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IndusInd Bank’s ‘Halla’ for para-athletes gains traction on digital

IndusInd Bank in association with GoSports Foundation recently launched the ‘Jeet Ka Halla’ campaign to support India’s para-athletes under the Para Champions Program. Espousing the cause, IndusInd Bank aimed to bring to light their contribution to the country by creating a nationwide movement of support.

The month-long campaign highlights the achievements of the para-athletes and the rigour of their preparation for achieving success in the international stage, showcases the brand as a thought leader working within the community to bring about a positive change. The campaign creates a strong positivity for the bank and positions it as a responsible and socially-conscious organisation which supports good and unique causes, with the aim of giving back to society.

Through the campaign, IndusInd Bank unveiled a heartwarming and inspiring Anthem, which showcased the grit and spirit of para-athletes, and conveyed the message that it is time for the viewers to cheer and support the unsung para-athletes.

To give this cause its moment under the sun, IndusInd Bank has embarked on a multi-media campaign that will create the impact and help in mobilising the momentum of seeking encouragement for these heroes.

There will be non-stop media blitz over a period of a month on digital, cinema, radio and subsequently television platforms. The three-minute anthem has been conceptualised by Ankur Suman, Principal Consultant & Creative Head, RK Swamy BBDO, and has been directed by Amit Roy, known for his works on films like ‘Sarkar’ and ‘Sarkar Raj’. Bakery Films has produced the Anthem, which has been sung by Pankaj Awasthi, while Pankaj Bora of RK Swamy BBDO is the lyricist. Lodestar UM is the media agency.

The Anthem opens with the words: “Khel nahin khaata rahem, Maidan nahin padta naram, Sangharsh nahin hota hai kam, Toh tere liye… kyon taaliyaan ho kam? (There is no respite in sports; it is a tough contest out there. Since there is equal struggle, why should there be less applause for you?) Despite making our nation proud at various events with numerous medals, the dedication of the para-athletes has remained unseen and through this Anthem, IndusInd Bank is urging the nation to support and cheer for them.

Watch the film:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpnGuFyPyhM

Commenting on the campaign, Anil Ramachandran, Head - Marketing & Communication, and Head - Retail Unsecured Assets, IndusInd Bank, said, “While we are passionate about sports and proud of our sporting icons, we believe that we need to cast the spotlight on other sporting heroes – the para-athletes – and their amazing talents. The ‘Jeet ka Halla’ campaign asks people to support and cheer our nation’s para-athletes and recognise their contributions, strengths and passion for their sport. The campaign showcases their hard work, grit and perseverance and highlights all that they have achieved. This campaign brings to focus the phenomenal abilities of these great sportspeople.”

Sanjeev Anand, Country Head – Commercial Banking and in-charge of Sports Vertical, IndusInd Bank, remarked, “We, at IndusInd Bank, believe that a person can either spend his or her life focusing on the disadvantages or work hard to overcome them and reach full potential. Through our unique campaign, we are providing para-athletes with much-needed impetus to compete and excel in the sports arena and through the inspiring anthem, we are trying to build in empathy, and appreciation for their efforts which often go unnoticed. IndusInd Bank is the only brand to take up the cause of the para-athletes.”

In conversation with AdGully, Ankur Suman, Principal Consultant and Creative Head, RK Swamy BBDO; Deepthi Bopaiah, Executive Director, GoSports Foundation, and Tanvi Jain, Senior Vice President and Branch Head, Dentsu Webchutney, speak at length about the conceptualisation and ideation of the campaign, GoSports’ association with the initiative and digital strategy for the campaign, respectively.

The communication had to be emotional and inspirational: Ankur Suman, RK Swamy BBDO

What was the creative brief shared with you by IndusInd Bank?
Boardroom meetings are usually about numbers, bottom lines, pie charts, growth curves and statistics. But to our pleasant surprise, there was this boardroom briefing session (at IndusInd Bank) that introduced us to a very special initiative called, IndusInd for Sports. We were told to design some communication around the Bank’s endeavour to support Para-athletes. It was quite a non-restrictive brief that said that we must touch the hearts of the people without playing the sympathy card. The communication had to be emotional and inspirational. But above all, it had to look and feel genuine and sincere; free from any cosmetic or staged elements.

How did you arrive at the creative idea?
Since the canvas of the brief was not restrictive, we had the freedom to choose our brush strokes. After an extensive research on the subject and the players – we interacted with a lot of them – we realized how little we all knew about these superheroes and the glories they had brought for the nation! We identified this ignorance as the biggest need gap. It was more important to create awareness about their feats than the stories of their lives. That’s because be it media attention, finances or facilities – everything falls in place once there is ample awareness about a cause.

