As one drives around the city of Kolkata, the bright red billboards with the larger-than-life pictures of the ‘super heroes’ of Kolkata catches the eye. The ‘Super Heroes’ of Kolkata is an event launched by Red FM, whereby those who are caught causing civic offences are mocked at. These people whose actions cause embarrassment to others will be ‘honoured’ as ‘The Red FM Kolkata Super Heroes’.
The visuals show stereotypes of civic offenders and names coined for them are also very interesting, often with an implicit pun. Currently, five civic issues have been identified.
The five identified culprits are PK Lal who spits and paints the walls red, Muttu Rajan who waters the city walls with his urine, Roomal Das who uses his handkerchiefs to reserve seats, Sapnodaar who snoozes at work, and Dharna di who is ever so willing to have a ‘dharna’.
The on-ground activities will span for a month and will have the Red FM ‘bajao’ team, comprising the station’s RJs and a band of musicians, who will be present at over hundred crossings in the city. Whenever such a person is caught indulging in offensive acts, he will be made to feel embarrassed by the ‘bajao’ team and will be made to apologise on air. In other words, he will be made to feel like a super hero in a way.
O&M Kolkata has handled the creative communication for this campaign. According to Sharmista Dev, General Manager, O&M Kolkata, “Tongue firmly in cheek, we glorified the social pests as iconic super heroes. Dhorna di’s name obviously derives from her love for dharnas. Muttu Rajan’s name reflects his habit of using the city as his urinal. The campaign gives Red FM’s ‘bajaate raho’ slogan a piquant Bengali flavour.”
Added Dev, “Our photographer Sanjib Ghosh added value by creating ominous portrait photographs of everyday people, and our idea took shape in the form of numerous billboards and press ads across the city. We simply didn’t want to miss an opportunity to take a social stand and ‘bajao’ the pests of the city.”