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JWT makes Mumbai run for Standard Chartered Marathon

13-February-2004
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JWT makes Mumbai run for Standard Chartered Marathon

This Sunday, thousands of people are expected to run on Mumbai roads. Quite a few routes will be closed for the same. The occasion is Standard Chartered Mumbai International Marathon 2004. Carrying the creative responsibility for Marathon is JWT. The team handling the account is all charged up. Along with the theme commercial, they have created interesting 30-second commercials.

This Marathon offers prize money of US$ 2,10,000. The Marathon will consist of three races – 42 KM Marathon, 21 KM Half Marathon and 7 KM Dream Run. ESPN and Doordarshan would telecast the event managed by Procam international.

Stanchart has, as per Sugato Banerji, Senior Manager, Consumer Banking, Standard Chartered, India, spent a sizeable amount on acquiring the title sponsorship rights, in addition to spending Rs 1.7 crore on promoting the event. Expectations are that more than 20,000 people including several celebrities will participate in the race.

As to why the bank decided to invest in a Marathon, explains Banerji, “Actually, Marathon is the endeavour of human mind and spirit over the body. The idea is to promote a fitness culture in the country. Running is a healthy way to exercise your body and keep your mind fit.

“We believe in giving back to society what we gain out of it. Secondly, being a long race, it is all about endurance. That is what the brand for 150 years has been doing. The Marathon ties very well with our philosophy.” Standard Chartered is already associated with the Marathon in three other countries — Hong Kong, Singapore and Nairobi.

Across the world, a large number of people come to Marathon because they believe in some cause or charity. In India too, the money raised from the race will go to charity.

Standard Chartered expects the event to be beneficial in more ways than one. Explains Banerji, “We believe that by associating with the Marathon, our unaided brand recall scores will go up. Our disposition will improve. Awareness of the Marathon as a sport will go up and the association with Standard Chartered will be established. There is a good fit from overall brand fit perspective, we are not looking at specific increase in sales etc.”

He also believes that in the next few years, the number of people participating from abroad will considerably increase and hospitality and tourism industry will gain out of it.

Carrying the creative responsibility for Marathon is JWT. The team handling the account is all charged up. Along with the theme commercial, they have created interesting 30-second commercials. States Zaheer Mirza, Associate VP and Senior CD, JWT, “This is very different from brand advertising. It is for the first time that Marathon is happening in India. We wanted to do some thing innovative.”

Adds Tista Sen, AVP & Senior CD, JWT, “Marathon is about guts and glory. We had a small budget and we wanted to make a mark. The whole idea was to motivate people to run.”

The advertising to say the least is innovative and interesting. The creative duo is most excited about the 30 seconders. They enthuse, “We shot the locations in Mumbai – but the only difference is that Parvez, an ad film maker from our own agency ran and shot with a handicam. Hence, the impact is of looking at monuments while you are running. The voiceover is also in the same mode – breathless voices in various accents.” Radio jingles also follow a similar pattern.

And then there is the theme commercial shot in Mumbai with foreigners who look like runners. The backdrop is computer-generated graphics of Eiffel Tower, Great Wall of China and other international monuments. The commercial shows people coming to Mumbai to participate in the Marathon from across the globe.

And now comes the most interesting part. JWT team members went to 500 buildings in Mumbai. And wherever there was a nameplate on the gate, two stickers with word run written on it were pasted — one before the name and one after it. Not only this, agency is also participating in the race as well. Run J Walter Thompson Run.

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