Pollution, in particular air pollution, has become a topic of grave concern the world over. Several Indian cities now top the list of the world’s most polluted cities. Per a 2014 WHO report, Delhi had emerged as the most polluted city, but that has now been replaced by Zabol, a city in Iran in WHO’s 2017 urban air quality database. Still, four Indian cities – Gwalior, Allahabad, Patna and Raipur are among the world’s 10 most polluted cities, and raising a red flag is the fact that 10 out of the worst 20 cities are in India!
Our planet is our only home. Migrating to another less-polluted city or wearing a mask are just temporary fixes. The need of the hour is a collective one, a collaboration amongst citizens and government to understand the factors leading to air pollution, join in the efforts to control emissions and shift towards a greener, cleaner environment.
Last year, Gail India, a natural gas transmission company launched a campaign in support of Hawa Badlo, an independent people’s movement that aims at motivating people to commit towards air-friendly habits like switching to CNG/electric vehicles, carpooling, and use of public transport, among others. Read: Gail India Hawa Badlo social cause campaign.
The campaign conveyed the message by stressing on the plight of the traffic police, the men and women who face the ire of air pollutants while at duty. People were asked to share the awareness film and tweet about it using #GiftAMask while the brand gifted masks to traffic police. The campaign called for taking pledges and also spread information about pollution facts through social media.
This year, the social cause campaign has evolved to bring in a more collective effort towards its Swachh Air Mission initiative, wherein the company seeks to advocate ‘taking positive steps towards fighting air pollution and taking necessary actions to improve the air quality.’
Gail is striving to build a community of Hawa Badlo warriors, ones who would spearhead this change and encourage others to build a positive movement. An anthem titled Hawa Badlo featuring prominent singers, Javed Ali and Harshdeep Kaur has been released, illustrating the story of positive change.
In the 3-minute video produced by Handyyman, a mother with a little son is seen going through the journey of knowing about the ill-effects of air pollution on her son, to making herself aware about ways to bring about a positive change, and then sharing it with others as a Hawa Badlo warrior. Years later, the son, now an accomplished athlete, while being felicitated for winning a medal, thanks his mother for having taken the required steps.
In addition, a microsite has been built for becoming a Hawa Badlo warrior. The microsite houses the anthem and lists ways to change the air, it also displays a form to add your name and email address. Apart from that, there is no descriptive content to actually join the war against air pollution. For instance, one of the ways to minimize exposure, it states – is to regularly monitor the Air Quality Index, and share it with your circle. This, as well as the other points, could have been illustrated better on the microsite.
In terms of distribution, the anthem is being shared on social media by Gail and Hawa Badlo, in addition to also having run a Promoted Trend on Twitter. Prior to the release, the team had started creating buzz by rolling out short teasers. The singers have also joined the movement sharing the anthem with their follower base.
— HawaBadlo (@HawaBadlo) July 14, 2017
— Harshdeep Kaur (@HarshdeepKaur) July 18, 2017
People-driven. Aligned with brand vision. Microsite could be better
The war against air pollution has only just begun. Solar-powered vehicles, efficient mass transit systems, permissible levels of industrial emissions, switching over to natural fuels, planting trees, all these initiatives need to be a continued, sustained effort to truly bring about a change in the air. For a people-driven movement like Hawa Badlo, gaining the support of a brand that aligns with its purpose, has been the best thing about this campaign ever since it was launched last year.
It not only adds a fillip to Gail India’s Swachh Air Mission, but also helps build brand ambassadors from the Hawa Badlo warrior community. Besides, roping in young singers like Kaur and Ali adds a youthful appeal to the anthem, furthering the brand’s perception as a socially conscious one amongst the younger generation, a demographic that is more likely to switch over to natural gas. The lack of demonstrative visuals/videos on the microsite, however, is something the campaign is missing out on, making the microsite come across merely as an online email collection database.
For a business that generates natural gas, the Hawa Badlo campaign fits like a glove, serving both as a social cause marketing campaign as well as a brand awareness one. Continued initiatives with the Hawa Badlo community, incentivized for social good would help in building up and maintaining the momentum in the long term.
Note: Lighthouse Insights has tried to connect with the brand, but has not received any response till the time of filing this story.