afaqs! news bureau

upGrad’s new ad reinvents 'donkey' character to encourage professionals to upskill

It showcases the anecdotal behind the scenes from the corporate world’s appraisal affair.

Leading edtech platform upGrad has released a campaign, with a humorous twist, to encourage working professionals to become lifelong learners and drive maximum career growth.

The ad film takes a quirky route to establish the urgency amid working professionals, who tend to park upskilling for the future and never get around to pursuing it.

Conceptualised in partnership with The Yellow Shutter and co-produced by Boathouse Media, the ad is directed by filmmaker Shashwat Gandhi and is voiced by the award-winning actor Vijay Raaz.

Marking the third leg of the campaign, the ad further strengthens upGrad’s ‘fast forward your career’ campaign. It brings together a comical scenario, wherein the professionals are seen using various techniques to climb up the corporate ladder, right before the appraisal season.

Talking about the new campaign, Arjun Mohan, CEO - India, upGrad, said, “Our latest campaign brings out the hard-hitting reality of the corporate world, where the professionals often rely on their existing skillsets to retain a competitive edge. Now more than ever, we are witnessing the redundancy of dated skills in the face of ever-evolving job requirements, which is making it tough for our workforce to move beyond the average hike bracket of 4-6 per cent."

"As we approach the annual appraisal season, this tongue in cheek workplace humour will encourage the professionals to pursue new-age, outcome-driven education and hands-on industry skills with upGrad, for charting out a progressive career path, decisively.”

Gaurav Arora, founder, The Yellow Shutter, said, “... Being a creative production house ourselves, this resonated with us at The Yellow Shutter. We wanted to bring a fresh flavour of creativity, while maintaining the essence of the brand campaign from 2020.”

“Thus, we strategically continued with the donkey route, however, giving it a witty spin and creating something laugh-worthy, yet extremely relatable. Together, we aimed at keeping the creative edge alive, while adding unique angles in the visual space to showcase an everyday story with a twist.”

Gandhi added, “We wanted to create visuals that are unique, which nobody had seen, but everyone could relate to! To mock the 'gadhas' (donkeys), who engage in boot-licking and sycophancy during the appraisal season, we replaced their heads with a quirky 'gadha' filter and made them 'hee-haw' in various moods. The process of making this was equally fun and hilarious, as the film itself!”

The newly launched appraisal campaign is now live across the digital platforms of upGrad.


Co-production houses: The Yellow Shutter and Boathouse Media

Co-founder and creative head: Gaurav Arora

Director: Shashwat Gandhi

Executive producer : Charulika Julaniya

Head of business and growth: Dilpreet Kaur Sandhu

Head of production: Harsh Pandya

Script writers: Neha Rana and Drishti Sanyal

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