Advertisementof India (TOI) launched its first social campaign, India Poised, in January 2007 to mark the nation’s 60th year of independence. In this campaign, Hindi film actor Amitabh Bachchan talked of the two Indias that have come into existence in the last 60 years. TOI’s next social campaign was Lead India, in which actor Shah Rukh Khan encouraged every Indian to stand up, take charge and do something for the nation. Lead India turned out to be a successful campaign which moved the entire nation. It received many awards and accolades at international awards ceremonies, including the INMA (International Newspaper Marketing Association) and India’s first Grand Prix at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes. Inspired by the stupendous response of Lead India, it was logical for TOI to launch another social campaign – this time to address the cause of education – called Teach India.
The Teach India campaign is a drive to reach out to and educate underprivileged children. This is to be brought about by volunteer programmes in association with NGOs all over the country.For the Teach India campaign, TOI has got another superstar of the Indian film industry, Aamir Khan, to endorse the cause. Aamir is currently basking in the success of his latest production, Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na. When TOI approached Aamir, he not only volunteered to support the Teach India campaign by urging people to volunteer for it, but also expressed his desire to join the campaign himself and teach students of Classes 4 and 5.Aamir can be seen currently on billboards across the country, supporting the Teach India movement.According to Rahul Kansal, brand director, Times Group, Aamir was selected for his strong sense of ethics for a social cause. “He stands out as credible and honest,” says Priya Gupta, assistant vice-president, brand, The Times of India. The role that Aamir essayed in his last movie, Taare Zameen Par, teaching a dyslexic child and helping mentally challenged children, also went in his favour.
Kansal asserts that Aamir was the one and only choice for the campaign. “He was our first, second and third choice. He seemed perfectly suited,” he says. Bachchan was chosen for India Poised because the campaign highlighted India in its 60th year of independence and TOI wanted someone who was truly iconic to deliver the message to the entire nation and someone who could speak both Hindi and English equally well. Similarly, Shah Rukh was chosen in the second phase of Lead India because of his status as a youth icon and the campaign was a call to the youth to come out and do something for the nation.Aamir will also be part of the second phase of the Teach India campaign, which will pick students from top institutes who are willing to dedicate two years to teaching the underprivileged.In phase two, Aamir will visit the institutes and urge the students to take up teaching the underprivileged. Besides, he will lend his voice to the radio communication and will also been seen on TV endorsing Teach India. All of this will be accompanied by print communication as well.UN Volunteers is a partner in the Teach India initiative and is helping out with the mechanics of the programme. According to UN Volunteers, if Teach India is able to register 60,000 and more volunteers, it will grow to be the largest literacy programme (by a brand) in the world.