Biography of lead India campaign


"Hope for the change or you can lead the change"

It is story of 'Times of India'. It is one of biggest language newspaper of English language in Asia. Starting a mass moment to bring social and political change in world largest democracy (India).the idea was to light a fire and then fuel and fan over next several months through press, internet, and public demonstration long with TV content programming, news coverage, speech making and voting. It was a call for new generation of leadership in a country of one billion people. It all starts from writing a print AD on the first page of 'Times of India' on first of January 2007 on 60th independent day of India. The aim was to persuade people of India to look for new leadership and stand for their rights.


'Lead India' was launched on 60th Independence Day of India by 'Times of India' in 2007.This campaign was for a social cause. The aim of this campaign was to encourage people to take interest in practical politics and to start a mass moment in order to educate people for a change in their political system and society and also encourage people to unite with each other for well being of their homeland. The campaign was made to inspire and educate middle class especially youth about their deserved rights and make them think about making India's democrative future. On 1ST January 2007 first print ad was launched on front page of 'Times of India'. Before the launch of the print ad it was shown to Amitabh Bachchan, who is famous film star, only living legend in India as well as brand ambassador of 'Lead India'. He has really liked this ad has decided to act in TVC for free for this great social cause. A special anthem was prepared for this campaign. In single night this ad has been downloaded millions of time and debate has been started in whole country regarding this campaign. This campaign has been divided in three different parts. First part was print ad whose title was "India VS India". Second part of the campaign was to convey message to do something for your country whose title was "DO". Thirdly at the end contest and voting for choosing new leaders with the help of public voting by mobile text message and then results were announced in a TV show. A reality show was started as a part of the campaign whose aim was to identify the future leader of the country. The aim of campaign was to teach people about next upcoming general election. This campaign has tried to create awareness among masses of India and tried to teach them that it is in their hands to write their destiny by casting their vote in the next upcoming election. The winner of 'Lead India' campaign was rewarded by many different unique kind of prizes which will help him to shape up his political career as a new leader for India. The campaign consists of more than a dozen commercials. They have made three different websites for this campaign. They have created more than hundred different print ads. Times of India took a very bold and unique step to mobilize the masses so that they will come forward and try to end this class ridden society because it is beauty of democracy that every should be treated equally and everyone should have right to grow and prosper as much as he can. JWT agency has created this campaign and the man behind this brilliant idea was 'Adnello Dias' who is the creator director of JWT India.

Objective of Campaign:

The objective of the campaign was not to identify a winner, it has a broader aim which was to provide each thinking Indian a chance to come out of their calm zone and acquire on the job of progressing and protecting the homeland. It was the call to be the change that was demanded for past many decades by Indian society. It was the voice of an opportunity for citizen to stand for their rights and indifferences in Indian society. 'Lead India' campaign's objective was to mobilize the youth of India to participate in practical politics. To make sure that they should be aware of their power this is embedded in them in form of vote because vote is one thing which decides your future for upcoming years. The objective was to make sure that people should go for change instead of waiting for the change to happen. So main objective was to teach and convey the message to people of India that they are creator of their destiny for next five years. 'Lead India' campaign's main aim was to encourage people to change their fortune by casting vote in next general election and to convey the message to people that vote is the most important weapon which they can choose to improve their future. Some people think that one vote does not mean anything but if we look at the history then they are many interesting features regarding the importance of one vote. In 1645 one vote granted Oliver Cromwell crown of England. There are many examples in history where shows importance of one vote that's why 'Times of India 'has come up with such a unique and motivational campaign to use their right to affect future of their country. It also highlighted those hurdles and barriers to growth of country. The times of India's campaign has also shaped awareness about the well-known grey areas in the Indian political system and the corruption existing in the country and hurdles and barriers which are creating difficulties in growth. This campaign has tried to highlight all these problems which are faced by Indian society for past many years.

