The Olympics, the world’s most coveted sporting event is set to kick off today at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. What started off in the ancient plains of Olympia in 776 BC has seen a metamorphic transformation to become a true test of sporting skill in our modern world. Nano seconds matter at the Olympics and only true bravehearts dare to take up the challenge to be an Olympian.
We have many in our country, but we know very little of them, in fact we are too bothered about our cricket stars and their girlfriend issues. This year, India is sending its biggest contingent to the Olympic Games; over 100 athletes are participating from India to compete in boxing, wrestling, track and field, tennis, hockey, shooting, archery and badminton, and our medal hopes have certainly risen after winning 6 medals at the Summer games.
Winning a medal at the Olympic Games is a dream come true for every athlete in this world, just as is winning an Oscar for an actor, and for that they are ready to sacrifice all of life’s comforts. For perspective, we can look at some numbers: 10,500 athletes competing for 306 sets of medals in 28 disciplines this year.
Which is why a nationwide support campaign for our athletes is the need of the hour. Tata Salt, one of the sponsors of the Indian Olympics contingent, has launched ‘Namak Ke Waastey’, an integrated campaign to build awareness, pride and respect for our athletes.
Compelling stories talk about four Olympics aspirants and what they’ve undergone to be at the level they are at. A series of four videos form the core of the campaign; they feature: Shiva Thapa, the youngest Indian boxer to qualify for the 2012 Olympics at the age of 19; Babita Kumari, the young wrestler who won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games; Inderjeet Singh, the shot putter who brought India gold at the Asian Athletics Championships in 2015; and Avtar Singh, the judoka who bagged gold 2016 South Asian Games.
Currently world No 6 in bantamweight category, this is Shiva’s second successive Olympics. The young boxer does a whopping 3000 skips on a rope, 500 push-ups, 1000 crunches and runs 18 kms every day. You cannot ‘not be moved’ when he says these lines: “Ab maroge tho kaoge bhi, par jo chot ke nishan medals la de, woh beautiful lagthi hain…. main ja raha hun desh ke namak ka haq adha karne.”
A longer film captures his amazing journey of grit and determination and will surely convince the viewer to support him at Rio 2016.
Babita Kumari belongs to the Phogat family, yes that family from Haryana with wrestler father Mahavir Singh Phogat and his established wrestler daughters, Geeta and Babita, who’ve not just proved themselves in the ring but also battled against gender stereotype in the state. Babita has many medals apart from the 2012 World Championships bronze medal, there’s a silver and a gold in the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games respectively and a bronze at the 2013 Asian Championships.
In the video, her voiceover talks about having her ears pulled and even broken at times and the immense pain thereafter. But, then again all that strict coaching has its fruits. “Taqleef bahut hoti hain, lekin jeetne ke baad jab tiranga lehratha hai, tab dard khushi mein badal jatha hain.” She also talks about her father and her wrestling bouts with boys during training. A longer film has her sharing her inspiring journey towards being an Olympian.
Here’s the champion shotputter Inderjeet’s story:
Apart from the videos conceptualized and created by Ogilvy One India,, the salt maker has ensured digital initiatives to drive awareness and support for the athletes. Prior to unveiling the video stories, teaser visuals asked users to identify the athletes with the help of the given clue. Later cover photos were made available for download, for users to upload onto their social media profiles. Along with the videos, there’s a ‘Victory Selfie’ initiative, in association with #fame, that has celebrities and influencers like Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Harsha Bhogle talking about the need to support our Olympics athletes.
Convincing a nation of cricket fans
It is always an uphill task to get us Indians to look at games other than cricket, be it hockey, kabaddi, badminton or athletic games, we prefer to not know about the players or the home team. Corporate sponsors are getting into big shoes when they choose to support such games, not only do they have to ensure Indians why these games are important but also make it humanly relatable with the help of stories.
Tata Salt’s ‘Namak Ke Waastey’ has the right blend of both, the video storytelling does indeed make you eager to know more about these determined athletes representing our country. It answers your ‘why’ about their undying spirit to win at the Olympics despite the painful hurdles, it instills you with pride, hope and empathy towards their dream and the nation’s as a whole. The digital initiatives designed to show people’s support on social media is a simple yet effective method to garner support and build awareness through social connections.
Tata Salt is ceaselessly building consumer trust over the years. ‘Namak Ke Waastey’ sits perfectly right in its brand building exercise as a purpose-driven, conscientious brand dedicated to the service of the country.