LS Polls: Political parties draw out social media & advtg battle plans

The battle between the Congress, BJP & AAP is being fought out as senior admen & media planners join the fray to manage their social media & advertising strategy ahead of the Lok Sabha elections

e4m by Henna Achhpal
Published: Mar 12, 2014 9:59 AM  | 18 min read
LS Polls: Political parties draw out social media & advtg battle plans

Will being aggressive on social media and a campaign based on modest resources help the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) win the forthcoming elections?

Will Narendra Modi’s portrayal of a tech-savvy persona in the media manage to erase his authoritarian image?

Will Rahul Gandhi’s absence from social media prove to be fatal for the Congress in the long run?

These and other worries trouble senior admen and media planners nowadays as they have been called upon to manage the advertising strategy of the Indian National Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the run-up to the May 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Even as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) relies on the wisdom of volunteers to counter the two, the poll drama has moved to the Internet. Taking a cue from US President Barack Obama’s election campaign handbook, the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was the first to embrace social media, perhaps one of the primary reasons that he has attracted positive headlines. While the BJP has been present on the World Wide Web for a year now, they have largely been using the medium to broadcast their message, failing to utilize the platform in its truest essence, that of 2.0 – interaction and engagement. The content found on the party and Modi’s social profiles are either bland excerpts from speeches or simply promotional updates leaving little for citizens to discuss. The Congress, late to join the Internet party for various reasons, is now heavily investing in the medium. Although Rahul Gandhi, the party’s probable Prime Ministerial candidate, is yet to make his debut on Twitter and Facebook, the Congress, like the BJP, is solely using the platform as a broadcast tool, managing to engage supporters and haters alike. Will the Congress reign for a third year? Will Modi achieve his India 272+ aim? Or is India ready for AAP’s revolutionary politics? While these answers are best left to time, we take a look at the election campaigns of the three parties.

Indian National Congress

Looking back
The common man or more popularly the “Aam Aadmi” had been at the centre of the Indian National Congress campaign for two consecutive elections. In 2004, the party’s slogan was “Congress Ka Haath Aam Aadmi Ke Saath” to include the growing middle class population in its message. Another slogan during the same election, “Aam Aadmi Ko Kya Mila?” countered the opposition, NDA’s “India Shining” message. In 2009, the slogan “Aam Aadmi Ke Badhte Kadam, Har Kadam Par Bharat Buland” focused on the ruling party’s achievements and progress of the people. The party went on to purchase the rights of AR Rahman’s “Jai Ho” from the movie Slumdog Millionaire for its campaign song as it had a high recall value. Ranjan Bargotra, President, Crayons Advertising, which worked with the Congress on its 2009 campaign says, “The campaign spoke about the good that the party had done in its tenure. The UPA had fared well, there had been development and there were barely any negative issues to tackle, which is why they came back to power comfortably.”

Cut to present
While Congress has let go of its lucky “Aam Aadmi” phrase (for obvious reasons), the party has stuck with the word “Haath” which also refers to its symbol. The primarily monochrome Print and Out Of  Home advertisements have Rahul Gandhi in the middle backed by a group of Indians, a strategic mix of genders, communities and age groups. Each of the advertisements carries a different message such as, “Kattar Soch Nahi, Yuva Josh” or “Rajniti Nahi Kaajniti” depending on the target group and issue but the main slogan of the 2014 campaign remains, “Har Haath Shakti, Har Haath Tarakki”. The television commercials and radio spots have Congress youth workers voicing the beliefs and intent of their leader Rahul Gandhi. It is hard to miss the party’s campaign launched in mid-January this year. With the number of challenges the Congress faces today, charting out a campaign strategy has become a much more daunting task, says an industry source. “In the last few years, the party has attracted a lot of negative attention and criticism from the media. During the previous elections, the actual campaign was launched barely two to three weeks before the actual elections. The fact that this year the campaign was launched much before the polls goes to show the magnitude of the challenge Congress is grappling with today.”

The 2014 poll campaign is trying to convey the message that the path to progress lies in the hands of many, and not with any one person.

