Satrajit Sen

Mumbai Marathon: Using Instagram

As a part of Mumbai Marathon's social media initiative, the campaign asked 25 Instagramers from Mumbai to shoot what can be the Mumbaikars' reasons to run the marathon.

The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, which recently completed 10 years, had launched a pre-event campaign titled 'Run for a Reason' using online photo-sharing and social networking service Instagram. Standard Chartered, the title sponsor of the Mumbai Marathon, launched the campaign before the event to attract runners for the marathon (

Mumbai Marathon: Using Instagram
Mumbai Marathon: Using Instagram
Created by Flying Cursor Interactive and Rickshaw as a part of Mumbai Marathon's social media initiative, the campaign got along with 25 Instagramers from Mumbai and asked them to shoot Mumbaikars' reasons to run the marathon.

Describing the vision behind the campaign, Sumeet Singla, regional head, corporate affairs, India and South Asia, Standard Chartered tells afaqs! that the campaign's mandate was to take the Mumbai Marathon beyond the streets and into the hearts of Mumbaikars.

"Run for a Reason is a global campaign by Standard Chartered for the marathons we sponsor across nine countries. People in Mumbai have different reasons for running the marathon. Through a 360 degree approach, we tried to capture some of them. The idea was to bring alive and extend the thought beyond the marathon runners; to take the thought to Mumbaikars, asking them to give us their reasons for Mumbai to run. The reasons we got varied from simple celebration to important issues such as education," Singla informs.

The Instagramers were identified through social media sites and they covered Mahim Mela to Sewri docks and all over Mumbai capturing their reasons to run on their smartphones. According to the organisers, 25 Instagramers captured 1,200 pictures that contributed to generate 4,200 'Reasons to Run'.

The Instagram pictures were spread across the city - from coffee shops to hoardings. A hoarding of Instagram images was put up on the Patel Bridge in Mumbai, probably making it the first 'Instagramed' hoarding in Mumbai. Patel Bridge, one of South Asia's most premium advertising sites, caters to South Mumbai traffic covering Marine Drive, Nariman Point and the Bombay Stock Exchange. Besides, graffiti walls were put up in marathon preparation zones of Marine Drive and Carter Road, where people wrote their reasons for running the marathon.

Mumbai Marathon: Using Instagram
Mumbai Marathon: Using Instagram
Justifying the choice of Instagram as a platform for the campaign, Singla says that Instagramers are an aware lot and they capture what they see around them in a creative manner, and share it on a variety of social networking sites. "Instagram was really at the core of the idea, the starting point of our thought. We identified some influential Instagramers in Mumbai who had a strong voice and following, and asked them to capture the various reasons that Mumbai could run for and share among their followers. This allowed the campaign a select but important reach," he adds.

There was no remuneration given to the 25 Instagramers; however, Standard Chartered did reward the top 10 Instagramers who shared the maximum reasons with Lomo cameras.

To support the campaign, five films were made around the Instagramers which were aired on PVR and Inox screens. A campaign on Radio Mirchi was used where the RJ had conversations with the people of Mumbai to bring out their reasons for running the marathon. There were activations on Marine Drive, Carter Road and Barista and Cafe Coffee Day outlets. Besides these, plays were enacted in local trains.

"All in all, the estimated number of people we reached through this campaign was close to 1.35 crore," informs Singla.

Speaking about the campaign's digital activations, Parag Gandhi, founder, Flying Cursor Interactive, says, "While we were exploring different ways to amplify Run for a Reason, we thought of using digital activations. Why not create an experience of excitement, passion and fun which the Marathon stands for? The focus was on engaging Mumbaikars not in isolation, but to get into their lives and coax them to run for a reason. We found our answer in Instagram. What then happened was a collaboration of media."

Mumbai Marathon: Using Instagram
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