Door Step School Film INK PAD by Leo Burnett Mumbai

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Industry Education, Public awareness
Media Film
Market India
Agency Leo Burnett Mumbai
Director Auggie Fernandes, Bina Sheth Lashkari
Executive Creative Director Nitesh Tiwari
Creative Director Vikram Pandey
Art Director Amit Thakur
Released June 2012


Cannes Lions 2012
Media Lions Best Localised Campaign Silver

Credits & Description

Type of entry: Use of Media
Category: Best Localised Campaign
Product/Service: DOOR STEP SCHOOL
Type of Entry: Use of Media
Category: Best Localised Campaign
Title: INK PAD
Advertiser/Client: DOOR STEP SCHOOL
Product/Service: DOOR STEP SCHOOL
Entrant Company: LEO BURNETT INDIA Mumbai, INDIA
DM/Advertising Agency: LEO BURNETT INDIA Mumbai, INDIA

National Creative Director: K V Sridhar (Leo Burnett)
Executive Creative Director: Nitesh Tiwari (Leo Burnett)
Creative Director: Vikram Pandey (Leo Burnett)
Art Director: Amit Thakur (Leo Burnett)
Production House: Bhushan & Ninad (Dancing Elephants Picture Company)
Director: Auggie Fernandes ()
Director Of Photography: Kevin Periera ()
Still Photographer: Mugdha Gudhe ()
Ink-Pad Fabricator: Bhaarat Godbole ()
Director: Bina Sheth Lashkari (Door Step School)


As expected, the ink pad helped our volunteers to grab the attention of the otherwise uninterested target group of illiterate adults and helped us convert their unwillingness to learn into a desire to learn.

With the help of few local volunteers, Door Step School saw a huge 600% increase in the recruitment for the 2011 adult literacy program. The success of the campaign has encouraged the NGO to carry on the activity in other cities and set up more camps for their 2012 program.

Creative Execution

We used the most identifiable symbol of illiteracy–the thumb impression to deliver the joy of writing. We designed an ink pad that allowed illiterate individuals to print their name.

A transparent sheet with cut-outs of the alphabets of Hindi (devanagari script) was placed on top of the ink pad. When the thumb was pressed onto it, only the ink from the alphabet cut-out portion would get transferred onto the thumb. When the thumb was pressed, the alphabet would get printed on the paper. Thus, alphabet by alphabet people could write their name.

We used the this unique tool to get in touch with specific target groups in and around Mumbai and with the help of local volunteers got illiterate adults to write their names using the ink pad. The joy of being able to write evoked a spirit to join our program and learn. Spot registration only helped the cause.

In India, if you can write your name, you are literate. Even with such a simple definition, 40% of the country is illiterate. Largely, the reason behind such low literacy rate is the lack of will in adults to learn. We knew we had to do more than just a simple communication to change this behaviour.
The illiterate adults want to learn but they inhibit joining a school so late in life.
When it comes to signing on official documents thumb impression is a common alternative that illiterate adults exercise. Thus, over a period of time the thumb impression has become a symbol of illiteracy in India.
We tapped on the insight that illiterate individuals use their thumb impression instead of signing their names and conducted a door-to-door activation campaign. We used this symbol of illiteracy to entice our target group and encouraged them to join Door Step School.