While other parties are aggressively present on the Internet, the Congress has strategically kept its distance from the medium. Commenting on this, Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi says, “Ours is a very volunteer-driven campaign. We are not undermining the importance of social media in today’s day and age but we are not focusing on it as our core campaign strategy either. We have gone across Tier II and Tier III cities to meet our volunteers and party workers and teach them the basics of social media and how the platform can be effectively utilized, be it Facebook, Twitter or blogging. Informing our own workers and making them active on these platforms is how the party looks at its social media strategy, so to say. The biggest thing as far as the Congress is concerned is ground connect. Apart from this, our communication matrix includes print, broadcast as well as radio.”

Bharatiya Janata Party

Looking back

After NDA’s ambitious “India Shining” campaign in 2004 which focused on India’s international image instead of internal issues, it is time for the BJP to tread carefully. In 2009, the campaign’s core strategy was to divert attention from the party’s communalist image. The slogan, “Mazboot Neta Nirnayak Sarkar”, promoted the then Prime Ministerial candidate, LK Advani and aimed to project him as a capable candidate in comparison to the incumbent Manmohan Singh. BJP also launched several counter campaigns to the ruling party such as “Bhay Ho”, a parody to INC’s “Jai Ho” campaign song. The 2009 election campaign largely highlighted the failures of the UPA government in addressing issues such as terrorism, unemployment and inflation. The party reached out to its voters using SMS, tapping into the then pool of 35 crore mobile subscribers.

Cut to present
Although BJP has been promoting itself aggressively in various ways for the past few months, the opposition party is yet to roll out its Print and Television campaign. Not very different from 2009, BJP’s 2014 campaign focuses on its Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi. This time the slogan is more specific, a simple but direct “Modi for PM”. Commenting on the campaign slogan, Vinit Goenka, National Co-Convenor, BJP IT Cell says, “Through this slogan we are trying to communicate Modi’s proven credentials. It stands for an individual who has been around in terms of governance, he is a person of accomplishments and the right one to take the country forward.” BJP Mumbai Secretary, Vivekanand Gupta adds, “Since Modi has been named the Prime Ministerial candidate, naturally all the campaign strategies will revolve around him.” Along with the slogan, BJP launched the “One Note, One Vote” initiative as a part of its campaign. In an attempt to assess support and reach out to at least 10 crore families, party workers will go from door to door collecting ‘one note’ of denominations between Rs 10 to Rs 1,000. Continuing to embrace technology like no other party, BJP also launched the “India 272+” app, available for free on Android’s Play Store, which is an open forum for volunteers enabling discussions and exchange of ideas. The campaign and its initiatives surely point towards a party that is very confident of achieving the 272+ number in the Lok Sabha elections.

Aam Aadmi Party
Until a few months back, the results of the 2014 elections seemed quite predictable, but that changed as soon as the Aam Aadmi Party announced its intentions of contesting at the national level. The party that can be the subject of several case studies has only one strategy for its campaign – revolution. Solely dependent on volunteer support, the party isn’t taking the help of communication agencies to chart out sophisticated campaigns. AAP Maharashtra Secretary, Preeti Sharma Menon says, “We rarely take help from professionals who are not actually involved with the party. It may put us at a disadvantage, but we do not have the resources to hire agencies. Even if we could afford it, our primary requirement would still be to have people who are committed to the cause.”

Technology has undoubtedly played a large role in helping AAP reach where it is today. However the reach is limited to the urban population aged 18 to 45. At the national level, there is still a large section of the population that needs to be reached. Menon says, “It’s a myth that there’s a huge gap between the rural and urban population in Maharashtra because 46% of the state is urban. They have been in the grip of politicians and now the people want to break free which is where the real revolution is required.”

Manisha Lath Gupta, who quit Axis Bank as the Chief  Marketing Officer to join the party says, “Aam Aadmi Party’s strengths lie in its on ground mobilisation. The party believes in being true representatives of the people. Our leaders and volunteers are emerging from among the electorate. As a result, reaching out and connecting with people is much easier than it would be for a ‘top down’ driven party.” Talking about the party’s campaign strategy, Menon says, “We are definitely targeting the population under 45 because those are the people who are demanding a change.” AAP may have an appealing message but their means are limited, continues Menon, “We cannot afford out of home, television and print. We are largely reaching out via on ground activities, going door to door and social media. Closer to the elections we will use radio effectively.”

