It’s been more than a year since Buladi appeared on the billboards of Kolkata and other parts of West Bengal, dispensing basic information and advice on HIV/AIDS as part of a campaign by O&M, Kolkata for the West Bengal State AIDS Prevention and Control Society (WBSAPCS).
Buladi is now set to have a multi-media presence. She is already on radio/FM channels spreading information on the subject, and will be soon on TV channels to touch more lives, enter more households.
Buladi comes across as a friendly and very approachable character, who deftly handles the sensitive questions people asked her. She not only represents a freshness of approach, but is also effective for all communication on this subject. The success of the first phase featuring Buladi, which dealt essentially with the task of debunking some long standing myths about HIV/AIDS, spawned an equally well received second phase, which talked about sexually transmitted diseases and the importance of blood tests.
Made by Mumbai-based producer Vaibhav Kumaresh, the TVC uses foam animation so that Buladi moves with charming fluidity as she emphasises on her pet subject. The three 20-second films feature Buladi in her blue sari and trademark jhola (sling bag) stressing on the wisdom of having a condom on you always to ensure a safe and responsible sex life.
Said Jayatsen Bhattacharya, Creative Supervisor, O&M, Kolkata, “This way she looks a lot more real, and that is why we hope she’ll be far more effective and, of course, endearing.”
According to Suresh Kumar, Project Director, West Bengal State AIDS Prevention and Control Society, “It’s time we tackled some issues head-on, and the current commercials not only highlight the need for a behavioral shift on the part of people, thanks to the animation technique, they also enhance recall value.”