Aishwarya joins Amitabh Bachchan in polio immunisation campaign

NEW DELHI: While Amitabh Bachchan's angry outbursts and incensed statements in pulse polio immunisation commercials, did help the social cause, the repeated appearances were in danger of getting monotonous.

Therefore, after more than five commercials featuring the mega star, Ogilvy & Mather decided to introduce Aishwarya Rai to complement Bachchan in his endeavor to counter the problem.

Using celebrities of Bachchan and Rai’s stature in a same television commercial is exciting as well as challenging task. But the O&M team, under the stewardship of Piyush Pandey, decided to keep it simple, especially with an objective of reinforcing the 'do boond zindagi ki' message among those who failed to immunise their children against polio.

Says O&M creative consultant, Ajay Gahlaut, “We wanted to refresh the campaign. We have worked on six commercials with Mr. Bachchan, so the idea was to provide a different look yet get across the same message forcefully. Though everybody loves listening to Mr. Bachchan, there was a possibility of fatiguness creeping in. So we decided in introduce another celebrity along with Mr. Bachchan,”

On decision to rope in Rai, Gahlaut offers, “Considering Mr. Bachchan’s status and involvement in the campaign, the new celebrity had to be another big star. And Aishwarya, being a woman, also balanced out Mr. Bachchan’s emotions portrayed in the commercial. It’s a simple message `do boond zindagi ki’ but the main objective is get all kids immunised at the same time whenever there is setting up of booth on a nationwide basis.”

The key to usage of two celebrities was in the treatment of the commercial; phasing out Bachchan and bringing in Rai in the commercial.

“It was as if Mr. Bachchan, who has been used as older authority or elderly brother figure, saying I am tired of it. From being passionate and angry, he is now disgusted (with those who are yet to respond to the initiative for immunisation). So Aishwarya keeps the interest alive with an element of truth continuing to be associated,” says Gahlaut, who is the scriptwriter for the new campaign.

The campaign has been conceptualized for the National pulse polio immunisation programme, scheduled for 4 January and another date in February.

O&M subsequently plans to work on new campaigns in the next year. “We plan to continue with Mr. Bachchan. You might see some more celebrities along with him in the next year,” says Gahlaut.

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