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Sindoor Khela - No Conditions Apply

basics
Industry: Media & Publishing
Media:Promotion & Event
Market:India
Style: Minimalism
descriptioncnen
Synopsis
Times of India is the largest circulated daily newspaper in India. However, in Bengal the Telegraph ruled the roost. To win this newspaper war, Times of India needed to connect with Bengalis as a people, not just readers & embed its message of ‘No Conditions apply’ within their culture. We identified a 400-year long-standing tradition to deliver that message - Every year, 35 million Bengali women come together in celebration to play “Sindoor Khela” (the vermillion game) - an ancient ritual which reaffirms their womanhood. But this national celebration of Goddess Durga comes with one big condition: No single women, divorcees, widows, LGBTQ; It is reserved only for the married. while all the other “forbidden” women look on, uninvited and unaccepted. Our Objective: Change this 400-year old tradition of rejection into a tradition of acceptance to help Times of India emerge as an undisputed leader nationally & locally.
Strategy
To change centuries of tradition, we knew ordinary rules wouldn’t apply. Data gathering to just report inequalities was not the answer. We needed to carefully question the core of the tradition by inspiring a groundswell of women towards inclusivity. To achieve this, our strategy was four pronged: 1. We created a uniquely Indian symbol, that every woman could adopt, and become part of a national sisterhood. 2. We partnered with leaders of minority communities like widows, transgenders, and LGBTQ, to release a digital film demanding for acceptance. 3. We joined hands with the biggest temple in Calcutta and invited the “forbidden” women to attend Sindoor Khela. 4. Lastly, to spread our message across all genders & generations we engaged celebrities who were loud advocates of feminism. This led to unprecedented buzz and a spontaneous upsurge of demands for equality - both online and offline.
Relevancy
Sindoor Khela is a 400 year old festival of womanhood that is reserved only for married women. Every year, 35 million women sing and dance to celebrate the festival, while unmarried women watch from the sidelines. We tied up with the biggest temple in Calcutta, and organised the first ever inclusive Sindoor Khela. To the beating of loud drums, thousands of widows, transgenders, LGBTQ, and sex workers came together in a joyful revolution of love, tears and laughter. By transforming an ancient religious ritual, we ignited a national debate that resulted in 3 million stories shared on social media.
Outcome
Our vermillion wave was unstoppable. In just 4 weeks we clocked in USD 912,335 in earned media & reached 708 million people becoming a No.1 trending topic on social media with 3 million comments & thousands of 2 dot selfies from women & men In a country of thousands of Gods and Godmen, change is not always welcome but when the day of “Sindoor Khela” arrived, a sight never seen before unfolded on the streets of Calcutta. Our campaign successfully broke a 400-year old patriarchal tradition where over 50 temple societies opened their doors to all women. For the first time in history, single, married, widowed, transgender and prostitutes joined in to participate in “Sindoor Khela”. Ultimately, in the process of finding cultural relevance, Times of India became the No.1 newspaper in Calcutta, beating even the local favourite – The Telegraph for the first time in 10 years.
Execution
We joined hands with the biggest temple in Calcutta to organise an inclusive Sindoor Khela. Special 2 dot invites were sent to all the women who’re forbidden from participating. A slam poetry penned by leaders of minority communities went live on social media, and urged every woman to join in. Targeted messaging on Facebook invited members from these communities to come out and play. On 29th September 2017, the Tridhara temple received transgenders, sex – workers, widows and LGBTQ, and every single one of them was welcome. To the beating of the drums, the sisterhood sang and danced, sans any conditions or prejudices. Celebrities came and danced with them, in a show of support. And a joyful revolution took over the city of Calcutta.
CampaignDescription
Sindoor, is an ancient Indian symbol of marital pride. During religious events, this sacred symbol dictates who’s accepted, and who’s rejected. Today, this sindoor has become a symbol of inequality between the married and the unmarried. We transformed this single dot, a symbol that divides, into 2 dots, a new symbol of sisterhood. The 2 dots were introduced during Sindoor Khela, a national festival where married women come together to celebrate. This festival of womanhood is forbidden for the unmarried. The 2 dot symbol was used to invite all women; married and unmarried, to attend Sindoor Khela in the biggest temple of Calcutta. In September 2017, a sisterhood of transgenders, widows, divorcees, sex workers, and married women, came together to celebrate Sindoor Khela, for the first time in 400 years.
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awards
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Creative Effectiveness
Single-market Campaign
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Gold Direct
Excellence > Single Country Campaign
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Gold Glass: The Lion for Change
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Bronze Brand Experience & Activation
Single Country Campaign
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Bronze Direct
Excellence > Low Budget / High Impact Campaign
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Shortlist Media
Sectors > Media / Entertainment
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Shortlist PR
Corporate Social Responsibility
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Shortlist Social & Influencer
Sectors > Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) / Corporate Image
Clio Awards 2018
Gold Out of Home
Other
Clio Awards 2018
Bronze Brand Design
Other
Clio Awards 2018
Bronze Public Relations
Corporate Image
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