DA DA DING
A campaign that challenges the male dominated image of sport in India and empowers girls to become unstoppable, so they are a living breathing embodiment of Just Do It.
Nike, Emerging Market x Wieden + Kennedy, New Delhi
RESEARCH / BRAND STRATEGY / COMMUNICATION PLANNING
I was a part of the core team that created this ad campaign, for which I worked very closely with the Global Emerging Markets team at Nike and two global creative directors at Wieden + Kennedy. There was need to have a team that really understood the problem space and felt passionate about it. For that reason our team was kept small and I wore many different hats for this year long project - I initially conducted ethnographic research, in-person and telephonic interviews and later as the digital strategist and communication planner, I was responsible for ideation and planning of different touchpoints for the campaign - what they would be and when will they be released.
When girls play sport, they find their edge and become unstoppable.
When the power of sport meets the power of girls, anything is possible. Sport gives girls everything they need to tackle life’s obstacles. It gives them confidence, resilience and an edge that empowers them. Sport turns ordinary girl into a force to be reckon with.
Can the power of popular culture be used to give sport a makeover?
We started this project by trying to understand what Nike meant to the youth of the country. Our research included:
Ethnographic research done in Mumbai and New Delhi.
Mini focus groups comprising of school students, college students and working professionals.
In-depth person interviews of pop culture influencers, sports experts and athletes.
Here is a snapshot of a few people we spoke to:
Through our research we concluded that Nike is a very positive brand with no big downside. However, India is a market where the sport is seen as a barrier rather than a catalyst to help then succeed in life. Nike had the opportunity to motivate the youth and create a unified voice for sport to inspire and empower them to find their edge.
Society in India has conditioned girls to think that sport isn’t for them. They’re told it’s a waste of time, to focus on studies, that they'll get a tan, and it will hurt their marital eligibility.
Going further down this research, we realized that:
Barriers for women were more than the barriers for men.
We often heard people say things like “playing sports is manly” or “playing sports causes a tan and women should look fair and pretty”.
The youth resonated sport with male athletes, mainly cricketers.
Most of the prevailing imagery around sport and girls was uninspiring and revolved around the struggles of becoming an elite athlete.
Goals for the Campaign
Make sport accessible for all women
Highlight women athletes of the country
It should not be preachy and should resonate with the youth
Break barriers related to women and sport
I was apart of the core team that developed this campaign. It consisted of five people. We were constantly researching and ideating to build Nike’s first women only campaign in India. We knew one thing for sure that we did not want it to be preachy and we wanted the youth to resonate with it.
After months of going back and forth with the client we settled down on the idea of creating a music video. We wanted to create an sport anthem to inspire the youth of India featuring the heroes who had been silently challenging the status quo for decades - women. We wanted the anthem to spread organically and so we mimicked the workings of a music video.
For the next few months we had the mountain of a task to not only plan out the music video but also how, when and where the campaign would launch and live. To make the latter happen, I directly worked under Daniel Sheniak, Global Communications Planning Director on Nike, to chart out our goals and objectives for the campaign. I detailed it down a month by month plan of release of the campaign and how it would live on different platforms and mediums each week.
Here are a few selected ideas and launch strategies for the campaign:
And so when ‘Da Da Ding’ was launched, it spread at a pace nobody anticipated. It was all over social media and was covered by most global and Indian mainstream media.
This campaign not only inspired girls to start playing a sport but also put a spotlight on Indian female athletes that the country until then was unaware of. All this lead to Da Da Ding becoming a metaphor for being badass on the field.
Nike Mumbai Run Club - 1300 new members
Nike+ Apps - Active users totaled 118,000 increase from May to August
Awards and Recognition
The campaign was also picked as the third best ad of 2016 by Adweek.
And finally, our song was featured in UNICEF's Girl's Progress turning it into a global phenomenon.
What I learnt
Conducting ethnographic research
Developing a launch plan and strategy for an ad campaign with numerous touchpoints
Understand different business and user needs and creating a solution that satisfies both
Presenting biweekly to Global Emerging Markets team at Nike
Getting out of my comfort zone and wearing different hats as the job demanded