The Taj Mahal was voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World in Lisbon in the largest ever-online global poll from among 21 shortlisted monuments. Interestingly, for its national lovers, it topped the list with the highest number of votes through Internet, SMS and phone. The poll was conducted by the New 7 Wonders (N7W) foundation, a Swiss non-profit group.
Dainik Bhaskar spearheaded the project through I Media Corporation Ltd (IMCL), the integrated interactive solutions enterprise of Bhaskar Group, which represented N7W as the sole official voting facilitator in India.
Sanjeev Kotnala, Associate VP, Bhaskar Group, said, “It was natural for Dainik Bhaskar to take on this national pride initiative that connects every Indian in a very emotive platform.” Kotnala further said that the objective for such a cause was clearly action lead and every communication vehicle was to be used for a short duration high impact drive.
Kotnala said that the cause for the Taj wasn’t a new one. “It had been running since the past six to eight months, and since no other company was interested in taking up the cause, we saw an opportunity, and we are glad that today we have been able to deliver our best,” he said.
The Bhaskar Group had received the official confimation on the campaign in the second week of April, with hardly left 100 days for the Group to get its acts together and work on a campaign to drive the emotions of Indians in India and abroad.
In its plan to start the campaign in a big way, the group had spoken to two agencies -- Euro RSCG, which is currently the home agency for the group, and Grey Worldwide. “Grey Worldwide had an advantage here, since it were those days when it had done well at the Abby Awards and it had good experience in attitudinal expression,” explained Kotnala.
Bhaskar Group and IMCL together started below-the-line strategies to increase awareness among Indians to vote for the Taj. A lot of PR activities were done, as also a viral campaign, and chose Aaj Tak as their TV partner. For radio coverage, the Group decided to partner itself with Radio Mirchi.
With these awareness-generating activities, Kotnala said that all media started talking about it, which ultimately helped in the increased awareness of the need to vote for the Taj. “ Surprisingly, huge number of SMS votes came in through the non-metro areas that also helped the cause,” he added. Sharing his views on Taj’s success, he said, “It is a victory of the united India.”
According to RD Bhatnagar, VP IMC, “IMCL had a 360-approach to this promotion with on-ground and national events, with the support of radio, print, television, Internet and mobile.” IMCL had also roped in AR Rahman to compose an anthem, which he also co-wrote and sang.
Bharat Kapadia, Chairman of India Unites for the Taj, said that a magnanimous support in terms of Indians’ votes was required in order to get a place in the top seven. Giving his views on the campaign, he said, “There was a lack of awareness among Indians. Our job was to create awareness and create that strong feeling of urgency; a feeling that ‘you could be the cause if Taj did not make it to the list’.”