How often do we pause and ponder about industry issues that have a bearing beyond just our rigmaroles? Share insights that can further the common understanding? Or, at the very least, point at things that need to be set right. View Point - an exchange4media platform, will fill this void and become a source of understanding, action and perhaps some inspiration.
"India Shining is worth more than a Lion"
Swapan Seth, Co-CEO, Equus Red Cell
In our business, it is considered utterly unfashionable to concede that a rival agency has made a point. And the more I think of it, it is just not our business that lacks graciousness, it’s our society at large. We grudge other people some good. We are quick to see a crisis where there is none. We are a finger-pointing fraternity.
Over the past few days, each and every newspaper has cried itself hoarse over the money spent by the Indian Government on the ‘India Shining’ campaign. The day the campaign broke, the COO of the company responsible for it, sent me an SMS eliciting my view on the campaign.
My observation then and now is the same, ”Hats off to all responsible: client and the agency. I have reservations over the copy. It could have been better.”
The point of the matter is that ‘India Shining’ was a terrific idea. Executed with perfect timing.
It was ballsy of the Government to shed its DAVP shroud and look vibrant and positive. It came at a time when the Sensex reinforced the lustre of brand India. It made me terribly proud of the NDA Government. More so, it made me proud that my family and I were Indian. So it works. Which really means that there is scant sense in whining over what it did to the exchequer.
Our tax money would go to some strange place in any case. If it went in making ourselves proud of what we have achieved, I can live with it. Proudly.
Is it a BJP campaign? Maybe. Maybe not. How does that matter? The BJP is the primary party in power. It has been the architect of these achievements. We have been the recipients of their reforms. So, even if it were a BJP campaign, did it amplify the aspirations of the people? Did it touch the nerve of the nation? I think so. And that to me is good enough.
Could it have looked better? Read better? That’s another whine. I have an observation. ‘India Shining’ happened as a campaign because of a score of other events. Aside from the Sensex’s northward ascent, Indian cricket was also on the rampage. More significantly, I saw great subliminal linkages between ‘India Shining’ and ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’.
What was ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’ for me? The Bhangra Pretty Woman was India Shining for me.
The G-U-J-J-U was India Shining to me. Ramdayal on the ferry to Manhattan was India Shining to me. The spinal sexual undercurrents of Kaanta Bhen were nothing but India signaling its open mind. It’s sexual shine so to speak.
Kal Ho Na Ho was also a consumption cue to me. It told me spend, live, enjoy, shine. There may be no tomorrow. And somehow, within myself, I saw all these simultaneous energies coming together. Campaigns become great campaigns when society wraps them around their lives. They become blankets of belief. And, that is why I firmly believe that the ‘India Shining’ campaign will be a significant marketing moment.
It may never win awards. It is, after-all, a non-formula piece of work. But I think it has managed a groundswell which, in my estimation, is worth more than a Lion. It stopped a nation in its tracks.
It made achievement a community. So really let’s stop whining and saying it is propaganda. It is improper. It violates a code. It doesn’t violate the most basic code of communication--it gets the message across. It makes you shine.