Previous Campaigns:

There is need to discuss 'times of india' previous campaigns because in order to understand the role of 'times of india' in highlighting the all social evils and problems present in Indian society.there are number of campaigns which times of india came up with time to time in order to identify grey areas of the society.sometimes they highlighted it in a humourous way and sometimes in a very inspirational way.the need of discuss these camoaigns is to convey the social cause with which times of india is very committed. All most all campaigns are directly related of society

  • Times of india' "100 note campaign" in which they have managed to hit the corruption problem which is deeply inserted in indian society.they have tried to highlight this aspect in a very humourous and affective way.
  • Times of india has launched another campaign few years back in order to offer a tribute to their hockey heroes
  • They have also launched a campaign "A day in the life of india" in which they have tried to show the root cause of these cocial problems in a very humourous way.

The focus of all campaigns was to identify social problems in the Indian society that 's why when 'Times of India' launched this lead india campaign,it became such a successful campaign in very short period of time.

Campaign Message:

"Politicians are not only agency through which we can want change. All citizens in a democracy become active participants not passive recipients of what politicians do"(Shabana Azmi).This is one of the message which was conveyed it to people in one of the TVC of the campaign.

In order to explain the campaign message it is very important to look for the lyrics which they have used in their first TVC of 'Lead India' in which the famous and one of the biggest living legend of India is giving a very inspiration speech in order to convey a message to the people of India that they just don't have to pinpoint the problem but they have to come forward and solve the problem on their own.(to see lyrics go to "appendix 1" at the end of the paper). The speech was passed to people of India on their 60th independence day. After this there was another speech given with the name of "DO". Both speeches were so encouraging and motivational speeches that could win the heart of people and motivate them and attract them to this want of the Indian nation. 'Times of India' has used "want conception" to attract people because this is the want of people from many years to raise a voice against this system. They have also used the "want development" and "want satisfaction" by increasing more and more people to participate in this kind of public service and in the end they have gained so many followers who were responded to this campaign .People has attracted towards their service and then level of using this service has been increased with time if we see it with advocacy role of advertising. If we focus on these lyrics of this speech then we will realize that it has some kind of driving force in it and the timing of the speech coming in newspaper is excellent. The execution time of this speech is excellent because at least every person think about his country on the Independence Day. Speech has mentioned two kinds of Indians one type is who wants to change the system by coming forward and want to lead from the front and there is another kind of Indian is described who wants to wait for the change to happen and in the end speech again gives a message to their audience that it's time to fly so be prepared and try to make full use of it. Then they have to convey the message by an anthem whose message was people should come forward to take part in welfare of their homeland and it the time to stand side by side so that their country can progress by leaps and bounds. They wanted to give a message a message of hope that Indian people can do it they have mentioned it in their speech that we have done in past and we can do it again. It was kind of message for people to safeguard their right and a hope to terminate inequalities and differences in the society. The message was full has persuasive focus to motivate people and it has also full of persuasive appeal by saying it that you can do it and many other things.

Target Audience:

The target audience of this 'Lead India' campaign was people of India which are more than one billion in number but the focus of this campaign was especially youth of India because message of the campaign was to motivate people to think about their future and take some positive steps for it and to indentify the future leader for India by voting. Multi media campaign which was initiated in eight big cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmadabad and Pune and then spread in all major parts of India. Campaign has targeted really well their audience by throwing a thinking message on them at right time the Independence Day of India. They have targeted every thinking Indian who has some kind of association with his homeland.

Exection of campaign:

First print ad was published on 1st January a single night millions of people have downloaded it.the idea behind this was to light an fire and then fuel and fan over next few months through press internet,public demonstration along with TV content programming ,news coverage speech making and at the end voting by public.Amitab Bachan has been benn taken as a brand ambassador of this 'time of India' campaign.Gulzar ,who is very famous poet of India, is also acting in of the first few campaigns.there were more than one dozen commercials in total.amitab bachan was performing in English one and gulzar was performing in hindi commercial. In other commercials they have taken politicians, beauty queens, crickets and industrialists. Then in the second part of the campaign shahrukh khan who is very famous film actor from India is performing in commercial named as "DO".with this ad 'times of india' has also published a print ad on their front page of their newspaper which is very influential news group in Asian market.

