Durga Puja is special. Growing up in Haldia, I would be as excited as the bongs. The festival, approximately for five days is all about community bonding over food, music, worshiping the goddess, and pandal hopping with your friends. Thankfully even today when I visit the beautiful theme driven pandals some of these joys haven’t changed.
There is one more thing that has been consistent over the years is the importance of the ‘Dhakis’ – they are your traditional drummers who play dhak or drums during the puja. However in this age of streaming apps, these Dhakis are losing out to technology. One of the reasons why every year CenturyPly, the manufacturer of plywood and decorative laminates makes a point to celebrate the unsung heroes who are behind all the glitz and glitter of the festival.
CenturyPly Heroes campaign
This year the brand continued its tradition with CenturyPly Heroes campaign, an initiative launched in 2014. A six minute long video in Bengali and Hindi is an emotional story of a father and son who are no more the chosen drummers for this year’s festival. Thereafter it is the story of hope and fighting there way to finally landing a paid gig with the help from a local carpenter, and a young guy. Here is the video appreciating the work these craftsmen do.
Over the years CenturyPly, the company that found its root in then Calcutta and now Kolkata without fail makes a point to celebrate the Durga Puja with the community of carpenters. In 2014 the brand took up the cause of pandal makers, in 2015 it appealed to 200 pujo pandals through ‘Smoke Free Pujo’ to nominate one of their carpenters for the campaign. Three extraordinary carpenters among these 200 nominations were chosen to be honored as ‘CenturyPly Heroes 2015’.
Last year the brand focused on how a carpenter’s belief and the community coming together to make the traditional puja happen even when it looked impossible. A relevant story, executed well.
CenturyPly Heroes could have been an effective brand property
CenturyPly Heroes campaign, a social or cause marketing campaign is great. It is commendable for a brand to keep supporting a cause for last six years. But has it turned into a potential and effective property for the brand? The effort was there when it started but over last few years it is an exercise and ticking the box. There is a video every year, media money being burnt, press coverage but beyond that I don’t see anything happening. What are the tangible things the brand is doing for the community. If it is doing then why isn’t it out there on the website.
Why hasn’t the brand integrated the property on the website as a long lasting brand belief.
The website now an eCommerce hub has no place for one of its strong beliefs that it cultivated over last six years. Social media is all about posting the same vanilla updates and the video. There isn’t a defined strategy.
It is said that CenturyPly is now strengthening its presence in West and South India. With its focus of capturing larger markets in India, Heroes campaign could have been a pan India property.
Apart from burning media money on traditional and digital the brand states that it will reach out to the carpenter community and recognize their worth, the video will be shared with CenturyPly’s carpenters, contractors, dealers, distributors and employees. Definitely it has kept a limited focus, this is a campaign for the carpenters community but this campaign is not about just them but every one who is and can be a potential consumer.
CenturyPly Heroes campaign started with a lot of potential and the brand stood for the community. For me 2015 campaign was the best. But it’s a shame that over the last few years the brand has stuck to delivering only emotional videos.
What could have been an effective thought provoking pan India property from CenturyPly now remains a yearly exercise of executing videos.
I still say the brand can pick this up and work it out, the CenturyPly Heroes Campaign is a golden egg and needs a re-look.