The other aspect that caught our attention was that actually, these players play at a higher level of difficulty! But that doesn’t make the rules of the games or the competition gets lenient for them. The Sun doesn’t decide to be less harsh on them when they sweat it out in the field. So then why should the applause for them be any lesser in comparison to the regular players!

This thought formed the crux of our campaign and crystalised as “…toh tere liye kyon taaliyaan hon kam…teri jeet kabhi ho halla, gali-gali mohalla.”

What went into the making or conceptualisation of the anthem?
While we worked on multiple ideas, what stood out the most was this anthem written by a young writer, Pankaj Bora. Instead of taking the typical ‘lump-in-your-throat’ approach, we decided to celebrate the fortitude and glory of the Para-Champions. This meant that the song had to be a high-energy one – the kind that leaves you in an upbeat mood. That’s exactly how the composer and singer, Pankaj Awasthi composed it.

To see these ‘superheroes’ in action itself, was a great learning experience for everyone involved in the making of this anthem. The director, Amit Roy and his team had to do a lot of logistical planning because we were not dealing with actors, but real heroes. However, the players were very co-operative and enthusiastic. We captured their routine, practice and performances in a realistic manner.

We decided to leave the audience with a sanguine sentiment in the end and which is why; in the end of the song, we depicted a montage of situations where people are seeing following the Para Champions.

What are the other aspects of the campaign in terms of any activations, on-ground activities? Will there be any edits of the brand campaign or short films to support the cause?
Yes, the campaign will be extended to other medium like digital, radio, cinema, TV and Print. In fact the radio campaign is all about creating awareness and spreading #JeetKaHalla. Certainly there will be shortened edits of the film for cinema and TV. There is a great deal of engaging interactions taking place in terms of contests, quiz and karoke on social media and digital space.

The Para Champions Programme is a long term initiative: Deepthi Bopaiah, GoSports Foundation

How did you get associated with IndusInd Bank?
We at GoSports Foundation have supported both able-bodied and para sportspersons since our inception. Having supported 4-5 para-athletes in the past and understood the specific challenges faced by them in their ecosystem, the GoSports Foundation decided to formally start a programme to aid differently-abled athletes. We had approached IndusInd Bank with our initiative, with a long term view to provide structure and support to the Paralympic sporting ecosystem. We were fortunate that their leadership team got fully behind the vision and took the opportunity to integrate it as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility projects and they came on board to back the Programme. Thus came into being our Para Champions Programme which is currently supporting 18 emerging and elite differently-abled athletes in the country. 11 of these 18 athletes made it to Rio, and represented India at the Paralympic Games this year, which is a huge milestone for the Programme.

Please elaborate more on 'JeetKaHalla' campaign? How is GoSports involved in it?
‘JeetkaHalla’ is a pioneering initiative by IndusInd Bank to give voice to the para-sports movement in India and make sure there is increased awareness of para athletes’ stories. In turn the video and campaign highlights the Bank's support of the Para Champions Programme, which is helping alter the landscape of these athletes. Our athletes from the Para Champions programme play leading roles in the campaign which showcases their lives and their powerful stories. The campaign is not only being disseminated across social media but a TVC as well.

How do you plan to take forward this initiative of supporting the Para-athletes?
The Para Champions Programme is a long term initiative that aims to change the para-sports narrative and support systems in the country. Our aim through this initiative is to provide pathways for para athletes to take up sport, and for them to move upwards through the ranks to represent India at the major international sporting events and thereby feed inspiration back into their various ecosystems. Over time we would like to create and empower these role models by conducting classification events in India, procuring adapted sporting equipment and making better infrastructure available to them, and providing them with access to sports science based training support and all the other support that an elite athlete requires to sustain performance at the highest level. The Programme is a work in progress and we are excited about the potential that it holds.

We wanted to create a huge ‘Halla’ for our para-athletes: Tanvi Jain, Dentsu Webchutney

Please tell us about the digital strategy for the campaign.
We wanted to create a huge ‘Halla’ for our para-athletes and for this we opted for a 360-degree approach on Digital. We started by creating awareness about the extraordinary feats of our para-athletes on Social Media through posts, gifs, canvas, and influencer outreach programs. All these directed users to our microsite where all the action unfolded. The response was phenomenal. We trended thrice during the campaign period and, more importantly, were able to create nationwide support for our para-athletes.

How do you think you have extended the cause of JeetKaHalla in social media arena?
We created a microsite for the campaign, www.jeetkahalla.com where users could cheer for para-athletes by filling a virtual stadium, and also lend their voice in support of these unsung heroes by singing the karaoke version of the #JeetKaHalla anthem. So far, we have received close to 400 entries. Apart from this, we also did influencer led campaigns on Twitter and created engaging content on our Facebook page showcasing the incredible achievements of sporting heroes.

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