CSR and the TATAs

A hot cup of tomato soup just 30min before lunch is good. Yay! I’m feeling rejuvenated. We have a vending machine here that serves tea, coffee, hot water, milk and tomato soup. I’m thankful from the bottom of my heart to the person who invented this machine. And also to my employer who felt this could help drowsy employees. A part of their corporate social responsibility may be? He he… 🙂

RHS_jaagoreTalking of CSR, I think Tatas are doing a great job here. First it was Jaagore by Tata Tea and now it is Jagmag Desh Mera by Voltas, Tata company. Jaagore especially was an excellent initiative. It has helped many Indians to be aware of the the elections, the intricacies behind the entire procedure and most importantly, to register yourself to vote. I was one of the millions who registered through them. I liked they was they used Tata Tea to promote the fact that if “You are not voting, you are sleeping.” Nice idea! ‘Jagmag desh mera’ campaign now is trying to trying to promote the fact that if we save some of our electric consumption, we actually can help lighting many more villages still under darkness. Though not as good as Jaagore, the initiative is gathering steam.

Now, in her interview to Outlook Business some time back, Sangeeta Talwar, the ED of Tata Tea has accepted the fact that initiative was well conceived to promote Tata Tea as a brand rather than to initiate the campaign for getting voters registered. They wanted to defy the advertising boundaries and this came up as a breakthrough initiative. Tata Tea as a name went to the households, may be not because of the aroma, but because of the way it was associated with voters. Brilliant concept, I must say, but not in a good spirit. Voltas is following their footsteps by telling people that if we buy a Voltas AC, it will save more electricity and help in lighting the villages. So what about people who do not use an air conditioner? May be they are urging that if you buy, please buy Voltas. Hmmm…

The social responsibility goes for a toss if a corporate attaches a promotional strategy to it. What do you think?

3 thoughts on “CSR and the TATAs

  1. Probably we could look at this way: The socially responsible message along with the promotional campaign is helping them spread the message as well as sell the product. This would be an added motivation for more companies to come up with more awareness campaigns.

  2. CSR is a must take initiative for every organization big or small. The initiative taken must be well thought out and planned activity and should not be undertaken for the sake of garnering some media mileage. Since it is a very sensitive subject it at times can backfire as well- as in an organization may be criticized for associating or taking up an X activity for vested interested. The genuine interest needs to be reflected and most importantly the work needs to speak for itself.

    I agree to the fact that companies use it more for promotional campaigns and publicity- and in most cases that is the basic reason behind starting it as well. But also for a fact I know companies who do stuff for the cause and don’t boast about it. (One of the leading travel companies of India, supports the cause of Indian Bears being exploited by people for earning a living, a part of the earning from each tourist they book goes toward this sanctuary where these rescued sloth bears are protected)

    Jagore is a great campaign and must say the message was loud and clear and they achieved what they had set out to do. Well, the ED did a goof-up by giving out a politically incorrect statement.

    Why only Voltas- so many companies use CSR as a platform for their promotion campaigns, buy and anything from X range of products- and 50 paise or a part of it will go towards educating children, the company even got film stars to spread the message.

    End of the day- the money spent on the advertising is with an idea of selling more products. Every time the advt needs to communicate a new catchy message and humane angle most of the time hits a bulls eye if done sensitively- play along, Indians to get inspired to do a lot of stuff by watching it.

    Till its not playing with sentiments of the masses- its cool.. at least some good work gets done

  3. Wow! BIG comment Pallavi. Could have made a post out of it 🙂 Lemme read it.

    Hmmm… well I think there is nothing wrong in the fact that the companies are creating a brand recall through CSR. After all huge money is spent on it. I sympathize with Sangeeta Talwar if she was subject to criticism. Not all people on that level admit the bitter truth (except if they are on Sach ka Saamna, lol).

    Tata Tea never tried to sell their tea bags or sachets. They merely wanted to create a brand recall. Full Marks to them. But Voltas has gone a bit far in asking people to buy their ACs because they save electricity. Well…

    Boasting your brand in the name of CSR is an old practice, as you rightly said. Nothing wrong in it, except a selfish thought at the back of the mind that says “Will my brand gain a mileage out of this?” A social cause shall seldom go hand in hand with one’s selfish gain.

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