These are the few expamles of the print ad and billboards which they have made for this ad. This campaign has used all medium of advertising. They have used billboards, newspapers, TV commercials, internet and in the end a TV show was organized to show the finalist of this campaign. Due to popularity of this campaign even that TV show was sponsored by many big brands which are operating in Indian market.they have made three websites for this campaign which are , and than 100 hundred print ad and billboard were made and published.


  • More than one billion people took part in this campaign.
  • Over 34000 to 37000 candidates have responded to be next leader of India which is very good sign because there was debate going on in India that why not youth want to get into politics and then 'Times of India' has carried a research before this campaign that how many people are interested in making their career in politics then the results of that research was very hopeless but when this campaign was launched then results and response was very satisfactory.
  • TVC which was uploaded on YouTube received more than 874,000 views.
  • 'Times of India's campaign has produced more 50,000 column centimeters of editorial write ups.
  • Massive TV coverage and more than 138,000 online comments and reports and research outcomes.
  • Eight leaders were selected by series of interviews. Public debates and group discussions were organized.finally public voting by mobile text message has selected one final leader of India.

The winner of this campaign has also got very exciting prizes which were 100,000 dollars, scholarship to 'Kennedy School of Political Leadership' ,platform to context next general election. Mr. R K Mishra won that context and became the possible future leader of India.the winner of this campaign has joined a leading party of India's politics. After winning contest Mr. RK Mishra has expressed his views about the revolutionary changes which he wants to make in his country that is biggest democracy of world with more than one billion people living in it. He has focused on changing the infrastructure of the country. He also added that industrialization will bring a new revolution in his country.

Persuasive techniques:

There are number of persuasive techniques which are used in this campaign. It is very important for any campaign's success that they should use right techniques in order to persuade their target audience. 'Lead India' has used these techniques in a very intelligent and intellectual manner.

  • Dogmatic Appeal: in the first part of the campaign Amitabh Bachchan is in action. He is giving a very inspirational speech for motivating people to stand up and start thinking about their future. They have used dogmatic appeal here by making Amitabh Bachchan delivering a speech in a very persuasive manner. Dogmatic assertion has been used by putting across a very confident speaker giving reasons or saying things in a very self assured and motivational way. In second part of campaign ,which is called "DO", they have gained used it by putting Shahrukh Khan in the commercial who is again giving a persuasive verbal speech.
  • Emotional Appeal: This is technique which every marketer try to use to make an emotional bond with their buyer. 'Times of India' is trying to do that by focusing on social problems. In this way they are making an emotional bond with the target audience by portraying the image that we are concerned about you and we are there to safeguard your right or raise a voice in favour of your rights.
  • Celebrity Endorsement: This is type of technique which is very common now a days. Many marketers are very keen to take celebrity in their commercials to order to attract as many customers as they can. This 'Lead India' campaign's agency JWT has also used it but here it should be mentioned that it was very important to have a celebrity which is very famous and who has some kind of influence so they have taken Amitabh Bachchan in their TVC. He is the most famous person in India, Member of Parliament and the only one of the biggest living legend of India. In the second part of campaign they have taken Shahrukh Khan who is also very famous star of Bollywood. If we look at the other commercials which they have made for this 'Lead India' campaign then we will come to know that it was full of celebrities like politicians, beauty queens, film stars, players, poets, industrialist and singers.
  • Reason Giving Appeal: The focus and aim of this technique is to make people learn about the message. In 'lead India' campaign they have used it in very motivating way. If we focus on the lyrics of the campaigns "India VS India" and 'Do" then we can easily judge that in those commercials they are trying to convey people that learn about your history by reminding them about their rich history and motivating them that you have done it in past and you can do it again so just stand up and start doing your part of work in making your homeland better.
  • Associationism: it is type of technique by which customers start associating with the commercials. It can be anything any celebrity or life style or anything because you never know with what product or service consumer will associate. Here in this ad target audience can relate with the celebrities which they have used because they are inspirational personalities of Indian society so people will listen and associate with them.
  • Persuasive Communication Approach :
    • Gaining Attention: Gaining attention is the most aim of any marketing campaign because there is so much going on in marketing world that a consumer is hit by many commercials, thousands of billboards and print ads in single day. So its very important to get attention of consumer in order to make your campaign a successful one. In this campaign they have done a lot of things to get attention. They have started campaign with one single print ad on independence day of country and then they followed t with series of commercials ,websites and in the end a reality show. Execution timing of the campaign was excellent that's why it gained so much attention.
    • Repetition of Message: Repetition of message is very important if any motivational message wants to get attention of the consumer. Both these things repetition and gaining attention are interrelated with each other. High repetition of message will lead to grow the familiarity of message among audience which will lead acceptance of commercial message. Then it will absorb in the target audience.
  • Ego Involvement: It is a factor persuasion in which you heighten your Ego by claiming you feel better about your history or anything else you can be proud of. Here in this campaign if we consider the lyrics of "DO" then we can say that they have used this Ego involvement by reminding people about their great history and trying to persuade them you can do once again.
  • Anthem: They have also made an anthem for this campaign. Its lyrics were very inspiring. The meaning of first line of anthem was 'stand India by holding sky and walk by holding air'. There were more lyrics which were very appealing for Indian society. This anthem became very popular and they have also made a video of this anthem which was part the commercials of this campaign.
  • Brand Positioning: With this campaign they have also positioned their brand which is 'Times of India' really well. They have associated their brand with such a noble cause that it makes their brand image really impressive in the mind of people.

