Tagged 'media'

‘Times of India’ campaign supports Kolkata’s women


Women’s safety is slowly becoming a serious issue in India. In Kolkata, at one time known as the safest metro for women in India, more than half the female population feels the need to carry an article for self-defence. And according to a survey commissioned by Times of India, two-thirds have “experienced misbehaviour” on the street, but only 11 percent filed a complaint, showing their mistrust in the police.

In light of this, leading daily newspaper The Times of India has kicked off a campaign, “Kolkata for Women,” that looks into different aspects of a woman’s life and her engagement with the city through articles, seminars, health workshops and the like. The campaign aims to address every issue faced by a woman in the city, right from safety to problems encountered during the commute, at work, at home, etc. The idea is to join hands with the women of Kolkata “in their fight to demand what is rightfully theirs and to reclaim a city that is equally theirs,” as the paper explained.

A recent seminar on health saw women flocking for free advice and tests. Hopefully, initiatives such as this will wake up citizens to the logical, the obvious and the right.

Image Credit: TimesofIndia.com

With anxious parents-to-be, Google shows how its tools make life easier

Fear of the unknown is one of the greatest causes of anxiety, especially when dealing with it alone. An online ad for Google demonstrates how the company’s tools, such as Google Chat or Google+, can help people deal with their uncertainties and worries together. In showing a young couple expecting a baby imminently—the most tense of times—Google illustrates its claim to “make the web work for you.”

The sweet two-minute film illustrates how the couple stay in touch throughout the day, using Google, and seek answers to their pressing questions. The wife seeks natural ways to cope with labor, the husband nervously calculates tuition fees, and each of them searches for baby names (the wife lands on Beatrice for a girl, the husband on Elvis for a boy). The wife seeks advice from friends on Google+, wondering how to tell her husband there will no longer be room for his record collection. Finally, the location-sharing feature comes in handy when the contractions begin, allowing the husband to find his wife and get to the hospital in time.

Google successfully conveys that it is more than a search engine and that its various products can make daily life easier, more efficient and even less anxious.

Turkish newspaper ‘Zaman’ calls for national unity at a time of polarization

Turkey’s ethnically diverse society often struggles with the question, “How can we stand together as a nation, for we are actually a mosaic?” The nation is in search of its binding element. Currently, Turkey is enjoying a good economy, but is more polarized than ever by religion (between conservatives and liberals)—unity is more at stake than it ever was. At times like this, the Kurdish freedom struggle finds great opportunity—Turkey’s Kurds have been seeking independence for 30-plus years—but the ruling party is seeking agreements with Kurdish representatives, unlike previous governments.

Best-selling national newspaper Zaman, read by voters of the ruling party, tried a positive approach to bringing the nation together in a late 2012 ad titled “A call for unity and brotherhood.” Set to soothing string instruments and a sturdy drumbeat, the commercial shows Turkish citizens of many ethnicities and occupations joining hands in a joyous human chain that’s encircling the nation. A singer explains how all people in the world want freedom, and despite differences, tolerance is within reach. On-screen text explains, “This is a call for unity. This is the time for unity.” At the end of the ad, we see a Kurdish Peshmerga, either a freedom fighter or a terrorist, depending on one’s perspective. Though some considered the Kurdish element provocative, most have been supportive of the spot, feeling that it’s time to find a new middle ground.

L.A. Tourism Board helps visitors simplify trip-planning


Understanding the anxiety associated with planning a visit to a large, culture-rich city like Los Angeles, the L.A. Tourism & Convention Board developed discoverLosAngeles.com (with help from Digitaria, a JWT company), which provides an organized setting to map out a trip. The site targets both tourists and locals, since finding new activities in your hometown can often be stale, as you get stuck in a routine.

The “Experience Builder” provides a dashboard for users to collect things to see, do and eat in a centralized place, alleviating concerns of manually writing down and planning in different locations. Titled “My LA,” the dashboard feels personable to the user, while a custom map pinpoints where selected activities are throughout Los Angeles, helping users minimize travel time and maximize quality time at each destination. Vivid imagery, celebrity guidance on specific places to visit and off-site content on social media channels are designed to inspire people to explore and interact with the city’s offerings.

Trip planning is a process that used to be streamlined—you’d go to a travel agent, who would book everything for you—but now most travelers try to plan it all on their own, ending up overwhelmed or feeling they’re missing out on the best of the best. This initiative helps to alleviate that anxiety.

Photo Credit: discoverlosangeles.com/experience-builder 

Spanish radio show brings ‘Sun’ to unemployment office with flash mob

With Spain’s unemployment rate reaching a record 26 percent (double the EU average, according to the BBC), some 6 million Spaniards are currently jobless. Aiming to brighten up the day for some of those without work, radio program Carne Cruda 2.0 on Spain’s Cadena SER radio network organized a flash mob to serenade an unemployment office in Madrid.

A woman with a clarinet stood up and began playing the opening chords of “Here Comes the Sun,” The Beatles’ 1969 Abbey Road hit. As onlookers took notice, a second clarinetist joined in, and before long the waiting room was filled with musicians playing the tune. An adorable young woman cheerily belted out the lyrics as a chorus came in, accompanying her. Onlookers smiled, some taking out their phones to document the event. Workers in the office emerged from their cubes to see what the commotion was about, and for a moment everyone in the room seemed to forget their troubles. This simple idea helped bring some cheer to struggling Spaniards in that office and beyond (the video has generated around 1.5 million views in three weeks).

