As the coronavirus pandemic gripped India along with the rest of the world, an acute shortage of medical masks forced the authorities to ask people to practice social distancing and personal hygiene as the only forms of prevention, and leave the masks for medical professionals and frontline workers.
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Keeping in mind the rising count of Covid-19 cases and deaths, English daily The Times of India made a country-wide call to all Indians to make and wear their own masks at home with their #MaskIndia movement. Conceptualised by Wunderman Thompson South Asia, the movement empowered every citizen of the country to take charge of protecting themselves, their families and communities — encouraging individual action and responsibility among Indians, getting them ready to fight the single-largest fight our generation has seen, globally. The campaign also focused on proper sanitation and disposal of masks.
The ‘Make Your Own Mask’ campaign was launched on the front page of The Times Of India on April 6, involving the power of print, social media and national activation, which received a phenomenal response and activated its purpose.
The MaskIndia movement has been elevated into a national movement with Prime Minister Narenda Modi supporting it and himself sporting different homemade ghamcha masks on several occasions during the lockdown. Over a hundred thousand Indians have responded with their own versions of homemade masks and posted Mask Selfies and DIY How to Make Your Own Mask Videos with the #maskindia hashtag on social media. Many unique, original and cool homemade masks have gone viral across Whatsapp Groups.
Check out over 100,000 homemade mask and DIY mask posts on www.maskindia.com
Sanjeev Bhargava, Director, Brand TOI/ TIMS, said, “The Times of India has always stood by its motto: ‘Change Begins Here’ and the #maskindia campaign is another link in the long chain of initiatives that we have launched in the recent past. What makes it special is that it has an immediate relevance and benefit to every one in the country. We strongly believe it can play a critical role in our fight against the pandemic. I would like to specially congratulate Wunderman Thompson for not only turning around and developing the campaign from scratch within two days but having done so in the times of a complete lockdown.”
Joy Chauhan, Managing Partner, Wunderman Thompson, Delhi, said, “The true character of a country is revealed by how its people and organisations behave in times of crises. With this timely and crucial initiative, The Times of India has proven India’s fortitude, agility and ability to go the distance. All of us at Wunderman Thompson are thankful and proud to be partners.”
The #MaskIndia movement culminated into a #MaskIndia film featuring a thousand different images of a thousand different homemade masks in a breathe in, breathe out composition of history and culture. The most innovative DIY homemade masks were curated from over 100,000 images posted by Indians during the lockdown with the hashtag #MaskIndia. Editorial photographs of the Masked Statues of National heroes like Mahatma Gandhi, Subash Chandra Bose and the Times Of India’s iconic Common Man feature as special masked characters along with thousands of Indians who have made their own masks and joined the movement.
Senthil Kumar, Chief Creative Officer, Wunderman Thompson, India, said, “The edit has been painstakingly crafted to lock the eyeline in all images so that the transitions from one homemade mask to another are all seamless. The simulation of eye movements are designed to invite a live face-off with audiences who are watching the film on their mobile or television screens. Experience the emotion of a thousand eyes talking to you to deliver the powerful narrative through the masks. All the cultural folk masks and ancient mythological masks have been carefully chosen to share only wearable masks made from jute, coconut husk, bamboo, wood, leaves, paper mache and natural fibre. It’s time to revive our cultural habit of wearing a mask to fight the evil virus, whenever we leave our homes for work and play, for life and family, for our country and for the future of human kind. It’s time to turn the humble ghamcha, dupatta, pallu, turbans, urma, lungi, dhoti, angavastram or any clean cloth into a mask and wear it for India. It’s time to dig deep into our cultural roots and create popular culture, inspiring every Indian to wear a mask like a warrior.”
www.maskindia.com features a unique interactive innovation where every Indian can upload their homemade mask selfie and their image will feature in a custom version of the #MaskIndia video.
“The idea is to inspire every Indian to make their own mask and share their mask selfie to inspire every other Indian. With over a hundred thousand unique homemade masks already uploaded, the Make Your Own #MaskIndia movement will be amplified further with this interactive innovation,” added Kumar.
Chief Creative Officer: Senthil Kumar
Executive Creative Director : Sundeep Sehgal
Creative Director: Sandeep Bagga
Senior Creative Director: Rattan Jyot
Copywriter: Binoy Sarkar
Senior Vice-President & Managing partner : Joy Chauhan
Executive Business Director & VP : Neetika Aggarwal
VP & Client Servicing Director: Bhavana Dogra
Account Director: Amrita Hazari
Account Executive: Pia Singh
Senior Vice-President & National Planning Director: Pinaki Bhattacharya
Executive planning Director & VP: Shweta Khosla
Account Planning Director: Sulagna Chanda