Agency Speak

Politics, not Products
Election time is busy not only for party workers and candidates but also for communication agencies. Over the last few elections, campaigning has become a much more professional and competitive affair. Political organizations now look for professional help to strategize their message and plan campaign tactics. For an agency, are products and political parties the same deal? Bargotra says the processes of working on the two are very similar. He says, “It is an interesting challenge as it requires you to reach out to masses and change perceptions that have built over a period of time and the campaign is expected to change these perceptions in two to three months.” There are differences too, he says, “The stakes are different. With a political campaign we are talking to a universal audience, across socio economic groups, demographics and age groups so it becomes quite difficult.

A target group between the ages 20 to 25 would react differently from a group aged 40 and above. Although there have been efforts to talk to the youth in a different manner, but essentially the campaign remains the same. You have to consider the common denominator.”

Speaking on the process, Santosh Padhi, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Taproot India says, “It is very similar to working on a brand. With every campaign, be it a political party or a product, the agency needs to find the single big thing the party, person, product or service has to offer and eventually weave the campaign around it. Considering the diversity of our country, the big idea should be able to expand flexibly and be adaptable easily without losing its charm and impact.” Does one need to believe in the party’s ideology to be able to work on its campaign? “Not necessarily,” says Padhi, “at times we work on women centric products but we don’t change our sex.

In order to work on a campaign, it’s important to understand factors such as the behaviour, mind-set and category, just like you would when working on a brand. As an industry, we wear different hats and this is one of many.”

Digital Elections
Apart from the new party on the block, what has changed the face of these elections is the large role that the digital medium has come to play. As Menon put it, “It’s almost as if the elections are taking place in the virtual world than in reality.” When it comes to digital campaigning, the first party that comes to mind is BJP. This is not the first time that BJP is capitalizing on the Internet as a medium to reach out to voters. BJP had attempted an online campaign in 2009 as well but perhaps that was a little too soon for a country which was just being introduced to 3G. Five years later, BJP has not given up on the Internet but mastered it. “Visible on social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter from as early as a year before the elections, Narendra Modi has managed to gather a lot of positive PR value simply for his advanced use of technology,” says Suveer Bajaj, Co-Founder, FoxyMoron, “Most of the political organizations have recognized that a majority of their potential voter base is to be found on this platform and the identification is very rightful.” Padhi states, “Digital is playing an important role because it is a medium that correctly connects with the 150 million first time voters.”

Comparing the new medium with traditional media, Sanjay Mehta, Founder & Joint CEO, Social Wavelengths says, “It is helping the parties in targeting audiences with the exact message meant for them. With traditional media, there is one common message that goes out and anybody who is reading or watching, irrespective of demography and location, receives the same message.”

How are the parties using the medium?
“The Congress and BJP have only just scratched the surface of what social media can do for them,” says Atul Hegde, Chief Executive Officer, Ignitee. He adds, “The BJP has done a fairly good job, being far savvier. But as they have invested so many resources in the medium, they could have done a lot more.

AAP, on the other hand, has used the medium much more smartly. They have used it as an interactive platform rather than a one-way exchange. For them, it’s a grass root enabler strategy which I think is what the medium is better suited to deliver.” Bajaj adds, “AAP is the only party that has managed to gather virality in its right form but can that be a scaleable model? That’s the quandary they are stuck in at the moment. What is working for AAP on digital is that their content has a human touch as opposed to a bunch of scheduled tweets which are probably just excerpts from a speech written by a content writer.” Commenting on BJP’s digital strategy, Bajaj says, “From a content perspective, they are disseminating their political agenda categorically and methodically. They have strategic messages that address the youth, the regional level and messages that address national accountability.”

The App War


The app updates users with live information from the party such as videos, events, basic information and history of the BJP, registration to join the party, photos, speeches, etc

Mission 272+:
Instead of following multiple accounts of leaders and constituencies, this app collates the social networking feeds of BJP leaders including Narendra Modi, LK Advani, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Aravind Limbavali, Dr Subramanian Swamy as well as updates from the BJP India Twitter and Facebook accounts.

India 272+:
An open forum for party volunteers enabling discussions and exchange of ideas on a common platform. The app has a four minute video explaining its function as well.

Aam Aadmi Patry (AAP) Official:
The mobile application keeps supported updated with the latest happening within the party. It contains news, videos and facebook updates. The app also helps users connect with party leaders like Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Yogender Yadav, Kumar Vishwas, Mayank Gandhi and Shazia Ilmi.

