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Times Network unveils second leg of Remonetise India campaign

MUMBAI: Prime minister Narendra Modi would surely approve Ditto with the finance minister Arun Jaitley.

The Times Network is getting into the second phase of its drive which seeks to give an impetus to the initiative by the two most powerful leaders in India to nudge Indians towards cashless transactions, digital money and paying taxes.

Called – Remonetise India - Invest in the Nation (Help your Help), it follows the first leg Remonetise India – A Citizen’s Pledge. The second part of the campaign was flagged off with a TVC yesterday that will be promoted across the Times Network channels and additionally in 300+ multiplexes. It is being supported by a digital contest where viewers will be gratified with goodies to promote participation.

The TVC will run almost 20-25 times each day on the Times Network’s channel bouquet. Ads will also appear in parent company Bennet Coleman & Co’s print publications and on sister firm ENIL’s Radio Mirchi stations nationally. These will continue across the Times media group until 31 March 2017, following which the pay taxes phase will commence.

Says Times Network MD and CEO MK Anand: “At a time when the nation is attempting to leapfrog economically, we believe that regulation, infrastructure and technology are not enough to jumpstart socio-economic change. Behavioural and cultural transformation are as important, if not more. This is where a uniquely positioned media group like Times Network can help. Through the ‘Remonetise India’ campaign, we aim to focus on making changes in everyday behaviour of urban Indians so that the benefits of this disruptive reform (demonetisation) flow in the right manner. One of the pledges under Remonetise India is to help others around us to go digital and benefit from the new economy. The second phase of the campaign ‘Help your Help’ is a call to capable urban citizens to help and aid others in achieving financial inclusion.”

The first phase included activities like Telethon, Go-Cashless Rally and Sahayata Camps. The telethon witnessed the participation of key influencers, policy makers and opinion leaders like Ministry of Commerce and Industry Minister for Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman, Niti Ayog CEO Amitabh Kant and Infosys founder Narayana Murthy who answered questions on the way forward for the remonetisation movement.

Then B-town celebrities like Sonam and Anil Kapoor, R Madhavan, Shilpa Shetty, Sonu Sood and Manoj Bajpayee supported this initiative and came together to be the agents of change to help bring India’s economy back on track.

Additionally, the network organized Sahayta Camps which were supported by actress Taapsee Pannu who encouraged people to get Pan Cards, Aadhaar Cards and open bank accounts (Jan Dhan Yojana Accounts) for the development of Digital India.

Finally, the Go-Cashless rally took place to drive awareness about digital transactions and save cash for those who can’t do without cash.

The Times Network will continue with these activities across India to take the movement forward in phase II and phase III as well.

With a viewership base of around 4.5 crore English speaking Indians, it is likely to have an impact on those who are most likely to follow the new vision that Modi has set out for the nation.

Publicis South Asia MD and CCO Bobby Pawar points out that the three-step campaign was conceived during a conversation that the agency and the Times Network team was having about the consequences of demonetization.

“We saw that it was causing pain,” he says. “The media primarily focused on the immediate impact of demonetization. Because most of the transactions were in cash, businesses got affected, raises got affected, employment got affected and people started losing jobs. We kept saying that we have to be forward thinking about the change that is being attempted by the government. We started with seeding it on social and doing things on-ground and then taking it to mass media. One of the biggest challenges was apathy. To make people go beyond themselves was a tough task. Even if we move a few thousand people, it will be a big thing. This is a long term thing and will take a lot of efforts. Post us, other brands will also start talking about it.”

Adds the TVC’s director Karthik Bhatt: “We have created a light hearted film in which we have highlighted that we want to make a small change which will benefit everyone in the long run, rather than the focusing on the big tidal change. We got the brief and I immediately went on a recce to the Sahatya camps to see what the situation really is. I saw people who did not have any PAN card or Aadhar card but were willing to have one. There were volunteers filling their forms. We have used references from what actually happened at the camp. 26 January was my first visit and we shot the film on 5 February. We had the film ready in 10 days times. We did not want to get to preachy; we just wanted to tell you to help them. If they want to be a part of the system, they need to understand the process and once that happens they will get regular.”

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