We believe, it's just as important to do good for the society, as it is to help businesses achieve their goals.
That's why, when our team is not busy chalking out marketing strategies for brands, they are working towards spreading awareness on social causes - the ones we believe will go a long way in shaping our society for the better.
One such cause is that of tobacco control. The harmful effects of tobacco use are known to everyone, but for some reason it is still widely prevalent. Be it chewing tobacco, bidi or cigarette - tobacco rears its ugly head in many forms and is silently destroying the nation. Tobacco use is responsible for nearly 12 lakh deaths every year in India and more than 6 million globally, hence, eradicating it is the need of the hour. According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey conducted by the WHO in 2011-12, tobacco use costs us approximately INR 1,04,500 crores every year, which was 12% more than combined state and central government expenditures on health in 2011-12.
Despite bans on surrogate advertisement in India, stars like Priyanka Chopra, Ajay Devgan, Akshay Kumar and others continue to endorse such products which opens the doors to other harmful products for ignorant and poor people to fall prey to. #OneTobaccoTax #Tobacco #GST #TobaccoKills
Death toll in India due to bidi already stands at 5.8 lakh every year out of a total of 12 lakh deaths caused by all tobacco products. Cheaper bidi will mean more deaths and will be a huge step backwards for our country. #OneTobaccoTax #ArunJaitley #Tobacco #TobaccoKills
Bidi rollers should be paid fair wages through their bank accounts to keep bidi industry accountable. @narendramodi you can save lives. #Tobaccokills #OneTobaccoTax
Ridden with MEAGER WAGES and #health hazards, #BIDI rolling stems from lack of alternatives. #OneTobaccoTax will promote better #livelihoods
As India got ready to introduce the landmark Goods and Services Tax regime in July 2017, certain sections of the society - doctors, public health advocates and the tobacco control community, were uncertain about the taxation of tobacco products.
There was no information about taxes on chewing tobacco and it was possible bidi would fall under the essential commodities tax rate of 5%, which, if implemented would have lowered tax burden on bidi and would have either resulted in cheaper bidis or increased profit for the bidi companies. Both the cases would have been undesirable and a big setback to public health advancement efforts in India.
Enter Viral Baap:
Blending the power of touching visuals and tactical content, we managed to create disturbance on social media. Gut-wrenching stories of victims of tobacco inflicted diseases on Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds, instead of the ususal memes, helped people realize that the horrid visuals on cigarette and tobacco packs were indeed true.
A cruel everyday reminder of the dreaded six-letter word C-A-N-C-E-R and other diseases like heart attack kept people mindful of the dangers of tobacco use.
We executed an intensive #OneTobaccoTax campaign from October 2016 - July 2017. The social media campaign ran in multiple phases in sync with mass media campaigns, earned media activities and offline advocacy. Regular social media communication along with promotions to reach a larger audience (at unbelievably low CPC by the way!), a website with CTAs to drive more actions & enhance recall, 2 thunderclap campaigns that reached out to more than 700,000 people and interviews of youth groups to project the mood of the nation, all served well to carry out a successful campaign.
The objective was to influence key decision makers by
(1) Calling for high, unified taxes
(2) A focus on Bidi, calling for its inclusion in the highest bracket.
The impact of our campaign was felt across the length and breadth of the country. Everybody, from common people to opinion leaders and celebrities supported #OneTobaccoTax. Chairperson of the Child Rights Commission and Minister for Food and Public Distribution, Karnataka, tweeted in support of #OneTobaccoTax. Salim Merchant of Salim-Suleiman fame also showed support for the cause at an event in Mumbai.
Combining our creative prowess with digital marketing acumen and on-ground zeal, we were able to carry out a landmark campaign. Analytics suggested that #OneTobaccoTax, reached out to approximately 2.4 million people on Facebook and Twitter. 1,474 re-tweets targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, were viewed 283,757 times, drawing lakhs and lakhs of reactions and conversations online.
When we earned our Kudos!
Viral Baap's astute use of social media, as a part of a comprehensive digital strategy including on-ground support, helped target messages to policy makers and key opinion leaders. People who agreed with our campaign lent their voice and shared our messages on social media, which showed support for higher tobacco taxes, allowing supporters to target decision makers at national and sub-national level. The campaign proved to be a success, as its objective was attained when the GST council decided to tax all tobacco products, including bidi, under the highest tax bracket.
Studies have shown tobacco use is normalized by its positive portrayals in film and television. Indian films are watched by 250 million people in India and have the power to influence the behaviour and attitudes of viewers, especially youth. To counter the pro-tobacco imagery in the media, the Government of India enacted the Film Rule, under tobacco-control laws mandating theatres and television channels to include anti-tobacco advertisements, disclaimers and health warnings when tobacco is depicted on screen. Our client, in collaboration with World Health Organization India, undertook a study, “Evaluation of the Implementation of Tobacco-Free Film and Television Rules in India”. The results were launched at a National Consultation with the relevant stakeholders.
