Product / ServiceCSR
CategoryA08. Media / Entertainment
Media Placement MADISON MEDIA Mumbai, INDIA
Media Placement 2 VIACOM 18 MEDIA Mumbai, INDIA
Production 2 LEO BURNETT INDIA Mumbai, INDIA


Name Company Position
Saurabh Varma Publicis Communications South Asia Chief Executive Officer
Rajdeepak Das Leo Burnett India Chief Creative Officer and Managing Director
Dheeraj Sinha Leo Burnett India Chief Strategy Officer & Managing Director
Prashanth Challapalli Leo Burnett India Chief Operating Officer
Sonal Chhajerh , Neel Roy Leo Burnett India Executive Creative Director
Malek Ghorayeb Leo Burnett Beirut Regional Executive Creative Director
Gaurav Kumar , Tinna Rajput Leo Burnett India Creative Director
Vinod Perumbidi Leo Burnett India Art Director
Manav Rai Ahuja Leo Burnett India Branch Head and Vice President
Imran Quraishi , Nupur Ranade Leo Burnett India Account Manager
Gaurav Joshi , Gursimran Singh Leo Burnett India Planning
Ferzad Palia Viacom18 Media Private Limited Senior Executive Vice President & Head
Navin Shenoy MTV Head of Marketing
Utsav Chaudhuri MTV Marketing Head
Varun Shah, Rudra Mawani, Srinidhi Shetty Prodigious India Producers
Jad Rahme, Enos Olik, Jaesuk Huh, Mukti Krishnan Prodigious India Directors

Why is this work relevant for PR?

The hottest topic in India for brands, media and politicians in 2019, had been about how the future is in the hands of the youth during the Indian elections who unfortunately had stopped believing in the electoral process. So, MTV decided to do a pro-voting campaign and hyper-targeted the youth to remind them that democracy is a privilege not everyone has. While every other electoral campaign was preaching, #VoteBecauseYouCan grew organically into youth conversation and “Stories from the other side” gained the attention of the National Publications, making the campaign gain momentum and open dialogues around the elections.


India is the world’s largest democracy with 900 million registered voters, voting across 1 million polling booths in the 2019 general elections. With the highest population of young people who will literally determine the country’s future in every sense. But 47% of the 356 million young people in India are not interested in politics and 33 million eligible voters have not even registered to vote. That’s like the whole of Australia not voting. This growing apathy is because they see no significant change with respect to issues of unemployment, lack of development, corruption, and safety of women. Making them cynical. But democracies work on citizen participation and if the young withdraw, the institution ceases to hold any meaning. Once the biggest youth brand in India, MTV had been losing relevance amongst the youth. Our challenge was to reestablish MTV as a youth influencer, while positively impacting youth sentiments about elections.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

We got youth from countries with failing democracies and no power to vote, to share their everyday struggles with the Indian youth. Urging them, to #votebecauseyoucan. These hard-hitting stories of young people from Sudan, Somalia, North Korea, Iraq and Syria held up a mirror to the youth of India, reminding them to exercise their privilege to vote and not take their democracy for granted. The freedom and rights that the youth of India enjoy can only be protected under democracy, and voting in the elections is the way to do so. It’s a privilege the Indian youth have, unlike many around the world. The campaign was launched with 5 hard-hitting films, hyper-targeted and released on election dates according to phases. It was then driven through social media and supported by television, outdoor and ambient media.

Describe the strategy (30% of vote)

Making democracy relevant to the youth was only possible if we could change their mindset and influence them in a positive direction. The conventional methods of pop-culture related content would not create that disruption. The youth in India were cynical about political processes. We had to fight this apathy, and at the same time be distinct from multiple by-the-book election campaigns done by every other brand. The breakthrough came when we realized the best way to speak to the youth, is by the youth. Within days, we travelled around the world to get stories of young people from countries where democracies were failing. Their everyday struggles reminded the Indian youth that their right to vote, is a privilege. This content was distributed across mediums and hyper-targeted to the youth before key elections dates. Social, digital, traditional, outdoor and ambient media were used to send across this key message.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

The campaign was launched with hard-hitting films from five countries; from the 10th of April, when the first phase of the elections started. We reached the youth through relevant touchpoints to drive home the point. The films were hyper-targeted and released on election dates according to phases. The campaign was driven through social media and supported by television, outdoor and ambient media. Our biggest engagements come from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. These were telecasted on all youth TV channels and majorly on MTV. Key hangouts of the youth were targeted to create engagement in various cities through outdoor and ambient media. People signed up in huge numbers and took the pledge to vote through ‘Pledge-o-meters’ set up at various touch-points across locations. The campaign was picked by major publications and by social media influencers. The idea was owned by each of them, which helped it grow organically

List the results (30% of vote) – must include at least two of the following tiers:

“Stories from the other side” took the youth’s negative sentiment towards democracy and elections head-on and created an open dialogue around the elections by increasing the pro-voting sentiment to 21% and saw 3.6 million more youth votes than the national average. Receiving more than 30+ million views across social channels and the brand’s own media channel. At the same time, gaining 50+ million media reach across social and contextual ambient media, which made conversations of #VoteBecauseYouCan highest among first-time voters. With National Publications such as The Times of India, The Drum and highlighting the campaign as “moves hearts to exercise the ballot”, #VoteBecauseYouCan created 40% more brand engagement with the target audience and trended on election dates across constituencies.


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