In conversation with Gayatri Yadav (President, Consumer Strategy & Innovation) and Narayan Sundararaman (General Manager, Star Plus) on the thought behind the campaign
What was the thought behind the campaign?
Gayatri Yadav: Since its founding in 1991, Star has played a critical role in driving social change in India. Under the leadership of Uday Shankar, the company has become India’s leading media business by cultivating forward thinking programming to touch lives and create meaningful change. Star Plus was one of the first channels to create shows focusing on women and families, initiating a trend that was unique in Indian television—the focus on empowered, independent female characters.
‘Nayi Soch’, the brand ideology of Star Plus, celebrates the changing identity of women and challenges societal stereotypes that come in the way of progress for women. These are revolutionary times for women in India. Women are surging forward, opening up endless possibilities for themselves and for generations to follow. This movement is fast gathering speed. “Nayi Soch” not only encapsulates this impetus but more importantly propels it.
We started the Star Plus Nayi Soch campaign in October 2016 with the Indian cricket team wearing their mothers names on their jerseys, challenging the stereotype that identity is only derived from one’s father’s name. The current campaign created on the eve of Women’s Day takes this to the next level – where Aamir essaying the role of a progressive father – challenges the stereotype that daughters are not as capable as sons. The brand film showcases Aamir as a small-town, middle-class but new-age father who is progressive and confident that his daughters will take ahead the legacy of his business. The symbolic act of naming the store ''And Daughters'' is a global first in thought and establishes a positive role model that could potentially have a ripple effect on society. The campaign puts a spotlight on one of the nation’s biggest issues that of gender inequality and takes it head on in a charming fashion.
The campaign’s premise is simple – that success has no gender, success is based on the quality of thought- “Kamyabi na ladka dekhti hai na ladki. Kaamyabi sirf soch dekhti hai.” (Success does not differentiate between a boy and a girl, it only is based on the quality of thought). This is truly what ‘Nayi Soch’ is all about.
Did you base the campaign on some research findings?
Narayan Sundararaman: Over the past few years, we have built a fairly extensive understanding of women in Indian society. Our campaign insight is based on a synthesis of observations, research findings as well as direct conversations with consumers done over a period of time. This allowed us to contrast, compare and
understand specific areas where a lot of progress has been made. It also became clear that there are certain aspects that remain the same – gender inequality being one of them.
What made you choose Aamir Khan as the face of the campaign?
Gayatri Yadav: Aamir Khan personifies “Nayi Soch”, and his movies not just entertain but move the society forward by showing the potential for being relevant to the masses while also being a catalyst for positive social change. After four seasons of Satyamev Jayate there is also a very deep association and linkage between Aamir Khan and Star and we were delighted when he readily agreed to join us in this social awareness campaign. When we first met Aamir for the campaign he agreed in less than five minutes to do it – the rest is history. The Ogilvy team led by Sumanto Chattopadhyay, Opticus Films and Nitish Tiwari did an amazing job in creating and producing this film.
What kind of response do you anticipate towards the campaign?
Narayan Sundararaman: We expect that our message will get people thinking and inspire society to change its mindset towards gender inequality. This may take time, but we believe that a start has to be made. We are hoping that our campaign will stimulate conversations and lead to positive change. The initial response to our message has been phenomenal, the film has already crossed 40 million views across digital platforms. We expect it to continue to grow and resonate with everyone across genders and geographies.
How do you plan to amplify the campaign?
Narayan Sundararaman: We have strongly leveraged the reach and impact of Star both in TV and Digital with Hotstar. We are also very visible on the ongoing cricket series – it being the best way to aggregate audience and build brands.
For Radio, we have designed a unique engagement approach based on real life stories – March 8, 2017 will be made the Nayi Soch Day - RJs will engage with fathers who have gone against societal pressure and motivated their daughters to achieve success in their area of interest. Also on the day, RJs will visit maternity homes and will welcome new born girls with the pledges taken by their new “Nayi Soch” fathers.