FSSAI and Rajkummar Rao are telling people 'Aaj se thoda kam'

Writer-producer-director, Abir Mishra, and Ishan Echoes, conceptualized an ad to urge people to reduce their salt, sugar and fat intake

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: Aug 7, 2018 8:55 AM

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) recently launched a nationwide campaign ‘Aaj se thoda kam’ to urge people to reduce their salt, sugar and fat intake. The regulator’s Eat Right Movement covers food companies, retailers and restaurants to promote, and have also rolled out an ad featuring Bollywood actor, Rajkummar Rao.

For the discussion to evolve, the ad will be promoted across television, social media and cinema halls. The ad film, made by Ishan Echoes, shows Rao speaking about measures to curb one's salt and sugar intake. Writer-producer-director, Abir Mishra, Ishan Echoes, who conceptualized the ad shared insights with exchange4media on what went behind the making of the ad and how the creative was locked.

Said Mishra, "FSSAI wanted a film to generate awareness on intake of high fat salt and sugar (HFSS) and reached out to the World Bank Group who are their technical partners. The brief from the WBG team to me was - we don’t want a film that is merely appreciated for its creative but does not lead to corrective action."

Mishra shared that the making of the ad film was a detailed process with inputs from multiple stakeholders which led to such clear messaging in the given duration. He reasoned that the “thoda kam” gesture was also developed as part of the creative as a catchy hook with strong recall. "The first challenge in our minds was getting Rajkummar Rao on board. The thorough gentleman that he is, it went off really smoothly once he was convinced of the script and the health issues at stake," he said.

Mishra opened up that the other challenge was holding the interest of the audience throughout the longer version of the film with one character at one location in one position. "That’s where the sincerity of Rajkummar’s appeal and his talent did wonders,” he added.

FMCG companies and bakeries including Nestle India, Haldiram and Patanjali, have also promised to join FSSAI's ‘Eat Right’ movement. In the process, they took a pledge to reformulate packaged foods with reduced levels of salt, sugar and saturated fats. More celebrities and influencers are also being roped in, coupled with poster ads across the city with Bollywood actors like Farhan Akhtar who are further helping to spread the message. With the launch of an AI-powered chat bot ‘Food Funda’ to address food-related consumer queries and a website, the nationwide campaign will be expanded further.

CEO FSSAI, Pawan Agarwal remarked that the “Eat Right” movement can grow organically as a self-perpetuating movement, which is co-owned and co-led by various partners using the broad framework and resources put together by professionals and experts in the field of food and nutrition.

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