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New Swachh Bharat video drives the message ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’

The video, conceptualised by Aur Dikhao, is a quirky take on cleanliness and features Bollywood celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Kangana Ranaut, Isha Koppikar among others

New Swachh Bharat video drives the message ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’

The video, conceptualised by Aur Dikhao, is a quirky take on cleanliness and features Bollywood celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Kangana Ranaut, Isha Koppikar among others

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | August 16, 2016

New-Swachh-Bharat Click on the Image to watch the Video.

Many of us must have dutifully recited the proverb ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’ at school but never even given a cursory thought to its meaning. But bringing the thought to life is Aur Dikhao with their new Swachh Bharat video.

Cleanliness is a problem for Indians, who believe in keeping their homes clean but don’t spare a thought before throwing garbage out and polluting their surroundings. The video by Aur Dikhao tries to bring this hypocrisy to the fore with the single thought that ‘Goddess Lakshmi doesn’t stay in untidy places’.

Ankit Sharma, Creative Director, Aur Dikhao, said, “We do a lot of PSAs and videos and were looking to do something around cleanliness. We chanced upon a good insight that people clean their houses during Diwali so that goddess Lakshmi comes to their house. The idea began from there. Aditya Bhat is the creative brain behind the whole idea.”

The team brainstormed on the idea and came to the conclusion that the message had to be simple and executed in a way that could connect to each and every person. It couldn’t be too subtle because there was the risk of people missing out on the message and it couldn’t be too in-the-face and risk sounding preachy.

“After a lot of brainstorming the team arrived at the thought that most households in India harbour the idea that goddess Lakshmi, the patron goddess of wealth and prosperity, only stays in households that are clean,” Sharma added.

The result of this realisation was the video that has gone viral since Aur Dikhao posted it on their official YouTube channel on August 10 and is being promoted on social with #DontLetHerGo.

“The biggest creative challenge in executing this video was coming up with a script and a screenplay that reflected the idea and at the same time simple and yet strong. That is when we decided to personify goddess Lakshmi. The idea of Lakshmi going away on a Harley Davidson added a modern touch while still staying true to the roots and traditions,” Sharma said.

The video shows instances from three different settings. The first setting is a ‘chawl’ where while the man at a house is busy praying to goddess Lakshmi, the wife (Isha Koppikar) dumps a bucket full of garbage from the house on the street below. The husband looks up in time to see the picture of goddess Lakshmi missing; both the husband and the wife catch a glimpse of a flying saree. The scene then shifts to a shop owner (Ravi Kishan) getting ready for a day of business. He prays to goddess Lakshmi and starts cleaning his shop by simply pushing all the garbage from his shop window to the ground. He also looks up to find the goddess missing and sees the flying ‘pallu’ of a saree. We are next taken to a young man (Omkar Kapoor) sitting in a shiny car. The man eats his food and throws the wrapper out of his car. He too finds the picture of the goddess on his dashboard missing and the red saree just shooting out of his vision. The flying saree has been used here as a leitmotif to indicate the exit of goddess Lakshmi. We then see Kangana Ranaut dressed as goddess Lakshmi zooming off on Harley Davidson while Amitabh Bachchan’s voice tells us about the thought behind the video.

Speaking about the choice of places and instances shown in the video Sharma said, “We wanted a middle-class or slightly lower middle-class setting and chose the chawl because it looks visually great on the screen. Next we showed the shop because a lot of these shops litter on roads and then we chose the sophisticated and young guy sitting in the car because we wanted to show that all kinds of people litter and there is no class divide here.”

How did the association with Swachh Bharat come about?

“The video did not start out as something for the government or the Swachh Bharat campaign,” said Sharma. “We approached the Ministry of Urban Development once the idea was in place. They liked the idea very much. Although they have not funded the video we asked them to promote the video, put it on their website and get Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tweet about it. Once the video came out and they saw how well it had turned out, Modi tweeted about it,” added Sharma.

