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Grey creates the Red Tag world of Network18

The agency took an element from the Network 18 logo itself – the red tag – and had some fun with it in a film that connects strongly with the consumer

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | September 5, 2012
Screengrab from the TVC

When a media giant like Network 18 wanted to break with its first ever corporate film, you can be sure the expectations weren’t any less than its size. While Network 18 is a well-known media giant, few know that some of the biggest and most iconic brands in India belong to its stable.

But for Grey Worldwide, Mumbai, the agency entrusted with the project, it was business as usual. The mammoth ‘Red Tag’ film created by Grey and directed by filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee approached the task in the most unconventional manner.

Anuradha Sengupta

But what all did it take to arrive on the idea to create the ‘Red Tag’? Anuradha SenGupta from Network18 said, "We needed to tell people in an easy, entertaining way that they interact with a diverse set of Network 18 brands everyday without even knowing it. That our brands impact them daily. The challenge was to fit powerful and diverse brands like MTV, CNBC-TV18, CNN-IBN, Colors, and Bookmyshow in the same ad. Rohit, Amit, Malu, Vineet  and Mithun from Grey interpreted this brief very creatively. Then Dibakar came in and took it to another level.”

Malvika Mehra

Malvika Mehra, National Creative Director, Grey India, said, “The first thing that hit us when we met our Network 18 client was 'Wow! These guys actually own all these brands!' Each of these brands like Colors, CNN IBN, CNBC TV18, Nickelodeon, MTV,, Forbes,, Homeshop18, Comedy Central – the list is endless – are icons in their own rights. The task very simply was to introduce Network 18 to the world and explain the role it plays in impacting people’s lives. We wanted to create something for Network 18 that 'connects' with the consumer. We did this in a very simple way – we took an element from the Network 18 logo itself – the red tag – and had some fun with it.”

Rohit Malkani

Senior ECD of Grey, Mumbai, Rohit Malkani, added, “The brief was simple enough, but fitting all the pieces together in a script wasn’t, believe me! We knew we wanted to be about omnipresence, we knew we had to be fresh, but above all, we were sure we didn’t want a stiff conventional, corporate approach.”

“Rather than have Network 18 do a little chest thumping exercise, it made more sense to have people discover for themselves how big they really are. And that was the genesis of the ‘red tag’ game,” Malkani explained further.

Grey brought in eminent filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee on board to deliver the film. The idea of using ‘Bach ke rehna’ from the film ‘Pukaar’ as a track was Banerjee’s, and the music lifts the playfulness of the film. It was shot over five days and in two cities by Nikos Andritsakis, the cinematographer behind ‘Love, sex and dhoka’.  The real, gritty look was a deliberate attempt to bring alive India and its people whose lives Network 18 touches.

Amit Akali

Amit Akali, National Creative Director, Grey India, said, “When we went over the various properties under Network 18 we realised that though none of us might know of Network 18, it’s actually a large part of our lives. We interact with it nearly 24x7 – when we hear the news, keep abreast with the business world, get entertained, listen to music, book tickets, send mails, shop online and in many other countless ways. It impacts us in ways we don’t even realise, and is truly 'the life in your day'. That was the genesis of the campaign."

The film begins in a regular looking office where a man shakes his head incredulously as he announces that the ‘rupee is 56 to the dollar’. Suddenly he finds a female colleague rushing towards him with a red sticky tag/note, which she slaps on to his chest.  He is surprised at first, then realises why she did that as he checks the CNBC moneycontrol page on his phone. To his pleasant surprise, he then sees her surfing some deals on Homeshop In a counter move, he rushes to her with glee and slaps her back with a red tag.

It is more like a random and fun game where people across India tag each other with red tags each time they are touched by Network 18. A young girl is tagged by her father because she pushes away her dinner plate after seeing a report on Anna; a boy is tagged by his friends after he lets out a volley of abuses at their neighbor; a grandmother is tagged by her granddaughter who spies her watching Balika Vadhu and dabbing her eyes, and so on.

The film ends after a series of rapid tags with a VO that highlights the penny drop moment: “If you were tagged for every way that we touched your life. This is what your world would look like. This is Network 18. The life in your day.”

“Most people watching the ad are saying 'Oh even that belongs to Network18!'.  And every time that happens it makes us believe the campaign is working,” concludes SenGupta.

The Film:



Client: Network 18 Campaign: Red Tag Creative Agency: Grey Worldwide, Mumbai National Creative Directors: Amit Akali, Malvika Mehra Senior EECD: Rohit Malkani Account Management: Mithun Roy, Vineet Singh Planning: Arindam Sarkar Film: Samir Chadha Production house: Freshwater Films Director: Dibakar Banerjee Producer: Priya Sreedharan DOP: Nikos Andritsakis Post Production: Famous Studio Editor: Ajay Paralkar, Navnita Sen Music: RD Burman Re-composed for TVC: Mikey McCleary Original music copyrights owned by Universal Music Group

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