New Delhi: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), the media company which brought private satellite television to India, has rolled out an integrated campaign marking 25 years of its operations in India. The campaign unveils the company’s new logo and brand thought “Aaj Likhenge Kal", while narrating a heart-warming father-daughter story in a long-format brand film.

Made by advertising agency Publicis India, the minute-and-a-half-long video is being narrated by a young girl who introduces the viewers to her father Ravindranath Sharma, a retired government official who has a fear of flying. As he settles anxiously in an airplane seat on his first flight, a young woman pilot looks at him reassuringly. Clearly, the man is about to fly with his daughter who has become a pilot against various social pressures. It is her first flight too.

The film, uploaded on 15 October on Zee’s channels, has garnered over 1.2 million views on YouTube and over 2.3 million views on Facebook. The campaign will also be promoted across television, print, radio and outdoors.

“The brand thought, ‘Aaj Likhenge Kal’, captures the indomitable spirit of Indian middle-class which is driving the growth of the country today. As a group, we wish to tell stories which motivate people to take charge of their destiny as well. We have launched shows like Jeet gayi toh piya more which is a modern day Beauty and the Beast, where the princess chooses to turn a beast into a prince that she wants him to be instead of pining to be rescued, or Dil dhoondta hai, which is a story of a millennial couple trying to live their life fully in Mumbai. Going forward, we will create stories and content which fuels India’s aspirations," said Prathyusha Agarwal, chief marketing officer, ZEEL.

Aaj Likhenge Kal symbolises the choices and decisions that individuals make which determine their destiny giving them control over their future, said Bobby Pawar, managing director and chief creative officer at Publicis South Asia. “The brand thought further formed the fulcrum for the film which highlights how love conquers fears of both the protagonists. The father’s love for his daughter conquers his fear of flying, while the daughter’s fear of failure is conquered by her father’s love," he added.

Pawar, who has also created Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) Colors’ campaign Sunday is Her Holiday urging men to give the women in their life a day off, believes progress cannot be forced on viewers. “A large part of the country is still anchored in traditions some of which may be regressive in nature. But declaring that those traditions are wrong will only alienate a large section of viewers so one has to take them along on a journey of progression which is slow paced. This campaign is a small but right step in that direction. When you look at that girl from a small town in the film her parents have supported her in dreaming beyond the accepted norm of society. To me, it is a sign of progress," he said.

Apart from Zee and Colors, Star Plus also unveiled a campaign Nayi Soch, featuring cricket icons M.S. Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, proudly wearing their mothers’ names on their jerseys in October last year.

Also read: Are ‘Colors’, ‘Star Plus’ progressive ads in sync with their content?

Advertising experts, however, believe the real objective will be achieved when the channel content becomes as progressive as the advertising. Applauding the campaign’s storytelling, Jitender Dabas, chief strategy officer, McCann Worldgroup India, said this is Zee’s attempt to position itself against the likes of Star and Colors by projecting a progressive image. “Such campaigns might improve the self-image of the loyal viewers of these channels... but I am not sure if the channels brands govern their content through the filter of their corporate campaigns. As of now there is clearly a gap between the content being aired and the messaging in the corporate campaigns," he said.

K.V. Sridhar, founder of creative outfit Hyper Collective, said such progressive marketing campaigns will only help these channels to walk the talk and create programming which is progressive and inspiring. “I think content of these channels will get influenced by the progressive marketing campaigns. If people are appreciating such campaigns it shows they are willing to watch better and more powerful storylines and themes. These expectations will put pressure on the content teams to constantly improve their work," he said.

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