Enter Viral Baap:
The #ReelVsReal (film “reel” vs “real” life) campaign was designed to raise awareness about the findings of the study “Evaluation of the Implementation of Tobacco-Free Film and Television Rules in India” and combat the positive portrayal of tobacco consumption on television and in films. The two-week intensive campaign (23 January - 10 February 2017) began a week before the dissemination of the study and included social media posts on Facebook and Twitter targeting celebrities and filmmakers.
Viral Baap's Content Strategy team developed the #ReelVsReal campaign around 4 content pillars-
1. Dissemination of ‘Film Rule Study’ findings
The content covered:
a. Depiction Of Tobacco in films and on TV
b. Implementation of the ‘Film Rule’ law
c. Recommendations from the report
2. How tobacco on TV programs/Films influences adolescents
a. Images depicting adolescents watching their favorite celebrities using tobacco on screen.
b. Stories of how someone picked up smoking because of seeing a character smoke on screen.
3. Surrogate advertisement: Targeted celebrities who have indulged in surrogate advertisement of tobacco products.
4. Movie scene Vs reality | Reel vs Real: Visuals depicted scenes showing tobacco use from television and films and compared them to the reality/eventuality of tobacco usage, in terms of the health harms and diseases that those acts on-screen actually inflict on tobacco users in real life. We showed the contrast between positive depiction of tobacco in films with the real life stories of tobacco victims in India.
When we earned our Kudos!
The content team's hard work paid off, when our Digital Marketers were able to pull off stunning numbers on social media campaigns. The study result highlights were covered in more than 122 leading news publications. The posts were seen by approximately 300,000 people on Facebook and Twitter, garnering around 53,000 reactions. The Cost Per Engagement on Twitter (tweets engagement) was USD 0.02 and Cost Per Follow was USD 0.31, which was a brilliant win as according to Twitter stats generally, average cost per engagement is $0.3 and cost per follow is $2.5.
The campaign bore fruit as it showcased how the glamorous depiction of tobacco on screen can be combatted by real images of tobacco victims, and encourage celebrities and filmmakers to work together to protect the health and well-being of those, that they influence through their films and TV programs.
On the back of years of efforts towards reducing the prevalance of all forms of tobacco use in the city, it only seemed natural that Bengaluru should choose to fructify all those years of hard work. So when the opportunity presented itself, as a part of the Partnership For Healthy Cities program under WHO, Bengaluru opted for smoke free initiative. This meant that Bengaluru had to declare itself free of public smoking by December 2018. Exposure to secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard, one that claims 6 million lives every year globally, and should be eliminated completely.
Enter Viral Baap:
Although, COTPA section 4 prohibits public smoking in India, it is still widely prevalent due to lax enforcement. Due to such wide prevalance, it was paramount that awareness among people be raised about the health harms of secondhand smoking, as it is not feasible for the police to ensure order everywhere.
We executed an intensive social media campaign to sensitize people of Bengaluru on the health risks of secondhand smoke exposure and get them to report instances of public smoking on a website, so that complaints can be tracked and corrective measures can be taken appropriately. The response of the ongoing campaign has been more than heartening.
Our team was quick to realize that people would have lots of reservations and queries about lodging complaints about other people. Hence, monitored comments very closely. Bang on! More than 90% of the comments on social media were about security and anonimity concerns. As a result, our team made it a mission to clarify all doubts and queries as soon as they were posted, to build trust with the followers and help them feel safe.
After the initial reservations were assuaged, and all doubts and queries were cleared, people happily took to reporting violations on the website.
Along with social media campaigning, we also organized a visit by a cancer patient Nalini (got cancer because of secondhand smoke exposure from her husband's smoking) to restaurants and bars in the city, urging them to not allow smoking in their premises. This prompted the Bruhat Bangalore Hotels Association to issue a notice to all the restaurants, bars and hotels in Bengaluru to strictly comply with COTPA section 4 laws.
When we earned our Kudos!
Though the year long campaign is only in the 3rd month of its execution, the zeal and commitment of our team has made sure that the seeds of change are sown. The initial response proves that personalized, one-on-one communication with followers on social media, goes a long way in building trust to spread awareness and sensitize people on socially relevant issues. The resulting willingness of people to interact on such a topic online, to express their doubts, reservations and suggestions comes as a welcome victory for our team. Sparking such levels of interest, when accompanied with offline activities can be used to shape thoughts and opinions of people, and influence change in the society.