Conceptualised by DDB Mudra and directed by Shoojit Sircar, the five film campaign featuring Amitabh Bachchan, is a part of the programme that aims at eradicating tuberculosis from the country
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | March 27, 2017
Amitabh Bachchan is back asking you to fight back tuberculosis (TB), albeit this time around, he wants you to fight TB as one nation under the slogan - #IndiaVsTB. Conceptualised by DDB Mudra and directed by Shoojit Sircar, the five film campaign was launched on World TB Day, March 24, 2017.
The earlier campaign was launched in December 2014 which featured the brand ambassador for the cause - Bachchan - asking people (in a quirky manner) to get ‘chronic coughing’ checked for TB. That was the basic awareness campaign while the latest campaign is trying to educate people further on multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB).
The campaign is developed by International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Challenge TB.
Since campaigns have been happening on the awareness of TB, BestMediaInfo spoke to Sonal Dabral, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, DDB Mudra, to know what is different in the latest campaign. Dabral explained, “The brief for the campaign was to build communication that can help eradicate TB by 2025. This campaign not only deals with the symptoms of TB and the need for treatment but emphasises on complete treatment. Large number of TB patients in India drop their treatment without being totally cured of it and this results in MDR TB which is dangerous and often not treatable. They drop it as it’s extremely difficult to manage and the duration is long too.”
JP Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare launched the campaign titled #India vs TB, while the tagline of the campaign remains the same from 2014 - TB Harega, Desh Jeetega.
Earlier this year, Bachchan also featured in a TV commercial and radio spot where he encouraged viewers and listeners to support the ministry’s grassroot, door-to-door initiative to actively find new TB cases. Speaking on the campaign, he said, “I am happy to lend my voice to the campaign to end TB. I have pledged my support to the Indian government's Call to action for a TB free India and will continue to work with them till our country is free of TB.”
India was officially declared Polio-free in 2014, 19 years after 1995 when the programme to eradicate Polio was started by the Healthy ministry and 12 years after 2002 when Bachchan came aboard as the brand ambassador. This time around, the target for a TB free India is set at 2025.
While speaking about the powerful idea #IndiaVsTB, Dabral said, “The campaign has been given a new life with the idea, @India VsTB which in itself declares a mission. A mission to eradicate TB. The campaign needed to galvanise the nation towards the mission of eradicating TB. We have witnessed in many situations that as a nation we come together each time we have been confronted with a strong opponent. TB is one such opponent we have to combat and its possible only when the nation gets together against it. That's why IndiaVsTB. It's a big idea. It's got momentum, it's powerful and sets the pace for the movement. Fighting TB is a hugely important cause and it's been truly exciting working on this challenging campaign.”
Speaking about the campaign, Kavita Ayyagari, Project Director, Challenge TB, The Union said, “The problems that the campaign address are that people take symptoms of TB lightly; people stop TB treatment mid-way once they feel better; are unaware that TB can recur and become drug-resistant; and that TB is not just an illness but also a social disease that impacts not only the patients but their children and families.”
The older ads about TB awareness depicted Bachchan as a shopkeeper and a taxi driver, while this one featured him as a barber and mechanic. This might be to bring in a mass appeal to the films.
2014 TB Ki Googly:
2014 TB Harega Desh Jeetega:
Why making a public service advertisement different from making a brand ad? Dabral answered, “It’s a difficult process as it means changing life in totality and so being sensitive to the issue and also ensuring that the campaign does not alienate the suffers is a huge responsibility when we create such campaigns. It’s a big mission and a sensitive one as the government is taking large steps towards this goal. The good part, in this case is that we have a powerful celebrity like Mr Bachchan, who had suffered the disease and was willing to come out in the open and talk about the fact that its curable and he was successful in fighting it. This has made the campaign even more relatable and effective.”
One of the current films in a salon where the two customers are chit chatting. The one getting his beard shaved (by Bachchan) is telling his friend how his TB went off within a few weeks of medication and then he apparently stopped taking medicines. To which Bachchan leaves his beard half shaved, prompting that if half treatment is not to worry about then why is half shaved beard a problem?
In another film, the mechanic Bachchan is telling his (incessantly coughing) customer that his car has caught TB. When the customer is shocked as to how can a car catch TB, Bachchan tells him if you are so aware about TB why don’t you get your coughing checked?
Shootjit Sircar, director of the TV advertisements for this campaign, added, “This is an important and essential campaign and the messages must be spoken as loudly as possible. The messages of the campaign are serious, but we wanted to introduce some situational humour, which we have done in the two TV advertisements featuring Bachchan.”
India bears over a quarter of the global burden of tuberculosis. New surveillance and survey data from India in the last few years have indicated that the TB epidemic is more than was previously thought.
Agency: DDB Mudra
Creative Team: Sonal Dabral, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Shivil Gupta, Executive Creative Director, Subhashish Dutta, Executive Creative Director, Urvashi Guha, Senior Vice President
Director: Shoojit Sircar
Producer: Ronnie Lahri