Bad PR: UP Government ‘sings and dances’ while Muzaffarnagar shivers

Bad PR

UP Government ‘sings and dances’ while Muzaffarnagar shivers

The more things change, the more politicians’ remain the same as this week’s Bad PR proves.

The times are a changing and politicians need to get this message fast. The Uttar Pradesh government has organised a two week long Mahaotsav at Saifai, complete with Bollywood stars such as Madhuri Dixit and Salman Khan.

The ‘celebrations’ have drawn flak from the media and rival parties BJP and the BSP. For the UP Chief Minister to splash money on such an expensive event while riot victims suffer from poor living conditions in the camps at Muzaffarnagar is very poor public relations management.

In the constant gaze of social media and television on a 24x7 content cycle, it is no longer possible for politicians to escape scrutiny for their action. Mid-week, “Times Now” devoted a full hour of prime time on the subject.

With the increasing consumerisation of news, politicians will have to understand that the public is watching them, not every 5 years, but all the time.

Late on Thursday, actor Salman Khan attempted to make amends by issuing a post on his Facebook page that a part of the proceeds from the event will be donated for healthcare, via his charity Being Human: “ In Etawah, Being Human, on behalf of all artists who performed yesterday, has committed to fund 200 paediatric heart surgeries in UP”.

The greatest Indian movie ever uses gamification to promote its 3D Avatar

‘Sholay’ needs no introduction for millions of Indian cine fans. The launch of its 3D version last week is an opportunity for a whole generation of young movie goers to watch this action classic. In keeping with the times, “Hungama and Gameshastra have come out with a game: Sholay - Bullets of Justice”.

You can play as the iconic characters of Jai (Amitabh Bachchan) or Veeru (Dharmendra) and take out the dacoits on a moving goods train or unshackle Basanti (Hema Malini) from the jaws of Gabbar Singh (Amjad Khan).

Fun stuff and a great way to create a buzz around the movie. Watch the game trailer here:

There have been recent examples of Indian companies opting for gaming to promote their brand. While movies are a natural fit with games, products that have nothing to do with a gaming concept are also using gaming platforms to create publicity.  In December last year, chocolate brand Snickers used gesture based gaming to spread the message about their range of vegetarian chocolates for India!

Traffic ‘Tau’ to ‘beat’ traffic violators in Gurgaon

If you have ever driven in the maniacal traffic of Gurgaon, you will be familiar with the feeling of wanting to get out of your car and beat up the nearest driver. Driving in Gurgaon is designed to provoke even the calmest of people. Probably in desperation, Gurgaon Traffic police have come up with the concept of a Traffic’Tau’. According to the Indian Express, the Traffic ‘Tau’ is a “Haryanvi man clad in a white dhoti, blue jacket and a red turban with a lathi and will now be seen near popular malls and police check-posts in Gurgaon this festive season.”

The Traffic ‘Tau’ will be seen giving advice about safe driving in the local dialect to those caught flouting traffic rules. His message will be – “Ab gaadi yun na chaalengi. Jo galat chaleyga, woh mera danda khayega. Respect the roads and drive responsibly."

Interesting concept and maybe it will have an effect on the wild call centre drivers. Speaking softly and carrying a big stick might just work!

Have you seen any great or even bad PR?

Write to Paarul Chand at or tweet @PaarulC or @PRmomentIndia throughout the week and we’ll happily credit you for your trouble.

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