Every city holds its own cultural identity and offers myriad cultural experiences through its food, music, arts, traditions, festivals, clothes and more. It is said that Chennai is an emotion and Madras Day is widely celebrated on August 22 to commemorate the foundation of the city Madras (now Chennai). With an objective to celebrate the city, The Hindu Group has launched a campaign named ‘Made of Chennai’.
The stated intent behind ‘Made of Chennai’ is to Pat honour to the city, ignite its spirit, evoke emotions, and foster community, civic pride, and encourage every Chennaiite to participate in the joyous celebration. With various city-led initiatives, ‘Made of Chennai’ will continue to celebrate the vibrant city and engage its people throughout the year, say its creators. August presents the perfect occasion for the city to unite and revel in the celebrations.
In a telephonic conversation with Medianews4u.com, Aparajita Biswas, Head of Marketing, The Hindu Group, spoke about the campaign, its scope, and activities planned around the ‘Made of Chennai’ campaign.
“Our unwavering commitment to Chennai is unparalleled. Chennai is a vital market for us, and we have undertaken numerous (edit and marketing) initiatives focusing on the city, advocating development, supporting social causes, and fostering community connections. While we are doing all these, somewhere we needed a celebratory platform which will bring out people from different walks of life, can unite them, and foster the community connect and civic pride. We realised that the Madras Day is the best occasion for the same as people come together to celebrate the city. We are saying it is ‘Madras Month’. The campaign was started from August 1 and we will be commemorating the Chennai Day on August 22. The campaign is live till September 10 and the celebration will conclude with a food and music festival,” Biswas said.
Activities around the campaign
‘Made of Chennai’ is the umbrella campaign under which multiple activities will be hosted. First up will be the ‘Festival of Chennai’, a month-long celebration commemorating Chennai’s 384th birthday.
This festival will try to encapsulate everything that makes Chennai special, including its people, food, music, arts, and culture.
“To ensure a memorable experience, we have collaborated with historians, city experts and The Hindu edit team who possess deep knowledge about Chennai and its way of life. Additionally, we are working closely with the Greater Chennai Corporation, various civic bodies, CMRL and the Police department to create unique and awe-inspiring experiences that will foster a sense of community and pride,” Biswas added.
Things kick off with a series of digital-led activities, such as trivia quizzes and contests. The campaign will transition to ground experiences from August 11, featuring musical performances, exhibitions and more.
Organisers have onboarded multiple curators, historians, and city experts who know Chennai and its way of life to help curate the festival. Among them are Akhila Krishnamurthi who heads Aalaap. She is curating artistes and performances for the moving stage during ‘Madras Month’, conceptualising and putting together a ‘Music on Wheels’ show. Entrepreneur, historian and columnist V Sriram, who writes for The Hindu frequently, is helping put together a special supplement on ‘Madras Month’ that will be published on August 22.
Urban Designer and General Secretary of the Madaras Literary Society (MLS) Thirupurasundari is helping with ‘The Hindu Archival Photo Exhibit’ at The Hindu office premises and seven metro stations: Guindy, Vadapalani, Thirumangalam, Koyambedu, Airport, Wimco Nagar and Kathipara Urban Square. The exhibition would be open to the public. People who need to visit the exhibition at The Hindu office premises need to register on a microsite.
‘Made of Chennai – Food and Music Festival’ is curated by food writer, critic and blogger Shabnam. She will be bringing in over 40 food stalls that include Chennai’s favourite street foods, fine dining places and even sushi bars.
“Made of Chennai’ is going to be an annual IP of The Hindu Group. The responses from the readers have been inspirational. On September 3rd we are doing 5K and 10K heritage runs, we opened the run communication two days ago and over 800 people have registered as of now. Hence, 2024 will witness a bigger and better version of this festival,” she added.
‘Hindu-na-Chennai & Chennai-na-Hindu’
The campaign features a multimedia promotional plan, including print, social media, radio, OOH, collaboration with influencers and key personalities and on-ground engagements. The idea is to connect with every individual living in the city through various channels, ensuring widespread outreach.
“This campaign holds immense significance for me, both professionally and personally. The sentiment “Hindu-na-Chennai & Chennai-na-Hindu” resonates with all of us, and what better way to celebrate this vibrant city and its people than by collaborating with a heritage brand like The Hindu? When I moved to this city as a complete outsider 13 years ago, it welcomed me with open arms, enabled me to achieve my personal and professional aspirations, and granted me cherished friendships and well-wishers. It fills me with great pride and excitement to grandly celebrate this city that I now call home,” surmised Biswas.
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