With Congress:
The app developed by With Congress volunteers updates supporters on what’s new with the party. It gives users access to daily news and updates, videos, images and highlights of the UPA’s achievement.

Some Smart Thinking

The results may not have been in their favour but the BJP did some advanced homework prior to the Delhi elections. Using sophisticated analytical tools, the party’s IT cell spent months analyzing the voting behaviour of about 12 million voters, studying how they voted in previous elections and how they were likely to vote in the upcoming elections.

To strengthen the membership numbers of its party for the Lok Sabha elections, Aam Aadmi Party launched the ‘Main Bhi Aam Aadmi’ initiative. Among other options, citizens had the simple option of giving a missed call to the party to register as a member.

Both Congress and BJP have developed dedicated websites to crowd source ideas for their 2014 election manifesto. ( and

If you listen to Samajwadi Party’s song promoting party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, don’t be surprised if it reminds you of Billy Joel. The party purchased the rights of the popular song, “We Didn’t Start the Fire” and adapted it into Hindi with lyrics that begin, “Mann se hain Mulayam...”

Both the leading parties, Congress and BJP, hired professional firms with expensive equipment such as large cranes and high definition cameras to produce live coverage of their rallies.

BJP rallies have special Twitter tables at the venue to help social media volunteers tweet the event live.

Direct Debates
While rallies are a one way discussion and news channel debates barely a discussion, there is no way for the people to interact with a politician directly. Changing this trend are video chats that several politicians have adopted as a means to reach out to supporters without any middleman.

Chai Pe Charcha with NaMo:
Seated at a tea stall in Ahmedabad, Modi connected with lakhs of supporters on February 12, 2014 as he answered questions about governance. The discussion over tea was relayed to 1,000 other tea stalls, set up with large TV screens and projectors, in 300 cities across the country. The event was also broadcast live on the party’s YouTube channel. An example of effective onground and online integration! The party is set to launch part two of ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2014 to discuss issues relating to women’s empowerment.

Google Hangout:
Another medium that candidates are tapping is Google Hangouts. Both Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal held hour-long discussions with people watching from across the globe. While Modi’s Hangouts session was moderated by Bollywood’s Ajay Devgn, Kejriwal’s Hangouts were a modest version in the early hours as the aim was to interact with NRIs from USA and Canada.

FacebookTalks Live:
In a first of its kind initiative, the social network has come together with and NDTV to present a platform to Facebook users enabling them to ask questions to leading politicians such as Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejriwal, Mamata Banerjee, Akhilesh Yadav and Lalu Prasad Yadav, among others. Called FacebookTalks Live, the multi-platform, multiscreen initiative will be moderated by Madhu Trehan and will take place from March 3 to 8, 2014.

Battle Of Wits
“We are absolutely thrilled by the jokes and videos that go viral about AAP. There are certain things that become typical of you and all humour targets groups of people - whether it’s women, a particular community or a political party. What AAP really stands for is freedom of expression. It is very necessary to keep our wits about us.” Preeti Sharma Menon, Maharashtra State Secretary, AAP

Then And Now
“Earlier in any election, we used to go to every voter’s place at least four times. First was to distribute pamphlets informing voters who the candidate is, then was to inform them about meetings, then to distribute the voting card and the final visit was on the voting day asking them to come down and vote. Now we can be in touch with the voter through SMS and WhatsApp on a regular basis to spread necessary information,” said Jiten Gajaria, President, BJP Intellectual Cell, Mumbai

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mSix&Partners wins integrated media mandate for Dr. Reddy's OTC Business

The mandate includes TV, Print, Radio, Digital and OOH

By exchange4media Staff | May 25, 2023 12:36 PM   |   2 min read


mSix&Partners has won the integrated media mandate for Dr. Reddy's OTC Business. The account will be managed by the agency's Mumbai office, which will leverage its data and tech-driven approach to drive business growth for the client through targeted and effective media planning and execution.

With a focus on maximizing ROI for the client, mSix&Partners plans to use its vast experience in media planning, execution, and measurement to craft solutions that resonate with Dr. Reddy's regional audience.

The mandate will focus on crafting detailed micro-marketing solutions with a clear focus on the regionalization story for Reblanz ORS brands.

