"Goodbye Foolish Stones" says Mathrubhumi Classifieds
Every year, come April 01, numerous brands across the world try to humour their consumers with bone-tickling campaigns.
This year, Mathrubhumi, Kerala’s most popular newspaper, through their classified pages apprehended that, the people of Kerala (like all Indians) aren’t made fools of only on April 1. It happens, every day, of every month and often for years.
When Mathrubhumi did a check, they concluded that every year, the State Government of Kerala announces numerous projects and public benefit programs with great fanfare. Yet, apart from an announcement, the projects never take off and get wasted away for years and decades. One can easily find such projects in plenty across the length and breadth of Kerala.
This apathy by the government made Mathrubhumi Classifieds turn the tables and celebrate April fool’s Day, with a powerful message to the people and the Government. The brand along with the Kochi office of DDB Mudra South and East launched an interactive print campaign- Goodbye foolish stones starting 19th March 2015
The creative of the print campaign showed foundation stones of largely publicised government projects. These foundation stones were the first and last step of the developments. There has been no progress made on these schemes after their inauguration. Even as everything around it is in a state of absolute decay and ruin, the foundation stone stands – a stark reminder of outright government indifference.
The copy of the ads appealed the readers to ‘open their eyes and react’. A call of action was generated where in the readers were requested to act as citizen journalists and share instances of such neglect by the government through pictures, emails, WhatsApp, or by contacting the Mathrubhumi’s agents and reporters.
The publication received over 1000 claims in just three days. The brand conducted its own unbiased enquiry and investigated every claim.
After collecting all the true claims, the newspaper carried a special supplement named ‘open their eyes and react’ on April fool’s Day mentioning all the verified instances sent by alert, socially conscious citizens of Kerala. This supplement was specially shared with the Chief Minister of the state.
The campaign was well received and people’s response showed that they are tired of being fooled. Mathrubhumi Classifieds gave common people a platform to put the blunt reality and truth in front of government’s eyes and inform them that the people are watchful and are not to be made a fool of.
Quoting on the campaign, Jayakrishnan N, creative head, Mathrubhumi said, "April Fool’s Day, is an occasion for real and virtual pranks predominantly played by the youth. This year, we decided to participate not just by playing the prank but bringing to light the pranks that are played on people by politicians for ages. Mathrubhumi wanted to connect with the younger audiences using classifieds by elevating the conversations beyond the paradigm of transactions. The campaign has been instrumental in helping us to that.”
Commenting on the campaign, Dominic Savio, vice president, DDB Mudra South and East- Kochi said, “The Mathrubhumi Classifieds campaign resulted in people enthusiastically owning the campaign, besides contributing to a greater good towards the society and creating an impact. It was overwhelming to see people integrating the campaign with their own social media channels delivering maximum reach for the campaign.”
Jaffer Vemmully, senior creative director, DDB Mudra South and East added, “People in Kerala are very active on social media when it comes to raising their voices for or against something, or for activism. They post pictures, share experiences, create groups etc. But this campaign has helped us translate that activism to a newspaper. Mathrubhumi Classifieds gave the people an opportunity to react and highlight the issues around them.”
Account Management: Bijith Balachandran
Creative: Siraj Thyagarajan, Arun Shankar & Jaffer Vemmully
Creative Agency: DDB Mudra South & Eas
Planner: Padmapriya Muralidharan
President: Ranji Cherian