India, a social initiative launched on July 6 by the Times of India Group to teach underprivileged children in India, has used the digital medium to generate interest and invite people to register for the programme.
The registration process for the initiative is over and the Times Group claims that around 75,000 people have enrolled for it, out of which 45,000-50,000 people have enrolled through its website, Teach.TimesofIndia.com.
Teach.TimesofIndia.com was designed by BC Web Wise, a Mumbai based interactive agency.
Apart from registration, the site also allows people to discuss their views on education related topics and read articles about Teach India. The site is also offering picture downloads, cartoons and ads related to the Teach India campaign.
Tribal DDB (a digital agency of Mudra Marketing Services) was hired to carry out the digital marketing campaign to generate awareness about the programme. Display advertising across various portals such as Yahoo.co.in, Rediff.com, IBNLive.com, NDTV.com, Sify.com and the social networking portal, Facebook.com, was carried out for a week after the launch of the Teach India campaign to invite users to register for the programme.
Geetanjali Sharma, group account director, Tribal DDB, says, "Only 6.5 million impressions (the total number of times an ad is displayed) were served across various portals."
Times Group used print, TV advertising and below-the-line activities to push the registration process and spent heavily on the offline medium while very less money was spent on the internet advertising. Kansal is not ready to disclose the amount spent on advertisement but he says, "We spent few crores on offline marketing and few lakhs on online marketing."
Apart from the website, registration forms were also published in The Times of India newspaper. People could also request for the registration form by sending an SMS to the short code, 58888, or by sending emails to the Times Group. People were contacted at shopping malls and corporate offices to enroll for the programme. However, push marketing through SMS was not used to create awareness or generate entries.
The Teach India programme has been divided into two phases. The first phase is a call to the citizens of the country to volunteer with a non-government organisation (NGO) in their locality and spend two hours a week teaching underprivileged children. New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai will participate in the first phase. Since the first phase of the programme will be carried out in four cities, so all forms of advertising and entries were restricted to these cities only. Mumbai and New Delhi contributed two-thirds of the total entries received for the programme while one-third entries came from Chennai and Kolkata.
The second phase will start by the end of 2008. Students who are willing to dedicate two years to teaching the underprivileged will be picked from top educational institutes all over the country.
UN Volunteers is a partner in the Teach India campaign.