None of the big names associated with the video have charged for working on the video.

“We did not have the kind of funds to pay Amitabh Bachchan, Kangana Ranaut or Pradeep Sarkar who is a very reputed director. They all really liked the idea and agreed to work for free,” said Sharma.

Creative scoreboard

BestMediaInfo approached a few creative people to know their take on the video.

Arun Iyer Arun Iyer

Arun Iyer, Chief Creative Officer, Lowe Lintas, said, “It is an interesting video. Doesn’t feel like the usual government kind of ad. India is a god-fearing country and that premise has been used well in the video. We can see the god-fearing premise in play when people stick posters of gods and goddesses on walls they don’t want people to pee on. But I think there is a slight disconnect in the video. The idea behind the thought that Lakshmi will go away if you litter should have been explained better.”

Rajiv Rao Rajiv Rao

Rajiv Rao, National Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather, said, “I think the ad kind of talks to the right audience, i.e., to the masses. The idea that ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’ will appeal to people who do not think before littering. I think the idea or the point will stay with them.”

Soumitra Karnik Soumitra Karnik

Soumitra Karnik, NCD, Dentsu Impact said, “Well, I do think that the heart is in the right place. It scores on its attempt to reach out to the callous public in a different manner other than the usual, boring public service ads. Only fear of god can force people not to litter. Having said that, I do find the ad a tad gimmicky and comical. Could the ‘Laxmi leaving’ message be better received had it been done with a little seriousness? It’s anybody’s guess. Also, is it only meant for the Hindus? Will the ad touch the Muslims, the Sikhs and the Christians equally powerfully?"


The video


PM Narendra Modi’s tweet



Producers: Aneel Murarka, Manish Murarka

Director: Pradeep Sarkar

Concept: Aditya Bhat, Aniruddh Naik

Creative Director: Ankit K Sharma

Screenplay: Sumedha Dogra,  Ashish Sawant

Casting: Aditya Bhat, Sagar Thakkar, Harsh Bhartiya

Executive Producers (Channel): Sagar Thakkar, Harsh Bhartiya

Production Company: Apocalypso  Filmworks

Director of Photography: Sylvester Fonseca

Producer: Rajesh Bhanushali

Executive Producer: Panchali Sarkar

Costume Stylist: Malvika Bajaj

Dress-man: Salim Sheikh

Make-up and Hair: Amar Pathak

Associate Producer and Fin Head: Sanjeet Jha

Line Producer / Production Manager: Ravi Dasgaonkar

Production Asst: Prakash Puthran

Accounts: Jayesh Parmar, Raji Lewis

Art Director: John Antony

Production Designer:Madhu Sarkar Kuriakose

Chief Ad: Krishna Rao

Direction Team: Akhil Abrol, Aishwarya Dixit, Mrittika Mukherjee, Shraddha Ghanekar, Jatin Bajaj

Stunt Director: Manohar Verma

Asst Cinematographer: Veenu

Offline Editor: Anirban Dutta

DI: Navin Shetty

DI Asst: Zaheer Sheikh

Online Artist: Sandeep Patel

Sound Design: Anil Kumar    Konakandla

Sound  Asst: Soma Bhattacharyaa

Original Score: Daniel B George

Score Arranged by: Ujjwal Kashyap

Post Producer: Sapna Thaker

Post Production Asst: John Rodrigues, Pravin Rathod

Aur Dikhao Post Production Team: Kartik Bavishi, Amit Jadhav, Amit Shinde, Sayli Jadhav Aur Dikhao Creative Team: Nirmit Kalasva, Omkar Shirke, Pardeep Rana

Marketing: Manan Gala, Harsh Bhartiya, Sagar Thakkar, Swagat Giri

Aur Dikhao PR and Marketing Team: Chinmay Kale, Gurnoor Bedi, Neerja Gandhi, Pratiti Trivedi, Shashwat Gupta, Zenil Dumasya

Project Head: Aditya Bhat

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