Tata Steels new ad campaign rides on real heroes

Written by Arindam Sinha | Jamshedpur | Updated: Aug 14 2011, 09:08am hrs
Tata Steel has used cricket arguably the countrys biggest unifier to launch an ad campaign after two decades. Coinciding with the India-England centenary Test at Lords on July 21, the 104-year-old steel company decided to go to the people with a new tagline: Values Stronger than Steel.

Thus, the company buried its two-decade-old tagline We Also Make Steel rustled up by the then CMD Russi Mody in 1991 on the eve of an important trade fair. The story goes that frustrated at not finding a catchy tagline for the company, Mody racked his brains and came up with the line.

Since then, Tata Steel has crossed many milestones. In January 2007, it acquired the 19 mtpa Anglo-Dutch Corus plc (now Tata Steel Europe) when it itself was only a 5 mtpa company. But it didnt run an ad campaign.

Each of the 10 creative ads depict real-life heroes which it has chosen from around the companys birthplace here each trying to depict one focus area of the steel majors future thrust.

Whether its companys R&D chief Mark Denys, chief of the, Tejsawani team member Asha Hansda, Everest conqueror and leadership inculcator Bachendri Pal, Commonwealth Games golden girl Deepika Kumari of its archery academy, shareholder V S Khambatta, local (Patamda) villager Sadhan Baske, companys ethics counsellor Jyoti Pandey, senior associate quality control manager Pawan Kumar, architect Dhananjay Dake, or Tata Football Academy cadet Manas Sarkar, each one is a role model of commitment and leadership.

They are all real-life heroes; no models, no props have been used, says Prabhat Sharma, head, corporate affairs, Tata Steel. The campaign has been a hit on social networking sites like Facebook.

So when Asha Hansda, one among the 150-odd Tejaswani members the company nurtures, says Ab bahut koi manne lag giya (now many have started following me), she conveys the sort of women empowerment Tata Steel has been trying to put in place.

A decade ago Tejaswani members honoured even by President Pratibha Patil were ordinary office girls doing menial jobs. Since they did not have much of a future before them, the steel major thought of using their inherent toughness and determination to train them at jobs like operating heavy dumpers, dozers and cranes __ which were till then thought to be purely suitable men.

Likewise, Bachendri Pal, who heads the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation, has been an epitome of leadership over the last several years, conducting leadership training camps for company executives across treacherous mountain ranges.

The whole campaign aims to project the image of the organisation as a cutting edge global steel major with a dedicated focus on sustainability and green technology, local area empowerment, training and education as a part of its vision for the future," says Sanjiv Paul, vice-president (corporate services).

Talking of values, Tata Steel also remembers founder and visionary Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, from whom the "steel major derives its inner strength", who though didn't live to see the steel plant come up had instructed son Dorabji as to how the steel township should look.

"Be sure to lay wide streets planted with shady trees, every other of a quick growing variety. Be sure that there is plenty of space for lawns and gardens. Reserve large areas for football, hockey and parks. Earmark areas for Hindu temples, Mohammedan mosques and Christian churches," he wrote -- all of which was followed faithfully by son Dorabji in planning the countrys first steel city.