“Terror, hatred and fanaticism somehow sit more comfortably in our minds when we think of the other side of the border. Is there any chance at all that we could still raise a hand, not in anger but in greeting? So on the first day of this new year, we’re going to make a start. Again.”
Aman Ki Asha is a campaign that hopes to strengthen ties between India and Pakistan on a people-to-people basis .The objective behind this campaign according to Rahul Kansal, the CMO of The Times of India, the largest media group of India was to take on a leadership position in campaigns that highlight issues as opposed to being passive reporters. On the Pakistani front, the Jang group has entered into an agreement with them to campaign for peace between the two countries which will also cover issues such as the Kashmir dispute, the water dispute and problems associated with terrorism. In addition the campaign will also promote economic, cultural and educational benefits. In February a trade meet has been set up in Karachi which will bring together businessmen and industrialists from both the countries.
At present a TVC featuring Amitabh Bachchan is also playing on local TV channels. In addition, independent research agencies will carry out cross –country surveys in both countries in order to determine people’s opinions on issues that matter.
A second TVC has also gone on air. Shot in an arid landscape close to Jaipur, it shows people across both sides of the border in a game of dumb-charades. A representative from Pakistan is standing close to the border and making gestures that describe the name of a film, while his counterparts in India are seen interpreting his signs through a binocular. In no time, the Indians manage to guess the name of the popular film. Thrilled, they spread the word that All India Radio be called up and the song request from the film be played on air. A jubilant dance follows across both sides of the border as soon as that song goes on air.
Last year in February 2009, a three month ad campaign called “I am MuslimI am British” was funded by the foreign office and aimed to create awareness amongst people that the west is not anti Muslim. Watch the ads here http://www.brandsynario.com/local-tvc/1015_www-imib-org-uk.aspx
This was part of the counter terrorism campaign in Pakistan which if successful was to be role modeled in other countries.
On a religious note, in 2002, 150 Christian churches commissioned Ogilvy to plan an advertising campaign for making people feel closer to God as they felt a lot of people had drifted away from the spiritual part of their lives. The advertising appeared in the form of billboards, e mails, TV commercials press etc. This was a different approach to appeal to people but had a strong impact because it was promoted through the media.