the lives of children across the country and encourages them to play.”
Social projects usually demand a lot of dedication, sensitivity and passion towards upliftment of the society through various effective channels of communication. When asked how challenging it was to work for a non-profit making organisation like UNICEF, Ohri replied, “In social communications like these, behaviour change is the goal, which makes it important that the communication is persuasive and convincing. The target audience usually includes the disadvantaged. Many times, the target audience is socially and economically challenged, unaware of things that may seem basic to others (like basic healthcare, hygiene, safe practices, etc.) and even illiterate. Communication, therefore, needs to be universally understood and understood ‘similarly’ (it must not have interpretations other than those intended.) A lot of superstition, traditional beliefs – both right and wrong – abound in such cases. These may vary regionally, hence what works in a particular geography, may not in others.”
He further said, “Commercial success is easy to measure. For instance, increased call-ins, awareness, sales, etc. Success in social communications is far more difficult to measure. Behaviour change is a slow-burn, with target audiences taking more convincing than, say to buy the next tube of toothpaste at a discount of x per cent.”
Ohri also informed, “The HIV youth films should be aired within the next three months. The Polio project will continue for a year and a half, while Sports For All is a project that will be launched around the Commonwealth Games 2010.”