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Ogilvy's 'BachchaJi' and 'BachchanJi' promote 'Swachh Bharat'

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MUMBAI: Ogilvy Delhi launched a campaign to curb open defecation. Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, one of the key behaviours to curb, is open defecation. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India, wanted to develop communication that would help bring about this change.

In India, open defecation is a well-established traditional practice deeply ingrained from early childhood. A significant gap also exists between knowledge and practice. Even when people are aware of the health risks related to poor sanitation, they continue with unhealthy practices.

For any communication to be noticed, it needs to be relevant and tell a compelling story. Amitabh Bachchan, known to his fans as Bachchanji, has shown his commitment to the Swachh Bharat Mission and was a natural choice for a campaign on behaviour change. It was also clear that we needed to stay away from messaging and protagonists that came across as preachy. So who could partner Bachchanji in this campaign to make it memorable and interesting?

A young boy was selected as his companion to highlight how even a child is aware of this issue and the simple solution that is available to everyone.

Ogilvy South Asia executive chairman and creative director Piyush Pandey said, “Open Defecation is not a new or modern problem. It is so deeply entrenched that it is considered normal. To raise a doubt in people's mind about it was a challenge in itself. The communication would have to break habits and would need to be endearing and assertive without being preachy. We have worked with Bachchan on many communication campaigns and he himself is associated with the government of India across various issues. Thus the task for us on this campaign to curb open defecation was to use our celebrity's strengths and yet create communication that is differentiated.

So “Bachchanji” became the influencer and “Bachchaji” the young agent of change.

This helped disseminate information through a lively, cheeky conversation between our Celebrity and his unlikely, intelligent and quick witted companion, the little boy. In the three-part TVC campaign, we thus tackled each of the barriers - to promote the need for a toilet, usage by all and trigger behaviour change by instilling pride.

Ogilvy Group Companies North ECD Ajay Gahlaut said, “Any campaign that is designed to change behaviour at a mass level needs to be easily understood by all sections of society. We had Bachchan for our TV ads, so that ensured that the campaign would not be missed and would appeal to everybody. The challenge was to make the campaign a little different and refreshing. Which is where the idea of 'BachchaJi' and 'BachchanJi" came about. After that it was just a matter of making sure that their light -hearted banter addressed all relevant barriers

Ogilvy, Delhi managing partner Chandana Agarwal added, “For any behaviour change campaign, information needs to be easily understood by all sections of society, further there are so many cultural barriers associated with the eradication of OD that really we were looking for a creative idea that was simple, that would connect with people across and one that would be able tackle all the barriers."

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