upGrad, India’s largest online higher education company, unveils its latest mass media campaign, which can be considered as one of the most clutter-breaking & bold campaigns done by a brand in the recent past.
The TV commercial, featuring a donkey, draws from the cultural insight that in the corporate world, everyone wants to climb the ladder and choose various ways to get ahead – one of the most common being the tendency to ‘lick ass’.
Shot in Estonia, the humorous yet charming film has been developed by the creative agency, The Womb & has been directed by Shashanka Chaturvedi, a.k.a Bob, co-founder & director, Good Morning Films, who has worked on close to 100 ads in India and won two Gold Lions at Cannes – the first by an Indian filmmaker and a Grand Prix at Spikes Asia, the upGrad’s film marks the first in his career where he directed the shoot crew, including the endearing animal, remotely from Goa, where he has been shooting ads since a month now.
Arjun Mohan, CEO – India, upGrad, said, “Our primary objective is to define the kind of education upGrad provides, that is not constricted by the mode of learning – which just happens to be online. The next ambition was to compellingly summarise all the types of courses we provide – post-graduate degrees, certifications and diplomas.
“We chose the word ‘degree’ because in India, the concept of a ‘degree’ holds emotional and practical heft across all socio-economic classes. While degrees are available a dime a dozen, the conflict occurs when they tend to be generic, outdated and from not so credible institutions, that are ultimately not valued by employers.
“Thus, the genesis of ‘Sirf naam ki nahin, kaam ki degree’ – upGrad’s promise to provide outcome-oriented specialisations that help learners to achieve the ROI on education – job/profile switch, increment or promotion, in other words, Employability,” Mohan said.
Kawal Shoor, Co-Founder, The Womb, said, “upGrad and The Womb got together a few months back to start working on building its brand and business in India. COVID-19 has hastened the need for edtech as a category. upGrad is a very substantive brand in the midst of many lightweight educational institutions that have mushroomed all over India.
“It has a great culture, knows how to teach, and has tie-ups with some of the best universities in India, and the world. It can fulfil the learning needs of working professionals and undergraduates.
“We had to bring its various offerings under one, clear positioning idea for the brand that stems from and can influence culture. This spot introduces that idea, along with a clear proposition for working professionals,” Shoor said.
Navin Talreja, Co-Founder, The Womb, said, “upGrad’s Data Science and Management programs for working professionals have great pedigree with tie-ups with institutions like IIIT Bangalore, IIT Madras, and Deakin Business School. To make this resonate culturally, we borrowed from culture – work/corporate culture to be specific.
“We uncovered a very rich insight – in organisations, those who’re not good enough to find other means to rise. We built our proposition around this insight.
“What was even more challenging was to find a way to execute this in a lockdown – so what you’ll see, are Indian-origin actors from the UK, performing in an office in Estonia, being remotely directed from a villa in Goa. The clients at upGrad have to be complimented for believing,” Talreja added.
The performance-driven media planning on TV channels is being executed by the agency DCMN and on OTTs and Google platforms by Tatvic Analytics. The mass media campaign will also be complemented by narrative-driven influencer campaign on social media, which the company officials has not revealed yet.
In partnership with HTTPool & Twitter India, upGrad also has rolled out an emoji campaign wherein one of the key brand attributes (KBA) – a red arrow moving upwards will be automatically added to upskilling related hashtags when tweeted by any user worldwide during the campaign period.