On 7 October 2022, in a bid to encourage the habit of reading P among children and cut down on screen time, Bail Kolhu — the flagship brand of BL Agro, one of India’s leading FMCG companies, launched a unique series of comic books called Bail Kolhu Comics, in Hindi and English. These feature stories capturing acts of kindness to develop the spirit of generosity in young readers. Bail Kolhu comics are conceptualized and published by Leads Brand Connect, under the campaign #ComicPadhnaCoolHai, which is launched across print media, radio and social media.
Bail Kolhu has announced that the first two issues will be distributed free of cost and delivered pan-India using the Indian Postal Service, to those who subscribe on the company’s website www.bailkolhu.com. The brand will make physical copies available at its co-branded railway platform No. 16 of New Delhi Railway Station, renamed as Bail Kolhu Platform no. 16. The comics will also be available at Diwali melas across prominent cities of Uttar Pradesh. The brand will also be entering into strategic tie-ups with schools to drive distribution across the country.
Through the innovative medium of graphic storytelling, the deeply-trusted household brand Bail Kolhu is celebrating a marquee moment in the history of comics and advertising, and is furthering its commitment to nourishing both the physical and cognitive aspects of their health.
With technology being a key avenue for education and entertainment alike, children are spending hours on end staring into the screens, whether its smartphones, computers, laptops, tablets or televisions. Research suggests that screen time shot up during the pandemic for children, especially those between six and ten, by an extra 80+ minutes a day on average. This poses challenges for parents, and it is felt that the physical and mental health of children is also imperiled by excessive screen time.
Moreover, research also suggests that reading printed books leads to greater retention and learning with less distractions, that reading on a screen. The Indian Academy of Pediatrics recommends that screen time for children between the ages of 2 and 5 should not exceed one hour. For older children and adolescents, screen time is counted as ‘excessive’ if it displaces activities required for overall development including physical activity (play time), adequate duration of sleep, and time for schoolwork, meals, hobbies, and family. Parents and child experts have also concern about the addictive nature of online gaming.
Commenting on the launch of the comic books, Ghanshyam Khandelwal, Chairman, BL Agro, said, “For many decades now, Bail Kolhu brand has nourished the health of families with its promise of pure quality products. Reading for pleasure is a joyful activity for both mental and physical health, across age groups. However, with the pandemic-induced school closures, all activities including reading became virtual. With the Superhero Bail Kolhu comics, we are inspiring children to find joy in reading and telling them that #ComicPadhnaCoolHai. ”
Richa Khandelwal, managing director, Leads Brand Connect, the agency behind conceptualizing and publishing the comics, said, “Those who grew up ‘screen-free’ will remember the charm of reading and exchanging comic books, and the eager wait of a new issue. By utilizing storytelling in the graphic format, it’s easier to capture the attention of children. Moreover, having a physical copy to read can provide a much-needed break from gadgets. Through this unique initiative, we endeavor to rekindle the interest of children to read comics. Children will love the Superhero comics, and learn important values in a fun and easy way.”
“We are very aggressive in taking this social initiative forward through rigorous advertising in the print media, radio and social media in the first go of the launch. Going forward, the campaign will be visible in the magazines and heard on the podcast and audio books”, adds Richa.