“I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well,” Alexander The Great had once said in honour of his teacher. India observes September 5 every year as Teachers’ Day, which is to mark the birth anniversary of independent India’s second President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. The day holds special sentimental values in India, which has a rich guru-shishya tradition, has been the land of great teachers such as Dronacharya and Dadoji Konddeo.
While Teachers’ Day is celebrated in educational institutions with great fervour, brands too look forward to creating a connect, especially with the younger generation on this occasion, and gaining additional traction.
India being one of the largest social media using countries, brands are often seen targeting the medium the most on such special occasions. Domino’s ran a Twitter campaign #IWishMyTeacherWas, which gave users an opportunity to tweet about their guru and what they have learnt and want to learn from them. The brand asked a few questions to the participants and the best answers won prizes.
Snickers, on the other hand, gave Tweeps an opportunity to show their funny side by participating in #MyTeacherSays. Participants were required to tweet the funny things that their teachers would say and winners got the chance to win surprise gifts.
Micromax initiated #Micromaxschooldays, which gave users an opportunity to share their funniest punishments in school. Winners got the chance to win Micromax Canvas HD. Valueabled, a website by Tata Steel, ran the campaign #ThatOneMentor, wherein users got to express their gratitude towards that one person who changed their life. Winners were greeted with personalised merchandise from Valueabled.
Similarly, Facebook also saw mentions and initiatives from different brands.
Social media gives brands the opportunity to come on board at the last minute and also create engagement at much lesser costs, thus making the concept an instant hit.
e-Gifts on e-Commerce
E-commerce players leveraged Teachers’ Day by offering special gifts, gift vouchers and kits that one could gift her teacher. The websites were banking broadly on SEO and social media and communicated their gift spread through it in the form of passive advertising.
While the content on radio was tweaked and customised to suit the occasion of Teachers’ Day, brands were also seen creating some noise on the medium. Idea! ran a radio campaign that highlighted the importance of teachers in one’s life. One of the radio spots depicted kids in a classroom reciting numbers, followed by a narration that emphasised that it is because of the teacher that one knows these numbers. The spot created a strong call to action by urging users to pick up their phones and wish their teachers.
However, the initiative that truly made a difference this Teachers’ Day was undertaken by the State Bank of India. On the occasion, SBI installed 20,000 water purifiers in 20,000 schools nationwide. The Bank had also installed fans in schools prior to this initiative.
Meanwhile, Akanksha Foundation embarked on a mission to provide free schooling to underprivileged kids in Mumbai and was on the hunt for volunteers. To make the mission a success, Ogilvy & Mather set out on a ‘teacher hunt’ and also set up classes across the city.
Given the fickle attention span of consumers, brands are always on the lookout for opportunities to create that one difference that would set them apart. Also, such occasions help in creating User Generated Content (UGC), which is the need of the hour.