Want to join COVID-19 conversation but not via commercial campaign: Nipun Marya, Vivo

Marya, Director, Brand Strategy, Vivo, shares with exchange4media insights into the brand’s new digital film ‘Heroes Who Care’ that has been executed by Dentsu Impact

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: Mar 31, 2020 3:06 PM
Nipun Marya

With the number of coronavirus cases on the increase globally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and governments are engaging in information warfare to combat the spread of the virus. 

Now, with the situation getting grimmer by the day, brands are increasingly weaving conversations around getting past the pandemic. Smartphone brand Vivo India has released a new digital film and is clear that the brand will ‘walk the talk’ rather than using the situation as a marketing ploy. 

The digital campaign titled ‘Heroes Who Care’ salutes doctors and frontline health workers, who are relentlessly working to save lives during this global pandemic - COVID-19. As part of Vivo India’s CSR initiative, the brand donated over 2 lakh surgical and N95 masks.

In a chat with exchange4media, Nipun Marya, Director, Brand Strategy, Vivo, said: “As a CSR activity, we are looking at healthcare professionals as a fraternity and how to make their lives a little simpler. We can’t go into their job but we can at least equip them better. So, this has been our focus and we will continue doing so in the future from a CSR point of view. This is not a commercial campaign. It is more about sending out a noble message on how doctors and nurses are really helping us in this situation.”

Executed by Dentsu Impact, the film showcases the efforts and resilience of healthcare professionals, who are leaving no stone unturned to fight this global pandemic. Marya said that while the campaign will be largely digital-first, the brand is in talks on if and how they can get it on TV as well.

Opening up about the genesis of the ad campaign, he asserted, “At this time when everybody is locked up at home, the only responsibility on us is to behave as responsible citizens, whereas there are some real heroes who are putting their lives at stake during this pandemic. Our doctors, healthcare professionals, nurses and lab technicians are in every way trying to resolve this issue. We are trying to avoid the spread but they are the ones trying to resolve it. They are the real heroes and so Maharashtra is the most affected city, so we started with this city by donating surgical masks and N-95 masks. It was just one of the few activities that we have undertaken from a CSR initiative point of view. “ 

Marya revealed that while conceptualising the ad campaign the brief to the creative agency was about rising above the brand and showcasing how despite all the odds a bunch of professionals are battling through the pandemic to save the rest. “It was very clear that this is the moment where it's not about Vivo as a brand but we have to rise above and see beyond what is the larger pandemic which the whole world is facing right now and how our medical professional, doctors and nurses are coming to the forefront and risking their lives in trying to resolve the issue. Therefore, we wanted to show the real world that what these guys are actually doing and be thankful to them,” he remarked.

Drawing the parallels on how superheroes wear capes with the medical staff and how the metaphor was used in the creative, Marya further shared that it was the creative agency that cracked the idea. “The agency said ‘heroes do wear capes’ and they are white, blue and green. Although, we tend to say Superman wears capes, or some other superheroes wear capes, these are normal people who are not flying around but are the ones in white, blue and green dresses saving the rest of the world. So, we salute these heroes. For us, it is very clear and has come from our heart. So, it’s very authentic,” he explained.

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