MediaCom bets on #WingsToFly, Gillette Bachelor of Shaving for Cannes 2018

Niti Kumar, Managing Partner, MediaCom, shares her thoughts on what makes these campaigns the best contenders

by exchange4media Staff
Published - May 28, 2018 8:53 AM Updated: May 28, 2018 8:53 AM
MediaCom is nominating two campaigns to the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity this year. The agency is betting big on #WingsToFly for Whisper and Gillette Bachelor of Shaving for Gillette. Niti Kumar, Managing Partner, MediaCom, shared with exchange4media her thoughts on what makes these campaigns the best contenders for Cannes 2018.

Whisper #WingsToFly

More than 100 million adolescent girls (aged 12-14) in India are at the risk of dropping out of school because of the stigma surrounding menstruation. With minimal dialogue about menstrual hygiene either at school or home due to the taboo nature of the subject, this is a shame-filled reality they quietly endure. When a girl misses school due to period, it puts her behind her male classmates by more than half a year (200 days). And that’s the magnitude of this setback.

Being the backbone of her family, an Indian mother is willing to provide her daughter education and nutrition. To remedy this problem, Whisper launched WingsToFly campaign and decided to convince the mother. The objective was to spread awareness about menstrual hygiene and educate Indian women about the importance of using sanitary pads. 

They set out to make mothers aware of the stakes involved - the everlasting impact of missing school during period on her daughter’s progress and future. They created WingsToFly - India’s largest menstruation camp- to break all barriers that hold a woman back from using a sanitary pad for herself or for her daughter.  The camp was a one-stop solution/answer to all her worries and apprehensions surrounding periods. They started with understanding the influencer, not the consumer. For the drive, they also joined hands with health experts, gynaecologists and influencers. Product counselors also demonstrated how to use a pad, showcasing its benefits over cloth.

They engaged with more than 3 million women through the initiative; one-on-one with 10,500 mothers through the camps across Maharashtra. Never had a female care brand seen such a huge participation in one state. Whisper has now set out to safeguard lives and futures of 10+ million girls in 2018 across three more states.

Kumar believes that this one is a strong contender at Cannes due to its deep-rooted cultural insight into Indian women’s lives and the solutions it provides. It has a perfect balance of a social message unpinned by a strong brand benefit. 

“Whisper Wings to Fly addresses a very real social stigma that young Indian girls face today – compromising on education and their personal development as a result of their mothers not knowing enough or choosing not to spend on sanitary napkins. The campaign was very effective from both a business and a media lens,” she reasons.

Gillette Bachelor of Shaving

India is the fastest growing economy in the world consisting of 70 per cent rural population. But, merely 15 per cent of them are part of India’s workforce. Low employability rate and repeated rejection in job interviews after graduation have led young Indian rural graduates to confidence deficit, limiting India’s growth story. 

The stakes are even higher with more than 30 million college graduates attempting to enter India’s job market every year. The competition is massive. And ironically, even though graduates from impoverished, rural areas often do disproportionately better than other graduates in their university tests, the job hunt is often unsuccessful for rural graduates. They are unaware of professional possibilities and often lack the critical social skills like etiquette, personal grooming and interview ability to gain their first job.

Gillette wanted to improve employability and instil confidence in rural youth’s life. For this, it created the world’s largest college outreach programme. The Gillette Bachelor of Shaving presented workshops in resume writing, career counselling, grooming and interview skills, giving rural young men the fighting chance to build confidence, develop social skills and try Gillette Guard razor. The aim was to inculcate Gillette’s values of confidence & importance of grooming in rural youth’s life and also create awareness for Gillette Guard, the specially designed razor for rural India. 

The Gillette Bachelor of Shaving prepares rural Indian graduates for life. It has been designed to improve the employability of rural Indian graduates and give them a chance to succeed. Improving the employability of rural youth was a critical, long-term growth opportunity for Gillette. Local celebrity engagement helped in enhancing the drive's reach and generating awareness and massive earned media coverage.

In terms of impact, the lives of hundreds of thousands of students were touched and improved. The programme is the start of giving an entire generation a chance they otherwise could have missed. 

Kumar says, “While Indian youths are among the brightest in the world, college graduates from small towns and rural areas are not able to land plum jobs due to lack of grooming, personal etiquette and interview-skills. For Gillette, enabling the youth to become more employable is a perfect platform to make the brand more relevant among key consumers. This campaign earns points for creating a platform that makes a true difference to the lives of consumers as well as for the massive earned media and goodwill that it generated for the brand.”

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