Evaluation of Campaign:

There is no specific scale to measure success or failure of a campaign. According to some person one campaign can be a success but in other person's opinion it can be a failure but according to few marketers if a campaign runs for long period of time then it can be a considered as successful campaign but this campaign has so many proves to show that it was a very successful campaign. The campaign had acted as a catalyst to encourage youth of India to participate in political life of India. Times of India campaign has won a number of awards which are as follows

  • The Campaign has won multiple Cannes Lions award 2008 integrated lion
  • The campaign has also won Cup Awards 2008.
  • ABBY Award for the best integrated campaign.
  • On 7th May 2008 in 73rd INMA Awards in Beverly Hills California, world best newspaper marketing campaigns were presented and 'Lead India' campaign of 'Times of India' was selected the best of show award for best community service. It has won many other awards too in INMA Awards like 'Brand Awareness across Platforms' 'New Brand /Production /Audience Development' and 'Public Service and Community Services' award. Craig David who is the worldwide creative director of JWT who has made this award winning and inspirational campaign said that we are pleased to add our share in this effort of Times of India to promote the cultural progress in India which is biggest democracy of the world.
  • It has also won advertiser of the year award in 'First Spikes Asia 2009 Ad Festival'.
  • NDTV (famous Indian channel) has announced 'best commercial of year' by holding a poll in one their program.
  • McCann Erickson has published a praising note in favour of this campaign.

If we consider all these awards then we can conclude that this campaign was one of the biggest hit in newspaper industry. Except than these awards if we look at the response of people to this campaign then we can see that this campaign has attracted almost every one attention. More than one million viewers on YouTube have seen this ad, Eighteen hours of primetime reality show has been telecasted on STAR TV which is one of the biggest TV network in India and millions of people have seen this reality show on TV.

Critical Analysis:

Many journalist have written articles with full of criticism about 'Lead India' campaign. According to those articles and many different views nothing will change even after such a successful campaign. According to them it was public relation campaign by 'Times of India' in order to increase their brand image and brand position in the market. According to many people 'Times of India' has been a biased newspaper paper group and 'Lead India' campaign was just stunt to make its image better in eyes of people. Although it was public relation stunt but in many people view it has gained too much popularity due to good advertising and 'Times of India's hold on many different communication means and sources. Few people expressed their view by blaming 'Times of India' that it was an attempt to give a bad name to politicians and a effort to blackmail them.


'Lead India' campaign by Times of India' was biggest success of any newspaper group campaign in the history of India. It has gained so much popularity in such a short span of time that one can analyze that there was some kind of attractiveness in it that it has gained the attention of so many people. People are best judges of anything but even if we see on other side of picture then we can say that it has also won many awards too so it was definitely a successful campaign. The aim and objective was to create awareness among people of India about their future and their power of vote and they have successfully accomplished this task of showing a path to success. They have conveyed them change will not come from outside it has to be from the Indian society in order to become one of greatest nations of the world.

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