As Sri Lanka continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic leaving a sense of uncertainty of the future ahead, there’s been no shortage of feel-good stories globally to help counterbalance the negative headlines.
On Saturday (25), Dentsu Grant Group and Swarnavahini kick-started their “Happy News” campaign in a bid to inject stories of positivity into the mainstream media as the nation comes out of a 7-week long lockdown. The objective of the two-minute segment is to disrupt the local Covid-19 news with stories of optimism and light-heartedness; to give Sri Lankans a chance to have a moment of relief during the newscast. This innovative and local industry-first joint initiative gives Sri Lankans a chance to share moments of joy in their own lives with the rest of the country.
How did they plan to get Sri Lankans to share their stories? By signing up some of Sri Lanka’s biggest celebrities and influencers to lead the charge! Dentsu Grant Group and Swarnavahini did this by getting an intimate, stripped back look into their lives on national television. Stars and influencers shared how they have been keeping positive during the lockdown; some wrote songs about their experiences, and others even introduced their own families to the nation, something they rarely show to the public.
“People want to be well informed but too much negative news can take a toll on their well-being. In these strange and unusual times, we all need a little upliftment in our lives, so we’re picking out the good news stories, to come out amidst the COVID-19 pandemic reporting for some light relief and hope for brighter times to come,” said Neela Marikkar, Chairperson and Managing Director, Dentsu Grant Group.
“Anxiety and fear due to the COVID-19 virus can leave people feeling vulnerable and helpless. As a responsible media organisation, we have an obligation to inform the public and report on human interest stories. There is always good news wrapped up in bad news. We hope that our joint initiative with Dentsu Grant Group will bring a smile to the viewers even if it is only for a few moments during this difficult time,” said Dylan Samuel, Director/ General Manager Operations of EAP Broadcasting Company Limited (EBC).
As part of the campaign, leading celebrities and digital influencers will voluntarily encourage people to complete various feel-good challenges on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok during this time.
“We have recruited teams with diverse expertise to work on this initiative. By running this social media campaign and newscast, we hope as people in the communication industry, that we can bring a little happiness, inspire a little hope and spark a bright moment in all Sri Lankans living during this pandemic. We are glad to have partnered with Swarnavahini and commend them for their efforts in making the campaign and newscast a reality. Together, we can use our collective expertise to help uplift people’s mental stress during this time,” added Neela.
Everyone is encouraged to upload their stories for consideration on the “Happy News” newscast. Those who want to participate just need to go to the “Happy News www.happynews.lk community website and click “Upload Now.” Prospects will need to submit a digital file along with a title and description. The show accepts files in a variety of file formats.