Commenting on the win, Subhamay Mukhopadhyay, Managing Partner, mSix&Partners India said, "We are thrilled to partner with Dr. Reddy's and bring our data-driven approach to the table. As a data and tech-driven agency, we understand the importance of driving business growth through bespoke, dedicated, multi-disciplinary teams that closely partner with our clients. Our data-driven approach is what sets us apart, and we're excited to bring that to the table for Dr. Reddy's. We look forward to adding value through our expertise in media planning and execution to deliver on the client's objectives."

Nigel Saldanha, Head of Marketing OTC, GG India for Dr. Reddy’s, said “ We are on a very interesting journey in building an OTC business at Dr. Reddy’s GG India, and at this juncture, having the right partners on board is of paramount importance. After rigorous evaluations, we are happy to award the integrated media mandate to mSix&Partners India and look forward to accelerating our ambitions through this partnership."

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Aditya Birla Capital appoints Dentsu Creative India as lead brand communications agency

The account will be serviced from the agency's Mumbai office

By exchange4media Staff | May 25, 2023 11:21 AM   |   3 min read


Aditya Birla Capital (ABC) has appointed DENTSU CREATIVE India as its Lead Brand Communications Agency. The account will be serviced from the agency's Mumbai office.

As per the mandate, DENTSU CREATIVE India will manage the creative services for ABC - the corporate brand, and five of its subsidiaries. This includes developing and implementing advertising campaigns across various mediums to enhance the brand's communication and messaging.

Darshana Shah, Head of Marketing and Customer Experience, Aditya Birla Capital said, “DENTSU CREATIVE India has been a longstanding partner of ABC, and I am pleased to have them as the brand's retainer agency across our numerous lines of business. This year, we have accomplished some truly exciting projects, with a sharp focus on our health insurance, life insurance, and mutual fund businesses. Collaborating with DENTSU CREATIVE has been an absolute delight, as their dynamic and enthusiastic team shares our vision of propelling the brand forward in the new digital-first consumer era. Together, we aim to leverage the trust associated with our parent brand, Aditya Birla Group, and bring the brand ABC to the masses in India. Our goal is to simplify their financial needs and become trusted a partner throughout their life stages. I am looking forward to the remarkable outcomes that this partnership will yield."

Commenting on the partnership, Indrajeet Mookerjee, President – South & West, DENTSU CREATIVE India added, “We are delighted to be working with Aditya Birla Capital and to have won the mandate as the lead ATL agency. This reflects the trust that we have built over years of collaboration on key projects spanning mutual funds and health and life insurance, including the celebrated 'Dear Money' campaign, which was a defining chapter in Aditya Birla Capital's communication journey. The confidence shown in us is a testament to the modern and creative solutions that DENTSU CREATIVE incorporates across businesses. We are truly honored to be a part of this journey and look forward to achieving many successful business and creative outcomes together."

Aalap Desai, Chief Creative Officer, Creative Experience, West, DENTSU CREATIVE India commented, “We have had a great history of collaboration with Aditya Birla Capital, and it is truly an honor to now officially join forces with them. Working with a fantastic brand team that is in sync with our own team is refreshing, rare, and valuable. It almost feels like we are one team working towards the common goal of creating memorable work that resonates with the audience. Aditya Birla Capital has always been inventive in presenting real solutions to real challenges in the financial services industry, and we at DENTSU CREATIVE take pride in offering the perfect balance of strategy and creativity.”

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Larah Opalware by Borosil launches film to unveil new brand identity

Larah aims to reflect the modern Indian woman with the new brand tagline, ‘My Home My Way’

By exchange4media Staff | May 28, 2023 6:00 PM   |   2 min read


Larah, the opalware brand by Borosil, has undergone a change in brand identity and positioning. The brand aims to target modern Indian women who multitask and strive to excel in every aspect of their lives.

With the theme "My Home, My Way," Larah emphasizes women's choices, efforts to showcase their personality and commitment to making healthy, savvy, and sustainable choices for their homes and loved ones. The brand's new immersive experience includes a new logo featuring a deep aubergine hue, which represents self-assurance and confidence - virtues that embody today's women.

Regarding launching the new identity and campaign, Barnali Shankar, Senior General Manager (Marketing) at Borosil Ltd., said, "We are extremely excited to reposition Brand Larah. We aim to recognize modern Indian women, their values, and their commitment to their homes and loved ones. Our brand values are rooted in confidence, aspiration, and sustainable choices. We are proud to play a part in empowering Indian women and recognizing their dedication."

