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Curry-Nation reaches out to underprivileged kids

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MUMBAI: Curry-Nation founder Priti Nair has been involved with various charity organizations and NGOs for nearly two decades now; one of them being Masoom, which is run by her cousin and works for night schools for the underprivileged.

For Masoom, Nair and team have created a couple of notable advertising campaigns; the most recent one involving the use of glow-in-the-dark technology.

As part of the campaign, posters, direct mailers including calendars and Diwali greeting cards, and three press ads were designed using radium ink which is visible only in the dark.

The posters were strategically placed at editing studios and production houses while calendars and greeting cards were sent out to potential patrons. The press ads featured historic events that happened during the day such as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the Dandi March and the encounter between Shivaji Maharaj and Afzal Khan.

The posters, direct mailers and press ads were visible only in darkness, appearing blank in daylight; thus sending out the idea of a night school brilliantly.

Nair believes people in the advertising fraternity have enough to spare monetarily, both at an individual as well as collective level. “We often get a little laid back in our every day work lives. All we need is a little push. These posters act as reminders,” she says, stressing that charity needs to become a part of people’s life.

Curry-Nation’s previous campaign for Masoom - Bhagwaan tera bhala kare – was also well received.

Tiffin boxes painted by underprivileged children were sent out to each and every ad agency in Mumbai, urging staff to donate some amount every day. Once the dabba was full, it was up to every agency to decide the social cause the contribution would go toward. An official facebook page was launched at https://www.facebook.com/Bhagawanterabhalakarein where companies could place requests for tiffin boxes and posters for their offices.

“The response we got from people when we sent out the dabbas was overwhelming but obviously, we cannot monitor how well they are implementing it. At the very least, we hope that if someone doesn’t want loose change in his/her wallet, he/she will put it in the dabba!” Nair recalls.

More importantly, Nair and Co. have done most of these campaigns free-of-charge. “Most of our work is done for free, but there are a few NGOs which keep aside money for advertising. For them, we charge whatever they can afford,” says Nair.

Apart from Curry-Nation, other agencies too have taken similar initiatives. Nair gives the examples of ‘Balbir Pasha ko AIDS hoga kya?' and ‘Bell Bajao’ as campaigns that made a difference. ‘Balbir Pasha...’ was part of PSI’s Operation Lighthouse Project, conceptualised by Lowe nearly a decade ago with her as creative director. Whereas ‘Bell Bajao’, launched in 2008 and conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather, called upon men around the world to take a stand and promise to end violence against women.

Coming back to Curry-Nation, Nair is proud about the fact that the agency she launched right from scratch with just a five-member team will complete three years on the Valentine Day (14 February). To commemorate the occasion, she, along with her core team, plan to launch a book on their journey thus far. While she isn’t too happy with the rate at which they are growing, she says her happiness quotient has reached 100%.

“Because of the poor rate of economic growth, business has slowed down as people have become very conscious and have been cutting down on budgets. Hopefully, the situation will change for the better,” she signs off.

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