NIIT has been churning out Information Technology (IT) professionals for nearly three decades, through its flagship offering GNIIT. It flourished particularly well in times when engineering colleges were limited in India, and over the years, IT education became increasingly sophisticated. Several other universities (government and private), started offering graduation level courses in IT. With increased competition in this space, thanks to vocational and other courses by various institutes, GNIIT felt the need to take its own brand story to the next level, in a re-launched avatar.
Students can consult their teachers online and connect with other students across India for their projects, as well as access the 24/7 lab or the e-library. It's an announcement of the new way to study IT, where the digital syllabus travels with you on a fully-loaded notebook with a datacard, provided by NIIT.
The commercial, 'GNIIT -- India's First Cloud Campus' has been directed by Shoojit Sircar of Rising Sun Films. It shows how students connect with their teachers, and with one another, and study even while at restaurants or other places situated miles apart from each other, but connected through the GNIIT mechanism of providing netbooks and data cards to students for e-learning. This 'digital' way of studying is what GNIIT has termed 'Cloud Campus'.
According to a nationwide research carried out by NIIT amongst around 10,000 students, it was found that students have shifted their address to 'the virtual world'. The web is where they meet friends, watch the news, listen to music and watch videos, and share information and links. They live in a digital eco-system and multi-task as they juggle between work and play. It was this insight that led GNIIT to launch digital courses in form and content. The attempt is to take the drudgery out of training.
The media mix involves print, outdoor, and in-centre activation, along with television channels such as music, movies and infotainment, and will also form association with some reality shows in times to come. The media mix also includes Radio and GECs, to cover the parents' angle.
Digital media includes search marketing and display banners, apart from activities on Facebook.
The 'GNIIT Pin', created for communication has acted as a lead mnemonic in all the media vehicles, whether it is print, television, the internet or activations that have broken in around 20 cities across India. The intention is to make the pin and 'Cloud Campus' synonymous with GNIIT.
Mohit Hira, chief marketing officer, career building solutions, NIIT, remarks, "Competition for GNIIT was coming from all quarters in the formal and non-traditional spaces. There was a need to reinvent and reposition the brand - this was made easier by a real change in the course delivery that extends the classroom to anywhere a student wishes."
In fact that is quite literal -- some enterprising NIIT centres in Delhi have started holding classes in cafes and fast food joints to demonstrate that GNIIT is a programme for people on the go, or rather, those hard-pressed for time, and for the multi-tasking generation of today which doesn't want to be tied down to a classroom environment alone as a means of studying.
Bhaskar Ghosh, senior vice-president, account management, Contract, remarks that with young people increasingly turning to technology to make their lives easier, their lifestyles become more social and they get to pursue things they want to, or be at places they want to be more often. "In the campaign, students studying individually, as well as collaborating to study through digital means in unconventional, but relaxed surroundings, bring alive the idea of flexible learning," he says.