In addition, the brand has reworked its packaging design to be easily identifiable while on store displays. Customers can easily navigate and get what they want, as the packaging is standardized across ranges but differentiated to cater to various styles. Larah's new brand positioning is all about enjoying moments with its products. The brand offers a wide range of dinnerware and serveware options to suit various occasions, each providing a happy and beautiful reflection of its users' true selves.

The brand will roll out its changes in packaging design, POS, and online digital communication, with a renewed commitment to empowering and recognizing the value of modern Indian women.

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Tata Salt unveils campaign with focus on schoolkids

The campaign is part of the brand’s core theme 'Desh Ki Sehat, Desh Ka Namak’

By exchange4media Staff | May 24, 2023 11:48 AM   |   1 min read


Tata Salt is every Indian mother's ally in raising a strong and sharp nation through her children

Tata Salt has unveiled a campaign titled: ‘Tez Baccho Se Hi Toh Tez Desh Banta Hain’, which aligns with the brand’s core theme of 'Desh Ki Sehat, Desh Ka Namak’.

At the heart of the campaign is an endearing film depicting a caring mother engaged in a conversation with her daughter during mealtime. Expressing her concerns about her daughter's science project, scholarship, computer exam, and school contest, the mother receives a reassuring response from her confident daughter, who also happens to be the school captain, singing, "No problem Mummy, no problem!"

Speaking about the campaign, Deepika Bhan, President, Packaged Foods- India, Tata Consumer Products, said, "Tata Salt is unwavering in its commitment as a guardian of the nation's health. We understand that the right amount of iodine is essential for a child’s mental development and strive to provide this in each and every bag of Tata Salt .. aakhir 'Tez Baccho Se Hi Toh Tez Desh Banta Hain'.."

The ‘Tez Baccho Se Hi Toh Tez Desh Banta Hain’ campaign by Tata Salt is slated to roll out on various media platforms, including television, digital, and social media channels.

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A peek at BBDO’s entries for Cannes Lions

The agency has sent Ariel’s #ShareTheLoad, WhatsApp and Ralco Tyre campaigns for the festival of creativity

By exchange4media Staff | May 24, 2023 11:31 AM   |   7 min read


For this year’s Cannes Lions 2023, BBDO has sent some of its landmark campaigns to the festival of creativity. Let's take a look at the entries.

Silent Separation #ShareTheLoad | Ariel 

In its 8th year of getting men to share the load at home, Ariel, India’s leading detergent brand, decided to dig deeper. While the divorce rate in India is only 1%, 65% of women feel an emotional distance from their spouse. And 81% of women feel that unequal distribution of chores has affected their relationship over time.

To make men aware and act, Ariel launched 'See the signs of silent separation'. We triggered the conversation with a film that introduced a new term called ‘Silent Separation’. 

Silent Separation – The emotional distance that creeps into marriage because of inequality at home.

When a father opens-up about his marriage, his sensitive and empathetic daughter is moved to tears. She tells him that mom has been giving and giving for so long, that maybe she has just given up. This makes the father realize that he ended up taking his wife for granted. He apologizes to his wife and commits to be an equal partner.

 At the end of the film, Ariel urges men to see the signs and share the load. The message got amplified by the immense coverage it received. Over 1100 publications covered the film across 45 countries. 

Taking things a step further, we reached out to a group of untapped influencers – the house help. A hundred house helps came together and unearthed the unspoken signs of silent separation they had witnessed. 

And taking a cue from the film, we organised a mass re-proposal, where married men went down on one knee in front of washing machines and took a vow to be equal partners.

The brand’s commitment to the cause unlocked massive brand preference and consideration, and also had a positive influence on the society. 

1.4 billion earned impressions 

150 million views across platform 

More than 90% of couples agree that doing chores together will improve their relationship. 


See Equal #ShareTheLoad | Ariel

See Equal #ShareTheLoad is the fifth phase of the longest running movement against gender inequality at home. The campaign was celebrated at Cannes 2022 with a Lion and 4 shortlists, and is invited for creative effectiveness this year, as a campaign that has not only unlocked massive brand preference and consideration, but also had a positive influence on the society. 