Norton helps Internet users control their online reputation

It’s a rarity today when someone meets you IRL—a date, a job interviewer, a potential roommate—without conducting a thorough Web stalking and “getting to know you” digitally. Trouble is, we have little control over what comes up in our top Google search results. With more of our social lives chronicled across multiple online platforms, it’s increasingly difficult to regulate our digital image.

Keen to the anxiety around this, online security firm Norton created Top Results, a free app that allows users to determine what pops up first in searches for their name. The app, currently available only in Scandinavia, helps users create a personal Google AdWords ad that links to the URL of their choice, which becomes the top search result. “We believe that you should have control over your search results. … Next time someone Googles your name, you’ll decide what their first impression will be,” says this video. Norton is smartly giving consumers a tool to actively and easily manage their online reputation as more people grow concerned about the repercussions of unsettling search results.

Zain connects Kuwait to what truly matters

The last parliament in Kuwait was one of the most controversial in the country’s history. Peaceful demonstrations against both the parliament and the government led the Amir of Kuwait to dissolve both and order new elections within the next 12 weeks. And for 12 weeks all of Kuwait was talking about whom they would vote for. Most were pessimistic after the last parliament gave them false hope. Kuwaitis had lost faith in the future of Kuwait.

With the help of JWT Kuwait, market-leading telecom provider Zain launched a flash mob in the country’s largest mall the day after the vote, with the dancers singing national songs. The feedback was overwhelming—in about a month, the video racked up 2.3 million views in a country with a population just under 3 million—not only because it was the first flash mob here but because it reminded people of what Kuwait means to everyone.

In anxious times, TV lets Americans escape to a more magical world

A sense of nostalgia and desire for simpler times may be prevalent on the big screen, as we noted recently, but it’s also very palpable on the small screen. As with many of this year’s Oscar nominees, this hints at Americans’ desire for escapism—but in this case, it’s escapism to a magical world rather than to the past. From NBC’s Grimm, a supernatural crime show, to ABC’s Once Upon a Time, a drama populated by characters from fairy tales, the current TV lineup is laced with the mythical, magical and surreal.

What’s most interesting is that these shows aren’t just pure fantasy; they combine the fantastical with the contemporary world, for more relatable scenarios. Also interesting is the underlying lessons on morals and values ingrained in the stories. Is this a way to reintroduce a core set of values to an audience that’s been looking for guidance during anxious times? A fairy-tale world where consumers can not only escape but also learn something valuable—lessons to be applied back in the real world to help them reset—could be just the answer. We’ll soon see whether the fairy-tale world proves successful on the big screen, with two Snow White-themed films, Julia Roberts’ Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsmen with Kristen Stewart.

Photo Credit: once-upon-a-time

With ‘Leap List,’ Honda positions CR-V as helping consumers live life to the fullest

“Life is packed with things you have to do, but sometimes you have to live a little,” says Matthew Broderick in the manifesto commercial for Honda’s “Leap List” campaign as he re-enacts some of the iconic scenes from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. He goes on: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you’ll miss it.” In this Super Bowl spot and other TV, print and Web efforts, Honda positions its CR-V, a compact SUV, as a tool for getting things done—not routine things like picking up groceries but rather ticking off bucket list aspirations before life passes us by.

The campaign encourages viewers to make a “Leap List” before moving on to the next big chapter of their lives. TV spots show early thirtysomethings on the cusp of major life decisions, like having a baby or getting married. They start tabulating all the things they wanted to accomplish—finishing a short film, seeing the northern lights in Alaska, learning to play the drums and so on—before starting the next chapter of their lives. After a brief hesitation, each character agrees to move ahead with their significant other, but only if they can do a few things first. “Before you make a leap in life, make a list of all the stuff you wanna do. Then get it done in the all-new CRV,” the voiceover says. Other spots show people actively checking off items on their list. A Web component encourages viewers to create (and complete) “Leap Lists” while entering for a chance to win a CR-V.

By tapping into easy-to-identify-with anxieties about living a life unfulfilled, Honda smartly illustrates that its vehicle isn’t simply about getting drivers from point A to B, it’s about helping people live life to the fullest.

Who’s the most private of them all? Microsoft takes on Google

Google Privacy On the heels of its “Good to Know” campaign—an effort to tutor consumers about good online safety practices—Google announced a shift in its privacy policy. The changes will see Google using one privacy policy to cover user activity and data across a number of its services (including Gmail, YouTube and gCal). The changes are touted as a means for streamlining the Web experience and making the privacy policy easier to understand but have drawn harsh criticism from some, who see them as counter to Google’s longstanding promise to “Do no evil.”

Microsoft has taken Google’s announcement—and the resulting consumer paranoia—as an opportunity to position itself as more privacy-friendly. Last week the company unveiled a series of full-page print ads in publications including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, pitching its own offerings—Hotmail, Office365, Internet Explorer and Bing—as alternatives to Google’s various services. The ads and accompanying blog post directly knock Google with headlines such as “Gone Google? Got Concerns? We Have Alternatives.” Google has retorted with its own post, as well as banner ads reading, “We’re changing our Privacy Policy. Not our privacy controls.”

As the PR battle over privacy ramps up, so too is consumer anxiety over what exactly to be concerned about and whether to change longstanding Web habits.

Photo Credit: mediafury; blogs.technet.com