Lenovo has announced the launch of its ‘Do Network’ in India, an online platform designed to inspire people to take action and turn their big ideas into positive outcomes. Building on Lenovo’s ‘For Those Who Do’ global brand campaign, the ‘Do Network’ extends Lenovo’s brand promise to empower the communities they operate in with the best tools, technology, and resources.
The focal point of the ‘Do Network’ is an online space where like-minded people can unite to share and discuss ideas that they are passionate about, and to form project teams to develop these ideas into concrete, workable plans. The ‘Do Network’ also serves as a platform to connect these project teams to other people in the community who can provide advice and lend their skills and expertise. Lenovo will be providing the top 10 teams with valuable resources in the form of mentors and Lenovo technology. The winners will receive a prize money of $25,000 meant as seed funds to turn their projects into tangible reality.
“Lenovo is a company focused on action, and we create technology that appeals to people who don’t just dream but get out there and accomplish things,” said Shailendra Katyal, Director-Marketing, Lenovo India. “Through the ‘Do Network’, we want to create not just a platform but a movement that brings ‘Doers’ together to push the limits on collaboration and creation, and to inspire them to unleash their great ideas and turn them into something meaningful and tangible for their communities.”
Lenovo will be setting up a ‘Do Lab’ in India where the top 10 finalist teams will work with the mentors to discuss and refine their projects. A full-scale promotional campaign will also be run by Lenovo to excite audiences in the Do Network, the project teams and their inspired ideas. The media mix for this campaign will include Digital, Campus Connect, TV, PR, and Social Media. Promotions across social media began on November 29, with the full launch today. The ‘Campus Connect’ initiative also took off on November 29. Promotions across the Digital and PR mediums will be launched today. The TVCs surrounding this campaign will go live on December 10. The spends that will be allocated towards promotional activities are 20 per cent towards Digital (Online+Social Media), 65 per cent towards the TV campaign with NDTV network as the media partner, and 15 per cent towards Campus Connect and on-ground promotions. As for the recently-launched Ultrabook, Katyal added, “Ultrabook is a key future growth segment for us and we’re investing behind developing this category though targeted digital campaigns and in-store communication.”
The ‘Do Network’ will comprise a series of four 90-day contest cycles, with different themes and thematic challenges introduced for each cycle. The first cycle will be based on the theme of ‘Innovation through Technology’ and will run from now till March 7, 2012. Talking about the other three cycles, Katyal stated, “The other three cycles are: Expression – This would basically involve reaching out to the world by expressing yourself, like through music, art, poetry, stories/ blogs. All of this should be able to involve technology; Exploration - This phase is about reaching out to the farthest and the deepest places in the world. It’s all about exploring the world and the spirit of adventure; and Social Action - This phase is about reaching out to people and making the world a better place to live in. In this phase we will target issues like corruption, poverty, illiteracy, hunger and other related issues and go about how we can solve these issues using technology.” Since each phase will go on for 3 months, each of these phases will roll out one after the other.
‘Innovation through Technology’ challenges project teams to come up with new ways of using technology to create solutions that address the tough problems that exist in their communities. Project teams will be required to work on one of the four challenges issued – ‘Portable Education’, ‘Traffic jam’, or ‘Products=Progress’. The fourth, a wildcard challenge, will also be provided to allow Doers to pursue their individual ideas that may not fall under the specific challenge categories, but still fit with the ‘Innovation through Technology’ theme. At present, 15 ideas have already been posted on the website.
Mentors Rajiv Makhni (Managing Editor for Technology at NDTV, New-Delhi, India); Rajan Anandan (MD, Google India); Mahesh Murthy (Managing Partner, Seedfund); and Kishore AK (CEO & Co-Founder, Althea system) will play a central role in guiding the project teams throughout the contest duration, and will be part of the selection process for the top 10 finalists.
The finalists will also get to work with these mentors to fine tune their projects. As for the number of members allowed to participate in each team, Katyal said, “For the first phase, which is Innovation through Technology, there is no cap on the number of members a team can have. But we suggest a maximum cap of five members. (This is only a suggestion, keeping logistics in mind and how we think a team can work in the best way). A team can also have only one member. Whereas recruiting team is not a mandatory condition for competing for the top 10 finalists, it is however, mandatory for a team to have more than 1 member for becoming a winner of this phase.”
At the same time, Lenovo is launching the Do Network in Indonesia and Russia. Shailendra elaborated, “For the first phase, we are looking at these three countries only (India, Russia and Indonesia). But for subsequent phases; Expression, Exploration and Social Action, we are looking to get in other countries too. Since the next phase will start in March 2012, a call will be taken somewhere early next year.”
In each country, the top 10 finalists will receive Lenovo branded equipment of up to $2,000 each. In addition, the grand prize winner in each country will receive a grant of $25,000 to continue working on their project.