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upGrad's 'Donkey' makes a comeback in new ad by The Womb

The Donkey’s character was built entirely through CGI by Cirqus Studios. It took two months to work on the textures and expressions.

Leading higher edtech platform upGrad has launched the second leg of its ‘Sirf Naam ki Nahi Kaam Ki Degree’ campaign, reincarnating the ‘Donkey’ in a new avatar of a fortune teller. The message the ad is trying to convey is that specialised degrees are the need of the hour.

The ad has been conceptualised by The Womb, brought to life by Prakash Varma (director, Nirvana Films), and enacted by National Award winner Riddhi Sen. Released during the appraisal season, the film reminds working professionals how the right specialisation can lead to them getting salary increments, as high as 50 per cent. This is the average hike received by learners, who got a career transition on the completion of upGrad courses.

Talking about the new release, Arjun Mohan, CEO India, upGrad, said, “The campaign is a wake-up call for the youth and working professionals to invest in real value-adding, outcome-oriented education that can result in employability and career progression.”

On being asked about the comeback of the ‘Donkey’, Mohan quips, “We received an overwhelming response in our first leg, as the ‘Donkey’, quite literally, became the talk of the town. Our clarion call had reached over 270 million last time. While other players are banking on celebrity endorsements, our ‘Donkey’ is a clutter-breaking celebrity.”

The Donkey’s character was built entirely through CGI by Cirqus Studios. It took two months to work on the textures, nuances, and facial contortions in order to achieve the level of finesse.

“With the success of #KaamKiDegree, we had to find a message that would showcase value of upGrad specialisations to the fence sitters. Given the success of the ‘Donkey’ as a device, we just felt what could be better than getting our ‘Donkey’ to deliver this wisdom, albeit in its own feisty manner,” said Navin Talreja, founding partner, The Womb.

“Embarking on this journey with Varma was reassuring, as he is awesome with performances (human, or computer-generated Donkey’s). A charmingly intricate setup, brilliant animation, and the perfect soundtrack have all come together to bring this spectacularly to life.”

Agency credits: The Womb Communications

Founding partners: Kawal Shoor and Navin Talreja

Creative team: Suyash Khabya, Arnab Manna and Shreyas Manjrekar

Planning team: Mittu Torka and Ipshita Khan

Account management: Richa Shah

Production house credits: Nirvana Films

Director: Prakash Varma

Executive producer: Sneha Iype

Producer: Nandini Gowda

Director of photography: Kartik Vijay

Production designer: Manisha Khandelwal

DA: Swaroop Kumar

Animation: Cirqus Studios

Music: Nu Alkemi$t