REMEMBERING OUR ROOTS

REMEMBERING OUR ROOTS

REMEMBERING OUR ROOTS

February 8, 2018

ROBI “BIJOY ITIHASH” DELIGHTFULLY INTEGRATES HISTORY AND TECHNOLOGY

BY FARHAT CHOWDHURY ZISHAN

Almost every brand in Bangladesh aspires to come up with a campaign involving the Independence Day of the country – Robi is no exception. With a colossal subscriber base and a spectacular brand positioning, the telecom operator stayed true to its core and portrayed a perfect picture of what the brand stands for in its “Takay Aka Bijoyer Itihash” campaign.

“Bijoy Itihash” was devised based on the objective to aware the everyday Bangladeshi about his/her glorious nation and the enriching history that the country has. Initial research gave the Robi team a brilliant insight – each of the seven pairs of walls of the Jatiyo Sriti Shoudho (National Martyr’s Memorial) represents a significant chapter in the history of Bangladesh – the Language Movement in 1952, the Election of the United Front in 1954, the Constitution Movement in 1956, the Education Movement in 1962, 6-point Movement in 1956, the Mass Uprising in 1969, and of course, the historic Liberation War in 1971. People, in general, are aware of the Language Movement and the Liberation War; but are not always conscious about the other 5 key chapters that played pivotal roles into shaping Bangladesh to what it is today. And that has become the backbone of the “Bijoy Itihash” campaign – to give us a holistic idea about all the events that have helped fuel our nation’s independence.

With the initial studies and content being developed, the team planned on choosing a specific content format for the campaign. With every other company focusing on the popular social media audio format for their own campaigns, Robi aspired to push the limits. Hence, they settled for the idea of a free smartphone app, backed by aesthetic, modern-day technology. The app “Bijoy Itihash” was made available for free download in both App Store and Google Play Store. Upon downloading the app, a person can scan any of the seven notes – ranging from the 2 Taka note to the 500 Taka note. The notes need to be kept on top of a smooth surface and the side of the note containing the Sriti Shoudho has to be scanned. And once the scan is completed, the app unlocks a 3D model of Sriti Shoudho in augmented reality and a video. Each of the videos portrays one of the seven historic events concerning Bangladesh. And once you are done viewing a video, you avail a “Gorbito Bangladeshi” (Proud Bangladeshi) certificate in the app.

“Bijoy Itihash” was launched on the 4th of December via a press conference, which had the presence of many esteemed personnel; with the likes of Mr. Asaduzzaman Noor – the Honorable Minister of Cultural Affairs of the Government of Bangladesh. With the campaign finally open to the public, a massive promotional strategy entailed. Word of the “Bijoy Itihash” campaign spread in lightspeed with the help of a 360-degree marketing campaign – involving Television advertisements, radio commercials as well as promotion on social media platforms. Activation booths were installed in schools and colleges. A large number of brand promoters flooded all the major cities and demonstrated the app to all the curious pedestrians. Many were so enthralled that they installed the app on their smartphones right away so that they can show it to their own friends and family. Other strategic locations like ATM Booths and Smartphone shops were also targeted. Another factor that gave “Bijoy Itihash” further leverage is organic PR. As no other company has ingeniously integrated modern-day technology with history in this manner ever before, the campaign automatically became the center of many conversations. And it went on – from being discussed on influential social media blogs to Television talk shows; until it became a hot topic all around Bangladesh. The campaign objective of Bijoy Itihash has become more than successful as people were not only discussing the app; but also the glorious histories embedded in it as well.

The massive success was definitely not achieved overnight. The team behind the campaign had to go through the enormous amount of tedious work in order transform this idea into reality. With barely 2 and a half weeks available to build the app from the core, the team had to use every hour on hand to scratch the app to perfection. Embedding augmented reality technology in the app proved to be a task that was both difficult and delicate. Since the app had the involvement of banknotes, every note had to be scanned repetitively in order to make sure the app functions properly. Furthermore, to ensure its originality, the team wanted to recreate all the historic events from their very core. Yes, the videos inside the app were not merely clips that were joined and copied from archives. Rather, the team aspired to instill their unique touches and creativity by portraying all the stories in sketch form. Moments of uncertainties and doubts were there as well, especially at the last minute when the app was about to be unveiled to the masses. However, with the massive positive reception that the campaign has garnered in the end, the hard work and dedication of the entire team indeed proved to be in veil.

Being a smartphone-centric campaign, many might think that “Gourober Itihash” has only been receptive to the country’s youth. But the reality is astoundingly quite the opposite. People from almost all walks of life embraced the concept and wanted to see the notable historic events of Bangladesh. And with notes being the key ‘device’ for the app to perform, there were no issues regarding availability. Anyone with any note could simply install the app and witness the wonder. The campaign almost had ‘something for everyone’. The campaign has transcended geographic barriers; people from the rural areas also embraced the app with utmost curiosity and appreciation.

Without any exaggeration or overstatement, the campaign results speak for themselves. Within barely 3 days of launching, the app found itself in the Most Trending App category in Google Play Store; securing its position among globally prominent smartphones apps like Facebook and Messenger. The number of app downloads has surpassed Robi’s every single previous app-download campaign. Besides, the video views’ numbers were spectacular as well. Apart from the massive app downloads, every video inside the app was viewed on an average of 0.7 to 0.8 million times. The campaign gained traction as notable celebrities as well as social media pages like Desh Bidesher Biggapon and Mad Over Marketing shared their promotional content.

Since Bangladesh is advancing towards massive economic development, a large number of the population has become increasingly tech-savvy; with their lives revolving around technology, social media, and smart gadgets. With the intricately planned and beautifully designed app, “Bijoy Itihash” has been a campaign that has taken such an advancing population to their roots. People all across Bangladesh can now simply take out a banknote and delve deep into the country’s heritage; thanks to such an interesting and innovative concept. Robi aspires to keep this app free and available to the public, so that anyone can enlighten themselves not only about their beautiful motherland but also about the glorious events that keep the Green and the Red flag soaring high in the sky every day for the rest of our lives.

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