Short List
CategoryA12. Not-for-profit / Charity / Government
Idea Creation OGILVY INDIA Gurgaon, INDIA

The Campaign

While the lack of DNA casework in India is an alarming issue with undeniably serious consequences, we needed to break through the clutter and get the attention of the right people by going beyond rational arguments and creating a strong emotional appeal. We analysed different categories of crimes and noticed that violence against women had almost doubled over last 10 years with only one in four rape cases resulting in conviction. We observed that public outrage in cases of sexual crimes against women & children was a recurring and highly emotive issue cutting across all sections of the society that had the power to shake the usually slow-moving bureaucracy into action. We therefore narrowed down campaign focus by positioning DNA evidence as an ally of women in their fight for justice and safety.


Implementation of the PR: We followed a four-pronged approach involving sustained media outreach; influencer engagement; ground activations; and social media conversations. Timeline: July 2017 – 31 August 2018 Scale: Conceptualized and co-created six ground activations over nine months across four cities of strategic importance. With more than 40 participating influencers and their voices leveraged across national/regional press and social media, these events became the cornerstone of our campaign: - Public debate titled ‘Where’s the DNA? – Expediting the Indian Legal System’ in Indian Law Institute, Delhi. - Panel discussion in partnership with the 24th All India Forensic Science Conference in Ahmedabad. - Media workshop at the historic Mumbai Press Club on 25th anniversary of the 1993 Mumbai terror attack. - Public discussion on ‘Right to Fair Investigation and Trial in Sexual Assault and Rape Cases’ in Delhi presided by Chairperson, National Commission for Women – a government body.

Tier 1: Media Outputs - Media Awareness: Notable improvement in media subject knowledge on technical, legal, & policy aspects of forensic DNA, leading to better quality of reporting & commentary. - Coverage Volume: From sporadic coverage on the issue, media reporting gathered momentum in late 2017 and has resulted in over 100 reports to date across the press in print, online, & broadcast formats. These include 10+ editorial contributions from experts and influencers and discussion shows on national television and radio talk shows. - Message Delivery: Media reports began drawing a clear distinction between casework and databases; busting myths through facts; and started associating DNA casework with right to justice, especially for victims of sexual violence. Tier 2: Target Audience Outcomes - Earned Influencer Endorsements: Campaign endorsed by 40+ subject matter experts and influencers across target stakeholder groups who were crucial in building legitimacy and support for the campaign. - Action by Authorities: Over last year, public opinion along with strengthening association of DNA with justice for women has led to: (a) Ministry of Women and Child Development starts drive to augment forensic labs across the country with dedicated DNA testing facilities for tackling sexual assault & rape cases. (b) Central government introduces the DNA Technology Regulation Bill 2018 for voting in Parliament. (c) Home Ministry lays down guidelines for collecting & preserving DNA evidence. (d) Police investigators increasingly using DNA casework to solve complex crime in states like Delhi, Maharashtra, Chandigarh, & Himachal Pradesh.

The Situation

Our campaign rests on the pillar of ‘earned influence’, building credibility and endorsements from subject matter experts across key stakeholders in forensics, judiciary, law enforcement, policy makers, NGOs and media. We have been driving a collective voice on the use of DNA evidence in crime investigation leading to huge acceptance and a much-required shift towards application of a scientific approach in solving crime. The campaign has ardently worked towards shaping public opinion and endorsement for use of DNA forensics to expedite the Indian criminal justice system and create safer communities. It upholds the purpose of a strong PR program.

The Strategy

Target Audience: Legal, judiciary, law enforcement, forensics, medical, NGOs, academia, central/state governments, and policymakers. Target Media: National mainline, regional, and trade media across print, broadcast, digital platforms. PR Planning: - Perception Audit: In the absence of official studies, we conducted a multi-stakeholder perception audit to understand prevailing awareness levels. - Building the Narrative: Based on insights, developed an overarching campaign theme – ‘Where’s the DNA?’ - Identifying Influencers: Identified multiple influencers across target audience groups Approach: - Building the Emotional Quotient: Outrage over rising cases of brutal rapes in India was channelized into a powerful emotional drive and call to action. - Influencing the Influencer: Using the 80-20 principle we identified the vital few who would have the most impact in mobilising the rest in their ‘circles of influence’. - Media Strategy: While mainstream media helped develop a broader public appeal, trade publications hyper-targeted legal and governance audiences, providing depth.


Name Company Position
Henry Gao Ogilvy & Mather Creative Strategist
Website URL