HT Media has launched a full-fledged 360-degree campaign to celebrate the spirit of Mumbai for Hindustan Times – talking about nostalgia, the qualities of the megapolis and how the city belongs to everyone. Explicitly, the brand has placed itself as a newspaper that knows Mumbai in and out, but implicitly, it has tried to build and grow its position in Mumbai and classify itself as not just a Delhi newspaper.
Conceptualised by RK Swamy BBDO, as a part of the campaign, Hindustan Times has released three ad films.
Why a Mumbai-specific campaign? Vincent Noronha, Head of Marketing and Communications, HT Media, said, “HT wanted to celebrate Mumbai which we have showcased in all the three films, ‘The spirit of Mumbai’. The city of Mumbai is all about talent, you do well and survive, no matter what religion, caste, creed and stature you come from.”
The films showcase the spirit of Mumbai and how no one is an outsider here. “It is an inclusive city. Many films by other media houses capture the angst of readers and it is more into a serious and negative page. Over here, we wanted to do something light and which would bring a smile to the reader’s face and still talk about the city, which is like a shining lamp in the darkness for millions of people staying here,” said Noronha.
Noronha said, “Secondly, we wanted to connect to the readers of Hindustan Times as well as non-readers. We wanted to make them clear that HT is not a Delhi paper. That’s the perception people have. We have been in Mumbai for 11 years now. It is the 12th year running. Since we know the city better, we bring the city to you unlike anybody else. We wanted to show that HT is a brand that knows the city in and out. The caption itself ‘Mumbai meri hai’ is so catchy that people understand and know what it means.”
The creative agency came out with a solution and decided to put out a positive message for HT as a counterpoint to the angst-ridden messaging of the competition. Therefore it was important to celebrate Mumbai, its attitude of prizing skill, quality and talent above all, irrespective of identity, and its peppy, inclusive spirit. The agency literally made a song and dance about it where a stage was set, symbolic of the Mumbai city, where all are free to come and do what they are good at. So everyone lives together in harmony.
The lyrics celebrate Mumbai’s inclusive meritocracy and attitude. The songs are sung by three interesting characters that are representative of its people and the three core passions of Mumbai– food, cricket and Bollywood. At the end of an interesting piece of performance art, a message is slipped in — HT gets Mumbai.
Talking about the campaign, Sangeetha N, President and NCD said, RK Swamy, BBDO, said, “When you want to connect with people, nothing works better than showing empathy and understanding who they are. The music depicts the personal relationship each of us has with the city.”
Ambareesh Chakraborty, Senior Partner and Executive Creative Director, RK Swamy BBDO, added, “Our similarities are more important than our differences. A positive, entertaining message that is a response to the zeitgeist, celebrates the city and thus makes a connection with the people. An interesting counterpoint in a category where criticism is the norm.”
Visually, all films are different. In the Bollywood film, red curtains and spotlights render the glamour of what our films are about. The set looks beautiful with all the glittering lights and grandeur.
The Cricket film is extremely high on energy and has a raw Maharashtrian feel that appeals to the mass. It starts with gully cricket and moves to the grand stadium.
The Irani Cafe film, with a charming Parsi uncle singing, makes a true ‘Bombaywala’ nostalgic. It has a very cosy feel with lamps and lanterns.
Musically, all the songs have a very nostalgic feel. The three films are different in their treatment, but come together at the end with the hook line of the song and with similar excitement all the performers have.
On choosing only food, cricket and Bollywood as the topics for the films, whereas Mumbai defines and relates to other aspects as well, Noronha explained, “We have taken other things in our print campaign. To create films, it incurs a lot of expense. We have tried to be selectively very smart and have made films that work a lot with the youth and the culture of Mumbai. We have done a full page on HT paper to cover Mumbai local trains. We have covered everything through different routes. We have covered chawls of Mumbai and festivals of Mumbai on social media.”
The campaign was first launched in cinemas on April 7 and on digital on April 8.The campaign will run till the end of June. HT Media is also planning to launch a television campaign that will specifically run on the news channels.
Noronha said that this is one film that the brand is not talking about itself but the spirit of Mumbai. This campaign is not a sales TVC. “This is more to talk about the spirit of Mumbai and subtly tell that no other media organisation knows Mumbai well than us,” added Noronha.
Editorially, for the entire week, the paper had picked up certain aspects of Mumbai. For example the chawls, dabbawalas, maidans and vada pav. There was an editorial piece that featured Sachin Tendulkar talking about how he relates to all the grounds of Mumbai.
On social media, people can send in pictures that they feel nostalgic with Mumbai and HT would put them on their social media pages. At Infinity Mall, the brand has put a huge installation where people can take a selfie and share it with Hindustan Times social media page.
Also, not revealing much about the marketing spend, Noronha said, Since we are a media brand, we have support from other media houses in terms of barters, which we try and capitalise on.”
Client: HT Media
Brand: Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Agency: RK Swamy BBDO, Mumbai
Production House: Venus Productions
Director: Ravi Jain
Producer: Anil Jain