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Taproot takes to streets for the farmer’s cause

The outdoor campaign is part of Taproot’s continuing series, spearheaded by The Times of India, which previously consisted of an exhibition and a TVC. Milestone Brandcom executed the billboard campaign

Sohini Sen | Mumbai | April 18, 2014

TOI-outdoor-TVC Click on the image to watch the TVC.

It is a sad state of state of affairs that news of farmers committing suicide fail to raise the conscience of people any more. The nation seems to be oblivious to this recurring tragedy in rural India, perhaps even disinterested. According to The Times of India, this called for some decisive action. In association with Samaj Sevak Charitable Trust and NABARD, TOI has brought out the next part of their campaign to raise awareness about farmer’s suicides. And Taproot India has come out with an innovative, yet thought provoking, billboard on the subject.

It started with an exhibition to create awareness about the plight of the farmers. This was soon followed up by a TVC which showed how when a farmer commits suicide, even the family which is left behind is as good as dead. Both initiatives had worked well and brought visible results. This time around Taproot decided to take it a notch higher.

The idea of the campaign was not to show the plight of the farmers but to show the disturbing circumstances that their families are left to live in, the difficult choices they have to take. More than 300,000 farmers in India have committed suicide till date, plagued by crop failure, drought and debt. The government took steps to prevent more suicides, but it was a case of too little, too late. The campaign asked people to make donations to make a difference.

Taproot selected some key visual points on busy Mumbai streets and booked some hoardings. Photographs of deceased farmers were kept ready with garlands over them, designed much like a photograph in someone's mourning in India. To get the point across, the photographs were put up one after the other – every half hour. This came to symbolise also the frequency with which farmers killed themselves.

“We have been doing some things or the other to keep reminding people about the horrifying issue which is an ongoing problem and every penny counts to make some difference to the needy families of the farmer community. The brief which was given to us was to get people to login to the website and donate and spread the message,” explained Santosh Padhi, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Taproot.

The innovative outdoors caught the attention of passersby in a big way. Many people logged in on to the website and donations were raised as well. The money collected via the website and through online/TV/offline merchandising is being used to help bereaved families and to teach the farming community alternative means of livelihood.

"Currently it has been done in Mumbai’s Mahim, but we plan for a few more in Mumbai. Milestone Brandcom did a wonderful job to pull this off as, because of the election, all the major important sites have been booked, and you need special sites geographically and location wise as one should be able to climb up and put a frame every half an hour. We have a plan of few more hoarding post elections and we will keep the momentum on till we can to keep reminding people to contribute,” said Padhi.

The TVC:



Creative Agency: Taproot India Outdoor Agency: Milestone Brandcom


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