In a move that would gladden the heart of Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, FM radio players across the country came up with innovative on-air and on-ground campaigns to promote a tobacco free life to mark the occasion of World No Tobacco Day on May 31.
Red FM joined hands with pharmaceutical company Pfizer, Salaam Bombay, and BMC to organise a Quit Smoking Express campaign. The campaign, which commenced on May 25, comprised on-air and on-ground elements spanning across Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. It culminated on May 31. As part of the on-ground activation, the Red FM Quit Smoking Express comprised private buses that went across these towns propagating the anti-smoking message.
An official communiqué from Red FM stated, “Through this initiative, we are not only trying to get the masses to quit smoking, but also helping them get over this addiction by giving them information though a toll free number and website provided by Pfizer.”
My FM, too, organised public awareness campaigns with an innovative local flavour. Some of its stations got a huge stubbed cigarette installed at a central place in the city and smokers were asked to read out bad effects of smoking, which were aired on My FM. The stubbed cigarette was used as an inspirational icon to motivate smokers to quit their habit. The Bilaspur and Ahmedabad stations of My FM got doctors on air to speak live on the ill effects of smoking and chewing tobacco and also give advice on how to avoid these.
My FM organised rallies at Indore and Chandigarh that went through important areas of the cities and targeted mostly smokers and tobacco chewers to inform them about the harmful effects of tobacco. A health check-up camp was held in Chandigarh in conjunction with a local hospital. In Jaipur, a huge ash tray was placed at a main thoroughfare of the city and smokers were encouraged to stub out their cigarettes in it. Books from cancer patients donated by NGOs were given to smokers, who read from them on air. Print and on-air campaigns invited people to join the rallies.
An official communiqué from My FM stated, “Radio is a mass medium and can be intelligently used to convey important messages to society. Tobacco consumption is becoming a major cause of concern, especially in smaller towns. Through this initiative, we are using this medium in these cities to spread maximum awareness.”
Big FM Bangalore mostly targeted the youth. The station initiated an on-air and on-ground activity titled ‘Dhum Iddiya’ (Do you have the guts), where the team challenged smokers to give up smoking. To create a strong visual impact, a dummy in the shape of a huge cigarette was carried as a dead body across various parts of the city that witness high footfalls. Big FM Surat came up with a campaign titled ‘Ab toh tambaku chhodo’ (At least quit tobacco now), the Big FM team dressed in black robes, skull caps and ‘Quit Tobacco Consumption’ signs approached people consuming tobacco and persuaded them to pledge against tobacco consumption.
In Delhi, Big FM launched an innovative campaign titled ‘Get high on 100 Chartbusters, Not on Tobacco’. According to an official communiqué, “The campaign was launched to create awareness amongst the youth on the ill effects of tobacco consumption. We drove the message on-air through 100 Chartbuster music and on-ground offering as well.”
Radio City, too, launched a number of campaigns marking the occasion. Radio City Jaipur aired a special programmed called ‘Bas Ek Kash Aur’, while Radio City Lucknow launched a campaign called ‘Say No to Tobacco with Radio City’. The station also tied up with the Masiha Cancer Foundation of India and Fun Republic for a contest, wherein winners would get free counseling for a year. Radio City Delhi’s anti-tobacco campaign was called ‘Butt Tere Ki’, where RJs met shoppers at Ghaziabad’s Pacific Mall on May 31 and shared tips on how best to cut down on tobacco addiction.
Speaking on these activities, Rana Barua, National Head – Programming and Marketing, Radio City, said, “Our initiatives for World No Tobacco Day are an attempt to reach out and educate our listeners on the consequences of tobacco addiction. Whether it is counselling, spreading the word through our RJs or demonstrating the effects of smoking through stamina tests, the idea was to drive the message home by implementing a lighter approach in a manner that the people could relate to.”
Are you still lighting up?