CategoryB02. Live Shows / Concerts / Festivals


Name Company Position
Siddharth Prasad J. Walter Thompson, Gurgaon Executive Creative Director
Sundeep Seghal J. Walter Thompson, Gurgaon Sr. Creative Director
Himanshu Saxena J. Walter Thompson, Gurgaon Sr. Copywriter
Kshitij Chandel J. Walter Thompson, Gurgaon Creative Director Grade 2
Joyjit Deb J. Walter Thompson, Gurgaon Art Director
Nishant Nanda J. Walter Thompson, Gurgaon Copy Supervisor

The Campaign

Our idea was to go to aid-funded schools and government schools (which are subsidised for the benefit of those who cannot afford the fees of private schools), and identify a few talented children. We would then get one of India's leading authors to mentor them over video calls and help them to jointly write a story. This story would be illustrated by a professional artist and then printed as a book. The book would be launched by the author at the famous Jaipur Literature Festival, the world's largest free literature festival - giving the children's story the biggest launch platform. And so we set out to create a one-of-a-kind book launch, which could turn five underprivileged 8-year olds into published authors, and become a source of inspiration for thousands of their schoolmates.

Creative Execution

The execution was done in several phases. In the first phase we reached out to schools for underprivileged children, and conduct writing workshops to select bright young potential storytellers. This was done in October-November 2015. The selected children were introduced to the author Amish Tripathi over talked with them over Skype calls, and told them the first chapter of a story he wanted to write with them. The story travelled from one child to another, as each of them wrote one chapter of the book. The story was ready in January, and then an artist illustrated the pages in tune with the children's imagination. The book was printed, and Amish Tripathi launched it at the Jaipur Litfest on January 24, 2016. The printed book was distributed at the schools and in the villages the children hail from, and also through Airtel offices and employees.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results

The Udaan project generated 67 million impressions, including over 3 million views of the video on YouTube in the first week alone. 99% conversations generated by the book and its video have been positive for Airtel. The story was picked up by Huffington Post, Storypick, Mashable and many other websites, and the book itself elicited interest from publishers like Pratham Books and worldreader.org. While there was no sales objective linked with the exercise, the Udaan project earned massive positive word-of-mouth for Airtel. Customers have lauded the initiative as warm and emotionally touching, and over 25000 people have written about it on Twitter and Facebook. At the micro-level, the most heart-warming achievement has been the change in the lives of the five children. Having become published authors, they are treated like heroes in their local communities and are an inspiration for their classmates.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service

Udaan (flight of imagination) is an activation by Airtel, India's largest telecom company, that used the power of telecommunications to bring alive the storytelling talent of five underprivileged children. Through the activation, we selected five bright children from government-funded schools, then got a best-selling author to mentor them and write a collaborative story with the children. The story was printed as a book and presented before a live audience at the world's largest free literature festival. The event, which used teleportation technology to beam the kids' images to the stage, demonstrated how telecommunications can lead to social change.

The activation was intended to reach users of the internet and mobile telephony in urban areas of India - middle income groups and higher, who use social media and smartphones. The approach was to start with a selection process in schools, and then keep adding scale in each phase. The second phase saw the introduction of one of India's most well-known authors, Amish Tripathi, to the children to write a story together. Next was to print the story as a book along with beautiful illustrations. And then to launch the book at India's grandest literary stage- the Jaipur Literature Festival. The event, too, was made spectacular by the children being teleported over Airtel's 4G network. The end-result was to be a YouTube video which could go viral and touch the hearts of the millions of consumers we wanted to reach.


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