Aman ki Asha: A Concept Marketing Initiative to Promote Peace between India and Pakistan

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG290
Case Length :18 Pages
Period :2009-2011
Pub Date : 2012
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization :Unilever Plc.
Industry : Newspaper
Countries : India; Pakistan

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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It was reported that the AKA campaign changed the perceptions of people about each other in both countries and generated global interest. It was considered to be a model for people-to-people initiative in nurturing better relations between nations. However, some critics contended that AKA was nothing but a publicity gimmick to attract eyeballs. It was a covert marketing practice known as cause-related marketing,4 wherein the media groups used the concept of peace to enhance their brand image, they said. Experts opined that the existing political and religious conflict was too high a mountain to climb for the nations to have friendly relations with each other. They said peace could not be achieved unless both governments were involved and that people by themselves could do little.

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According to Anant Rangaswami, editor of Campaign India,5 "In the case of Aman ki Asha, the premise is that peace is required between Pakistan and India and that more people-to-people interaction would help achieve that elusive, much wanted peace. In this case, I do not believe that consumers agree with the premise. The premise that people - individual citizens or groups of citizens - could help bring about peace between the two nations is optimistic at best and fanciful at worst."

Background Note

About TOI
The TOI, a reputed English-language daily newspaper, was launched on November 3, 1838, in Mumbai by a British syndicate as 'Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce'. In 1859, the Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce was merged with the Bombay Standard and Chronicle of Western India to form the Bombay Times & Standard. It was a biweekly edition meant only for British Residents in India. Later in 1861, the Bombay Times & Standard merged with the Bombay Telegraph & Courier and was renamed as 'Times of India'. It was owned by a British editor Henry Curwen. In 1892, following the death of Henry Curwen, T. J. Bennett became the editor. He entered into a partnership with F.M. Coleman to form a joint stock company called Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. (BCCL). After India became independent in 1947, Ram Kishan Dalmia, an Indian industrialist, acquired BCCL. A year later, he sold BCCL to Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain of the Sahu Jain family.6 Even though the ownership changed hands, the name of the company remained unchanged. Over the years, the circulation of TOI increased and it became one of the popular newspapers in the world. Circulation reached a high of 1 million in 1996...

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4] Cause-related marketing is a strategy wherein companies seek to improve their branding by linking their brand with a charity or social cause.
5] Campaign India is a fortnightly magazine that provides news and analysis on advertising, media, and marketing.
6] The Sahu Jain family is a well known industrial family in India. They own the Times Group and its parent company, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.

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