CategoryG05. Cultural Insight
Idea Creation McCANN INDIA Mumbai, INDIA


Name Company Position
Prasoon Joshi McCann Worldgroup India Chief Creative Officer
Ashish Chakravarty McCann Worldgroup India National Creative Director
Kapil Batra Mccann Worldgroup India Creative Head
Anand Bhushan Mccann Worldgroup India Executive Creative Director
Rajit Gupta Mccann Worldgroup India Executive Creative Director
Inderpreet Singh Mccann Worldgroup India Creative Director
Karn Singh Mccann Worldgroup India Creative Team Leader
Jeet Kalra Mccann Worldgroup India VP and Creative Head AV
Rongon Bhattacharjee Mccann Worldgroup India Senior Brand Leader
Ajay Pathak Collective Art Executive Producer
Swapnil Shetye Collective Art Director/Editor

Why is this work relevant for Media?

The Hawker’s Call was executed as a media innovation for spreading health and wellness in the remotest parts of India. During the beginning of the lockdown when the spread of information had to be faster than the virus. The Hawker’s call found its way into every household, every consumer, every day from April till October. Twice a day. It is this consistent and clear channel that contributed to India’s decrease in Corona Cases every day up until the biggest unlock in October. The public adopted the lifesaving information spread by the brand through a unique tradition followed by


• Situation As Corona was spreading across states the fear of infection was increasing and access to information decreasing. This had compromised conventional media like newspapers. • Brief Our client wanted to reach out to the remotest cities in these states and share lifesaving information in a safe and consistent manner. • Objectives The goal was to deliver safety and sanitization protocols to every neighborhood and locality in these remote parts of affected states. And in turn decrease the overall no. of cases.

Describe the creative idea / insights (30% of vote)

The idea came from this unique tradition followed by Indian vegetable vendors who advertise their arrival in neighborhoods with an unusually loud and clear, sing-song call. As a result, people are accustomed to hearing and responding to these calls twice a day, every day. We partnered with major vegetable vendor associations across states and with their cooperation embedded sanitization and safety protocols in every hawker’s call. Using the hawker's call to deliver sanitization and safety protocols in a safe, clear, and memorable way twice a day. For example- “Take potatoes, take tomatoes, take onions, and keep washing your hands regularly.” Take brinjal, take cauliflower, take radishes…wear masks before going outside Take potatoes…take ridged gourd…take peas…. keep a distance of 6ft Take tomatoes. Take onions. Take cauliflower. Don’t forget to wash the vegetables.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

• Target audience (consumer demographic / individuals / organisations) We were talking to the public living in the remotest Indian cities, whose major source of information was newspapers, in the absence of which information coming to them was unverified and often unscientific. So our target audience was every household, in every neighborhood, across every age group and economic class. • Approach We leveraged the vast network of vegetable vendors by partnering with various vegetable vendor associations across states and used their signature, loud, sing-song calls to drive our message to the audience. The approach ensured safety because it was auditory and guaranteed engagement because buying vegetables is a daily activity. It’s also noteworthy that it was only the vegetable vendors that were allowed to enter public spaces and neighborhoods as they were categorized as ‘Essential workers’. Where newspapers and people couldn’t go, the hawker’s call delivered our message.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

Implementation and Scale- The Hawker’s Call was implemented in more than 1000 cities and across 20+ states and union territories. With the help of numerous vegetable vendor associations in each state, we altered the Hawker’s Calls by embedding our safety and sanitization protocols. Not only did these calls reach the public but other independent vegetable vendors also joined the movement. The hawkers transit through every locality in the morning when households prepare lunch and late in the afternoon when the households prepare dinner. So this gave us the opportunity to engage twice a day, every day with our audience. Timeline- The lockdown in India began on March 23, 2020, and the first hawker’s call was launched on April 5, 2020, and continued through October 2020 till the unlock happened. Placement- During the course of the campaign around 1000000 Vegetable Hawkers participated by altering their calls to deliver our messaging.

List the results (30% of vote)

In the age of social media, we used a unique Indian tradition followed by vegetable vendors to spread lifesaving information, organically through word of mouth. The Hawkers Call was shared on social media and WhatsApp groups of local resident welfare associations. It echoed in many states of India through every gully, to millions of households. When we began in April, the cases were increasing at a substantial rate, so our network of vegetable vendors also kept increasing substantially with our partnership with more vendor associations. On September 19, the new cases peaked at 92,605 but by 15 October the new cases began to decline to 63.371 and subsequently kept falling. There were many initiatives done by the government and the Hawker’s Call was one of the largest health awareness campaigns that ran alongside. The timely adoption of safety practices curbed the spread of the virus with the spread of information.

Please tell us about the cultural insight that inspired the work

In India, there is a unique tradition followed by vegetable vendors. Whichever part they are from and whatever language they speak. While displaying vegetables on mobile hawkers, they always announce their arrival and advertise their products in an unusually loud and clear, sing-song call. People are accustomed to hearing and responding to these calls twice a day, every day. So the time in the morning and late afternoon when households prepare for lunch and dinner gave us a unique window to communicate our message. It is also common practice when certain vegetable vendors tend to the same household for years. That's why using the Hawker's Call as a medium was uniquely Indian and their engagement with the households a great opportunity.