India missed the gold at the Rio Olympics, sparking a train of debates about why a nation of 1.3 billion cannot win a single gold at the world’s largest sporting arena. While pundits go around looking for long term solutions and corporates take up the issue of funds, two Indian athletes have just made the country proud at the Rio Paralympics.
Thangavelu Mariyappan of Tamil Nadu and Varun Singh Bhati of Noida won the gold and bronze medals respectively in the men’s high jump T-42 event on Friday. Mariyappan jumped 1.89 metres while Bhati’s 1.86 metres was his personal best. Two Indians on the same podium - Mariyappan who had lost his leg in a childhood accident, Bhati who was afflicted by polio – both excelled in their spirit of sportsmanship and have injected much inspiration into us able-bodied Indians.
The duo became a trending topic on Facebook and Twitter and sporting heroes to be reckoned with. This win at Rio is not their first though, yet this is the first time most of us are acquainted with them. A Paralympics campaign by IndusInd Bank hopes to change this by building awareness and providing support for para-athletes.
IndusInd Bank in association with GoSports Foundation has launched “JeetkaHalla”, a campaign to support the Para-athletes with its sole aim of highlighting their achievements. IndusInd’s ‘IndusInd Umang’, a Para Champions Programme will be supporting 15 elite differently-abled Indian athletes who have triumphed in life against all odds, and continue to be an inspiration for all.
At the heart of “Jeet ka Halla” is a heartwarming, and inspiring Anthem (embedded above) which showcases the grit and spirit of para-athletes. The 3-minute anthem has been conceptualized by Ankur Suman, Principal consultant & Creative head, RK Swamy BBDO, directed by Amit Roy, sung by Pankaj Awasthi with lyrics by Pankaj Bora of RK Swamy BBDO.
The anthem opens with some eye-opening stats: Indian Para-athletes and their coaches have been awarded with 3 Padma Shri Awards, 24 Arjuna Awards, 3 Dronacharya Awards and 2 Dhyan Chand Awards, and many more inspiring facts. It then focuses on some of our para athletes beginning their day: Para power-lifter Rajinder Singh Rahelu, Para-Runner Ramkaran Singh, Para-swimmer Swapnil Patil and Niranjan Mukundan, among others.
The lyrics make a strong case on why we need to support and cheer for them. “Khel nahin khaata rahem, Maidan nahin padta naram, Sangharsh nahin hota hai kam, Toh tere liye… kyon taaliyaa ho kam? which means, “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?”
Indeed why should there be less applause for para-athletes. Building on awareness the campaign has also embarked on a series of video stories on individual para-athletes. The story of Para Power-lifter Rajinder Singh Rahelu is one of the rising above expectations and inspiring many more in the process.
It is heartening to watch this ambitious Para-Runner Ramkaran Singh from Kanpur, who shares his amazing journey of sporting feats despite being visually impaired.
In addition to the digital films, the campaign has also leveraged social media to build awareness on the para-athletes. Apart from creating buzz about the anthem and urging viewers to share it with their social connections, IndusInd has also invested in a series of visual content.
Visuals and gifs serve to describe the inspiring journey of these unsung heroes, with top sports awards and honours under their belt. Their victorious path has been neatly packed into short gifs for quick consumption and social sharing. Besides, a contest was also held to raise awareness about India’s glorious Para-athlete winners of the past.
Indian para-athletes & their coaches have bagged 32 national honors till date. #JeetKaHalla #IndusIndForSports pic.twitter.com/ryGe75FIRK
— IndusInd Bank (@MyIndusIndBank) September 1, 2021
Bhati has left no stone unturned to conquer his dream. Contributing to his #JeetKaHalla at #Rio2016 Paralympics. pic.twitter.com/GOzgPz4FSl
— IndusInd Bank (@MyIndusIndBank) August 28, 2021
Rahelu’s determination have won him many accolades. Let's contribute to their #JeetKaHalla. pic.twitter.com/iD1g26hJSn
— IndusInd Bank (@MyIndusIndBank) September 2, 2021
We salute Deepa Malik's determination and passion. Join us & contribute to her #JeetKaHalla at #Rio2016 Paralympics. pic.twitter.com/yFlxyLAbID
— IndusInd Bank (@MyIndusIndBank) August 26, 2021
Shout for the victory of para-athletes by sharing the #JeetKaHalla anthem https://t.co/mbE2fw1uOd w/ @GoSportsVoices pic.twitter.com/232pZGcRrG
— IndusInd Bank (@MyIndusIndBank) September 8, 2021
This freestyle swimmer made a record in the 1972 Paralymic Games of 37.33sec in 50m. Who is he?#TheUltimateMilestone pic.twitter.com/sYeVdHU9Fk
— IndusInd Bank (@MyIndusIndBank) August 26, 2021
A campaign microsite has also been created as an online one-stop destination. One can know more about the para-athletes, show their support and go through their sporting journey. There’s a virtual stadium with empty seats reflecting how para-athletes always perform to empty stadiums. Every time you ‘share the anthem’ through any of your social logins - Facebook, Twitter or Google +, a seat gets filled on the virtual stadium. Exactly 400 seats have been filled as I write this!
The making of a socially-conscious brand
“JeetkaHalla” is not just an inspiring. video-driven campaign riding on the back of superheroes, it is also an exhaustive brand building exercise by IndusInd, one that will catalyze the bank’s image as that of a responsible and socially-conscious brand which supports good and unique causes, with the aim of giving back to society. Several brands have associated with the cause of Indian Olympics athletes, but IndusInd Bank is the only brand to take up the cause of the para-athletes. (Read: Six memorable video-driven campaigns supporting Indian athletes at Rio 2016)
Recent studies on millennials highlight a higher brand affinity towards socially-responsible brands. Brands taking up causes that work towards bringing a positive change in society are more likely to be appreciated and manage to stay top of mind in this ever-on digital age. For IndusInd Bank, JeetkaHalla is a clarion call to add to its cool quotient and appeal to new age consumers.
The “JeetkaHalla” anthem coupled with the individual films, the campaign microsite and the storytelling gifs on social media make for a memorable, inspiring and share-worthy campaign. Do come forward to cheer for our Para-athletes.