Charities, Public Health & Safety & Public Awareness Messages

Message Barter
Ogilvy & Mather India
Akanksha Foundation
"Teaching is more than imparting knowledge, it is inspiring change"- William Arthur Ward
The most important asset for an education-based not-for-profit-organization is its teachers. At ‘Akanksha’, we were limited by the poor quantity and quality of teacher applications.
While we knew we had to spread awareness in order to attract the right teachers, we simply didn’t have the financial wherewithal to stand out in the clutter of cause-based advertising.
So we took to Twitter, using a ‘message barter’ system to send popular celebrities personalized video messages from the children at the charity, hoping they would return the favour and re-tweet our message to their long list of followers.
The celebrities were chosen not only for their popularity but also for their topicality, strategically targeting tweets to those who had increased Twitter traffic due to some new news.
Did the celebrities respond? You bet they did. Our message was re-tweeted by 4 of the biggest celebrities, with a cumulative reach of approx 18.15 million followers. In short, we got free endorsements from celebrities which would have traditionally cost at least $ 3-4 Mn. But our biggest achievement was the 2000 teacher applications – an astounding 150% increase from the previous year.  
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