A World Economic Forum report says gender equality is 135 years away.  Which means no woman alive will see gender parity in her lifetime. 

To accelerate the pace of change, Ariel took a more defiant stand. In a country where women are conditioned to never challenge their husbands, the wife confronts her husband and asks why men like him can share the load with other men but not with their wives, is it because they never saw women as their equal?

See Equal #ShareTheLoad was a bold new tone for the country, and it created instant news. It triggered millions of uncomfortable conversations. 

To further catalyse the movement, Ariel made a confession on the front page of leading dailies, with an open letter, that urged all content creators, media partners and advertisers to help change the imagery. 

Partners joined in. Times of India, country’s biggest media house amended their matrimonial section, where men can now also state their willingness to #ShareTheLoad at home. Disney+Hotstar curated a list of movies and shows that has better representation of women. 

Ariel turned its packs into a silent protest. For the first time, Ariel changed the names on its packs with names of hundreds of Indian men. 


See Equal #ShareTheLoad Long-term | Ariel 

Ariel’s #ShareTheLoad is the longest running movement against gender inequality at home by a brand. We started in 2015, by raising awareness with a pertinent question, ‘Is laundry only a woman’s job?’

In 2016, we uncovered the source of this inequality. The deep-rooted social conditioning. We addressed it with a heart-wrenching apology letter. 

In 2018, we asked ‘are we teaching our sons, what we’ve been teaching our daughters?’ It was discussed at the world economic forum. In 2020, we challenged another hidden cultural issue. 71% of Indian women sleep less than men, due to unequal distribution of household chores. 

In 2022, there was a shift in the tone of the brand’s movement. To accelerate the pace of change, Ariel took a more defiant stand. In the film, the wife confronts her husband and asks why men like him can share the load with other men but not with their wives, is it because they never saw women as their equals? Ariel turned its packs into a silent protest. For the first time, Ariel changed the names on its packs with names of hundreds of Indian men. 

Year after year, we’ve spread the message of share the load, through unique new touchpoints. Wash care labels, matrimonial sites, cultural calendars, comic books, colouring books, OTT platforms and NFT art. 

When we began in 2015, 79% men believed that laundry is a woman’s job. That number is down to 26% today. 


Scam Se Bacho | WhatsApp

In India, digital payment scams are valued at 1.55 billion dollars.

Their biggest victims? Our beloved baby boomers. 

Payments on WhatsApp, decided to step-in and help the older generation by recreating the most iconic Bollywood song from the '70s, turning it into a melodic lesson about digital payment safety.

The song chosen was “Aye Bhai Zara Dekh Ke Chalo” (“Hey brother, stay safe while you walk”), a song from the popular 1970 Bollywood movie ‘Mera Naam Joker’, which is widely popular across all age groups. 

The original song, featuring Raj Kapoor, played a huge role in popularizing the common phrase “Aye bhai”, which is a friendly interjection used across generations.  

The original lyrics were a friendly word of caution, warning people to look before they walk; we rewrote the lyrics, telling people to look again and be mindful of digital payment scams.

The video that picturized the song captured rampant scams currently affecting the target audience.

The music video soon became a tool for the highest authority figures of the country to combat scams. Several state police departments shared the song on their social media accounts as a friendly reminder to stay safe from scams. 

#NoPressureDelivery | Ralco Tyres

Ralco Tyres have been highlighting the capability of their tyres that have gone through numerous ‘Pressure Tests’. At the same time, food and delivery apps have been reducing the delivery time to as low as 10-minutes to beat the competition, adding more pressure on the delivery riders. 

The quick delivery timings forced delivery riders to overspeed and break traffic rules, just to deliver on time. This led to the core thought of our next socially relevant message, ‘Pressure is meant for tyres, not people.’

Ralco Tyres introduced a simple action for the users of these delivery apps to reduce the 10-min delivery pressure on the delivery riders. In the delivery instruction section of the app, we urged the users to add the words, ‘No Pressure Delivery’. This way the riders get to know that they needn’t rush and risk their lives to deliver the order within 10-minutes. 

We chose the ideal influencer to take this idea forward. Someone who has always been the voice of the underrepresented. With Bollywood actor and activist, Sonu Sood, we propelled the #NoPressureDelivery initiative to a wide audience, garnering over 47 million video views. This emboldened tto he mothers of the delivery riders make an impassioned plea for change. All of which nudged the delivery apps platform to review the 10 minute delivery time. 

