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South Asia PR Campaign of the Year


Gold
Campaign Title

From Volume To Value
Client

Education New Zealand
Agency

Genesis Burson-Marsteller

New Zealand experienced exponential growth in Indian students going for higher education between 2012 and 2015. However, in 2016, New Zealand authorities identified 150 Indian students who had flouted immigration rules, and deported them back to India.

A review of Indian visa applications revealed that a majority of rejections had been declined due to incorrect documents, and increasing student applications for lower level programmes in the private training establishments sector rather than the university and/or institute of technology sector. This meant that a high proportion of low-value and high-risk students were choosing New Zealand as an educational destination, thus impacting the overall quality of student intake, perceptions and overall student experience in New Zealand.

Recognising the severity of the situation, Education New Zealand launched an aggressive integrated communication campaign called ‘From volume to value’ to position New Zealand as a premium education brand with all eight of its universities featuring in the top 3 percent globally. The campaign focused on educating high-value postgraduates and undergraduates about generic and specialist courses, and providing better understanding of the student visa procedures, using digital platforms and local stakeholders. The robust campaign resulted in New Zealand moving up the preference rank from seventh to third as an educational destination for Indian students. The ‘From volume to value’ campaign continued to counter any negative press through positive stories and narrative.

Bronze
Campaign Title

Powering India To The Moon
Client

TeamIndus
Agency

Text100 India

TeamIndus is a path-breaking aerospace startup from India, competing in the US$30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE challenge. It was founded in 2011 by a passionate group of friends with zero background in space, who signed up to compete as there was no team representing India. In 2016 became one of only five teams in the final leg of the competition, up against teams from the US, Israel and Japan.

Moonshots are expensive affairs, and per the competition rules, TeamIndus had to fund the attempt privately. This is where the media campaign comes into play—to create visibility, build credibility and to educate the audience of the audacious attempt. TeamIndus had to raise an astronomical US$70 million by December 2017 to fund the journey to the lunar landscape.

The agency crafted a campaign that would make TeamIndus’ audacious attempt the dream of every Indian across the country. The overarching strategy was to position TeamIndus as aspiring to put India on the global map among the pioneers in the space field, taking forward the legacy created by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The high-voltage media campaign saw outreach to English- and regional-language press spread across 29 states in the country. The campaign also included strategic pieces in top tier media such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Wired, Quartz, and TechCrunch to reach relevant audiences. Large segment interviews (20 minutes) on prime national electronic channels provided visual coverage of TeamIndus’ audacious dream.

A well thought out and executed PR blitz earned TeamIndus more than 80 standalone features, out of more than 120 interviews; 3.2 billion impressions and a potential MAV of 250 million; a successful second round of funding; and over 3,000 signups for a student competition launched in mid-2016.

Bronze
Campaign Title

#CrossTheLine
Client

Star India Pvt. Ltd.
Agency

Genesis Burson-Marsteller

Star Sports, India’s largest sports channel had successfully launched a kabaddi league for men in 2014 and wanted to replicate that success in 2016 with women’s kabaddi. A contact sport popular in rural India, kabaddi is usually played by men, since women are traditionally considered ‘too delicate’ for it. Star Sports’ challenge was how to encourage viewership of a women-only sport.

Based on the insight that women in India are rapidly crossing the boundaries that have been laid out for them in fields ranging from science to sport, Star Sports created a campaign that became a rallying cry for women everywhere—and for the players of women’s kabaddi in particular. In kabaddi, to score a point, you need to cross a white line drawn into the ground. The concept took this aspect of the game and launched a campaign called ‘Cross the line’. This focused on the extraordinary stories of ordinary girls who lived in small towns and had beaten all obstacles to achieve national glory. Using a mix of video storytelling, print and broadcast outreach, advertising, social media and on-ground engagement, ‘Cross the line’ captured the struggles and the successes of the players of women’s kabaddi in an engaging and captivating manner.

Women’s kabaddi reached out to over 90.4 million people via TV broadcast on Star Sports and stadiums ran at 85 percent capacity for each of the matches of the Women’s Kabaddi Challenge. Amazingly, just two matches of women’s kabaddi surpassed the viewership figures of the whole UEFA Euro Cup 2016. Securing 218.2 million impressions, the campaign inspired many young girls to take up alternative sports and changed the perception of what is considered ‘appropriate’ for a woman in India.