Free A Billion – The Boy Who Will Not Stand For The National Anthem

Digital L&K Saatchi & Saatchi conceptualises Digital Campaign ‘The Boy Who Will Not Stand For The National Anthem’
The campaign aims at bringing positive change to Mumbai and its infrastructure

This Independence day saw advertisers do what they normally do on this day – flood media with one-day patriotism, bundle special offers into this day and recycle slogans that weren’t originally part of any advertising campaign. In the midst of this, there are always a few unique pieces that try and wake the nation up to something special. One such message has been trending on the internet, conceptualised by Digital L&K Saatchi & Saatchi in association with Mumbai based NGO, Free A Billion.

Simply titled The Boy Who Will Not Stand For The National Anthem, this simple video caught attention first with it’s unique title and then, as we watched it, with it’s unique message. It was the touching story of Prakash, the young 16 year-old who lost his life last year because of a pothole.

The aim of Free A Billion is to turn India’s commercial capital into the city it should be. The NGO aims to mobilise the Municipal Corporation, the State Government and the Central Government into taking action to halt the rapid decay of the city.

Free A Billion’s strategy to rebuild the broken system is the Swatantra vote bank, and the film ends with urging citizens to unite and vote and therefore take the first step towards bringing positive change to Mumbai and its infrastructure.


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Aarti Samant, Associate Director – Planning & Strategy, Digital L&K | Saatchi & Saatchi said, “Free A Billion approached us with a clearly defined problem that of basic civil rights. We all face these issues in our day to day lives but more often then not fail to pay heed. We wanted this to become a peoples movement and therefore it was imperative to tell a true story. The campaign is not just meant for shares and hits but to give every mumbaikar a reality check. A reality check that would appeal to his conscience and drive him to take action.”

For this purpose, the two organisations got in touch with Mr. and Mrs. Bilhore, the parents of Prakash. Via a simple, but hard hitting video, Digital L&K Saatchi & Saatchi along with Free A Billion decided to tell the story of how he will not stand up for the National Anthem this year along with the rest of us.

Anoorupa Bose, Associate Creative Director, Digital L&K | Saatchi & Saatchi said, “This Independence Day, when people stand up for the national anthem, we wanted them to remember victims like Prakash who would not be standing with us. To realise that it’s not just government inefficiency, but our indifference that contributes to our broken system.”

The video hits you in the gut with the story of Prakash.

Charles Victor, National Creative Director, Digital L&K | Saatchi & Saatchi said, “We were very clear that we needed to be sensitive, not sensational. With communication like this, it’s easy to make it unecessarily dramatic and emotional. We didn’t need to. The theme and the story of Prakash were emotional enough. We were glad his parents actually held themselves together on this emotional shoot without breaking down like they did the previous day. In the end, we do hope we’ve helped in some small way to move people into action.”

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