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‘Kaala teeka’ campaign row: A case of coincidence?

Industry experts weigh in on the latest controversy in the Indian ad world where two leading agencies have sent out strikingly similar campaigns as their Cannes Lions 2023 entries

By Tanzila Shaikh | May 24, 2023 9:08 AM   |   3 min read

Kaala teeka

With Cannes Lions 2023 around the corner, the Indian adland has been rocked by its controversy for the year. Earlier, e4m broke how two agencies Dentsu Creative and VMLY&R have locked horns over their respective Cannes Lions entries this year.

Dentsu’s Mortein - ‘Suraksha ka Kaala Teeka’ campaign and VMLY&R’s Maxx Flash – ‘Arogya Bindu’ campaign are similar in concept and execution. Both advertise mosquito repellent kajal “teekas” that parents often apply on children to ward off evil eyes. In these cases, both products also ward off mosquitos and thereby vector-borne diseases.
The campaigns submitted by the leading agencies are a striking resemblance in concept and execution, which has led to a debate within the industry about whether their entries may be flagged at the international ad fest.

Both agencies have stood their ground, backing their campaigns with seemingly solid arguments. The issue has, in turn, sparked a debate within the industry on the question of ethics and the originality of concepts. e4m reached out to experts to understand their take on the issue.

Ad guru Prahlad Kakkar weighed in on the issue: “If the product does not exist, then the agency should rethink its participation.”

Media entrepreneur Sandeep Goyal highlighted that sometimes ideas can be in a close approximation of each other, especially when the products are so similar. “It doesn’t mean anyone has copied another agency’s idea. Independently convergence of ideas that are similar is possible. It doesn’t impact either India’s chances or image. Coincidences are part of life.”

In a similar vein, Garima Khandelwal, Former CCO at Mullen Lintas, explained why such an issue has come to a pass.

“As I understand the idea has been live at both agencies since 2019 or 2020, getting approvals. So, that’s a pretty long window and too many brand custodians shift jobs.”
She explained that sometimes, an unreleased idea or a thought handled by an agency is pitched by the former employees of that agency handling a competitive brand. “Or maybe, it’s just one of those bizarre coincidences in advertising,” she pointed out.

Ashish Khazanchi, Managing Partner in Enormous Brands said that both the agencies had thought the other way around which should not be the approach. He said that culturally rooted campaigns make it big at the festivals and that’s what the agencies have done. They first thought about culture and tried to fit in a brand. “And when you have an approach like that naturally you’ll end up having the same ideas,” he explained.

An expert feels that the squabble between the agencies is quite laughable. He quipped: “Anybody who’s ever been within a mile of an advertising agency knows that both these ideas are created purely for awards AKA scam-vertising. To claim the moral high ground saying ‘I thought of it first’ is just plain hilarious.”

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Superdry launches new campaign with Kartik Aryan

In the campaign, Aryan is sporting looks from the brand’s denim collection

By exchange4media Staff | May 23, 2023 5:45 PM   |   1 min read

kartik aryan

Superdry, a British apparel brand, has launched its new campaign with brand ambassador Kartik Aaryan, sporting looks from the brand’s denim collection.

The campaign features Kartik Aaryan in everyday denim moments, from being adventurous outdoors to relaxed indoors to showcase the durable, versatile collection from Superdry that helps you just be your unapologetic self. 

The campaign puts forth a collection that fits all moods, with minimal to bold designs and colours that capture the essence of the everyday you. The range features a commitment to not only style but also functionality, durability and versatility while maintaining the brand's sustainable ethos. 

Speaking on the campaign, Kartik said, "I like to keep a balance of adventure while maintaining a carefree personality. The new Superdry collection fits perfectly with my busy schedule and casual vibe. It is all about denims that feature not only different styles but also comfort that lets you Be all day. ”

"We are thrilled to be launching our second Denim collection with renowned actor and brand ambassador, Kartik Aryan. The collection takes inspiration from both the seventies and Y2K era to offer a trend-led range of denim that caters to various fits. Kartik’s style and fan base speak to the Gen-Z consumer that the brand is highly focused on targeting.” says Justin Lodge, Superdry’s Chief Marketing Officer. 

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