How Cello Pens, Mirinda and Bournvita are helping students beat exam stress
New Delhi: Brands across categories have launched advertising campaigns to connect with young students and sensitise parents about exam related stress. While several brands in categories like malt based drinks, stationery and beverages have rolled out television and digital campaigns highlighting the mounting examination pressure on students, only a few are taking baby steps in providing solutions to beat the stress. Cello Pens, for instance, is working on a nationwide school contact program ‘Write to Win’ which aims to upskill students and help them perform better in exams. Currently, being piloted in 40 ICSE, CBSE and state board schools in Maharashtra, the program targets students from class 4th to 9th.
“Our research shows that the challenges in the education system come in when you hit secondary level which often includes drop-outs. Our aim is to provide the students with the right skills for success. Our first module (from grade 4 to 6) will involve handwriting experts who will teach young students various handwriting techniques. The second module (for class 7 to 9) will see experts teaching students various best practices like power of writing in learning, making mind maps and chain method to prepare better for exams,” said Tanveer Khan, director–marketing (CMO-India), BIC Cello.
The five-year long initiative will be scaled across the country. The company aims to reach 500,000 students and teachers through this program this year.
PepsiCo India’s beverage brand Mirinda under its ‘Release the Pressure’ campaign has partnered with specialty hospital chain Fortis Healthcare to start a counselling helpline for students. “We have taken a solution based approach to help students release their stress this exam season. To achieve this, we partnered with Fortis Healthcare and launched a helpline number that gives instant access to parents and kids to speak with trained psychologists,” said Gaurav Verma, associate director, flavors marketing, PepsiCo India.
Since the launch of the campaign in January, the company claimed that the helpline has received over 18,000 calls from over 70 cities in India. Mirinda has also launched a limited edition ‘Frequent Breaks’ notebook in association with textbooks and guide book publisher Navneet Education to encourage students to take a break of 15 minutes after every 45 minutes of studying.
“After every few pages, the notebook features a series of puzzles, brain teasers and riddles as well as space to doodle, giving students a chance to take a quick break amidst hours of studying,” said PepsiCo’s Verma.
Meanwhile, Mondelez International-owned malt drink brand Bournvita is running ‘Look beyond marks’ campaign under which it has executed an on-ground activation called ‘Clearance Sale’
where a bunch of kids were shown selling their guitars, cameras and rackets in a mall in Mumbai. The objective was to convey how parents end up putting pressure on children to devote time to studies over extra-curricular activities which are often dubbed as distractions. The film on the activity has gone viral on Facebook with over 4 million views and was also shared by multiple times on messaging platform WhatsApp.
“As a brand, Cadbury Bournvita has always advocated all round development and a progressive outlook towards parenting. In the last couple of years, we also ran a few specific campaigns that focused on the need for ‘learning’ rather than just looking at ‘scoring marks’ in an examination. Through our latest campaign ‘Look beyond marks’, we found a lot of people with a similar bent of mind and it was not just parents but youngsters who felt strongly about this topic. The entire initiative does not look like an ad as all of us have gone through such situations and would react in the same manner at all times,” said Amit Shah, associate director–marketing (gum, candy and beverages), Mondelez India.
According to Naresh Gupta, strategy head and managing partner at advertising agency Bang in the Middle while the intent of these initiatives is right, brands need to put enough media money to promote them.
“My daughter is giving the board exams and as far she’s concerned she has not been reached by any of these brands. While I agree that the intent of all these initiatives is right, it needs enough media push to create awareness and reach. Mirinda can very well use the media money that it uses in its mainline advertising to promote the helpline so that every kid knows they have an option to reach out to counsellors,” he noted.
Gupta added that the target audience of all these brands is also advertising shy and equally cynical when it comes to brand initiatives. “So if these brands want to truly connect with students they have to commit to the cause and convince them they are here to truly help them,” he said.