Iconic Ads: Tata Steel – We Also Make Steel

The basic precept of Zoroastrianism is – Humata, Hukhta, Hvarshta. And the campaign is showcasing this through Tata Steel.

In the late 80s, an uplifting campaign was telecast showcasing the happiness of employees, the CSR activities that ranged from hospitals to sports and so on. It brought a sense of pride to the nation as a whole and the organization, in particular.

This unusual campaign was carried out by Tata Steel and had a self-effacing but proud slogan – ‘We also make steel’ (Ispat Bhi Hum Banate Hain).

The basic precept of Zoroastrianism is – Humata, Hukhta, Hvarshta, which means “up to the end of my life, I will adhere in my mind to good thoughts (Humata), I will adhere in my speech to good words (Huktha), I will adhere in my actions to good deeds (Hvarshta)”- These guided Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, the founder of the Tata Group.

Jamsetji was a patriot and eulogized Swadeshi, His dream was to build a steel plant, which was fulfilled by his son Dorab.

“What advances a nation or a community is not so much to prop up its weakest and most helpless members, but to lift up the best and the most gifted, so as to make them of the greatest service to the country,” Jamsetji said.

Jamsetji also left instructions for a well-planned city. “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 temples, mosques and churches,” he wrote.

It was Jamsetji’s belief that for a business to be sustainable it needs to serve a larger purpose in society. “In a free enterprise the community is not just another stakeholder to business, but is, in fact, the very purpose of its existence,” he said.

The advertising campaign captured the kernel of philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The line “we also make steel” was coined by Swapan Seth from a brilliant brief from Russi Mody the legendary CEO of Tata Steel. Rangan Chakravarty and Kaushik Mukherjee were part of the HTA team that created this hallmark of a campaign.

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