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Microsoft gives fresh ‘Umeedein’ for empowering girls

Created by JWT, the ad film features ace badminton player Saina Nehwal, who motivates Indian youth, especially girls, to follow their dreams like she did

Microsoft gives fresh ‘Umeedein’ for empowering girls

Created by JWT, the ad film features ace badminton player Saina Nehwal, who motivates Indian youth, especially girls, to follow their dreams like she did

Shanta Saikia | Delhi | June 3, 2015

Umeedein-TVC Click on the image to watch the TVC.

Female education has been getting increasing attention from all – the government, parents, the administration; however, when it comes to girls playing sport, that enthusiasm vanishes.

In a bid to promote sports amongst girls, Microsoft Devices has come up with an inspiring campaign – #MakeItHappen. Created by J. Walter Thompson, the ad film features ace badminton player Saina Nehwal, who motivates Indian youth, especially girls, to follow their dreams like she did.

The film shows the efforts of a sports teacher, Sebastian Joseph, to encourage the girl students in his school to take up sports. He, however, hits a wall when the school administration tells him that they are more interested in stressing on academic performance rather than promoting sports. In order to bring about a change in their thinking, he facilitates a Skype call between the school’s principal and Saina Nehwal, who manages to convince the school management to bring sports in the all-girls school.

This is the second film in the campaign. The first film featuring actor Kangana Ranaut focussed on letting girls pursue their dreams through the story of a school girl Pia Dhirwan from a small town, who wants to be a fashion designer. Pia’s conservative parents want her to concentrate more on her studies and take up a regular job. A video call is arranged between Pia and her parents and Kangana, who convinces the parents that their daughter can have a lucrative and fulfilling career as a fashion designer. Kangana narrates how her parents too had initially opposed her decision to become an actress, but she rebelled against their decision and pursued her dream and earned their support and respect.


The objective of the campaign is to give a glimpse of the incredible possibilities that open up when one brings together Microsoft Lumia phones and Skype, which can inspire people to make their dreams happen.

The brief was to come up with an Indian interpretation of the international Microsoft #makeithappen campaign. The thought behind which was to help ordinary people achieve their goals.

“The thought behind the campaign was to help someone achieve their goals. The way we wanted to do this was to stage an intervention through Skype on a Lumia, where an appropriate celebrity would counsel the people who were inadvertently standing in the way of those goals,” said Sayanatan Choudhury, Senior Creative Director, J. Walter Thompson, Delhi.

He further said, “Firstly, we wanted to keep the film as ‘real’ as possible, and secondly, as short as it could be. The former because this entire campaign had been inspired from so many real life stories. And the latter because we didn’t want it to be yet another long-format film. However, the story required the problem to be set up and then the intervention, so that required the time that it ultimately took.”

On selecting Kangana and Saina for this campaign, Choudhury said, “Well, they suited the stories the best. Kangana is herself someone from a small hill station who has faced the exact same problem of parental opposition, while Saina was ideally suited to speak out about the importance of having sports in a girls’ school.”

Loved the intent, say creative honchos

KV Sridhar KV Sridhar

KV Sridhar, Chief Creative Officer, SapientNitro India, loved the intent of the film and said, “While the academic stress is already there, we often forget the physical part of education. So a sports teacher taking up the cause of sports for girls is a good thought.”

At the same time, he felt that somehow the soul and empathy in the film was missing. “Though the film makes a noble point, at the end it feels like an ad. But it is good that Microsoft has picked up this topic,” he added.

Prathap Suthan Prathap Suthan

Prathap Suthan, Managing Partner and CCO, Bang In The Middle, opined, “Overall a well produced film. Barring some obvious goofs. I have never heard a Malayalee speak English with a Hindi accent. Not the PT master. But the Principal. I wonder if it was even necessary to have the names included. The set-up and the final flourish of hope, and the overall messaging is good. But the role of the product is so tenuous. It could have been any phone. Skype is available on any device and platform. Therefore, it could have been any video call app. It could have been just a call. I felt that the role of the brand was generic. And perhaps even invisible despite the colours. There was and is another way this could be sliced where this would have been possible only if Lumia was around. But then that’s the leap and connect the agency and client ought to take. Generic advertising would push generic apps. Period. And why on earth would they flag off this film with a super which says that this never happened? Why make believe? Microsoft doesn’t have the resources? Ouch.”

Saurabh Dasgupta Saurabh Dasgupta

Praising the film, Saurabh Dasgupta, Executive Creative Director, Innocean, said that the difference was very clear between a voice call and a video call. “A sensitive issue like empowering girls is beautifully handled and at the same time, the advantage of a video call comes through,” he added.

He further said, “The film holds the attention as the storytelling builds up and the executive is nice. The core issue comes through very clearly.”

The TVC:



Client: Microsoft

Brand: Lumia

Creative agency: J. Walter Thompson

Creative team: Sayantan Choudhury (AVP, Copy), Sumonto Ghosh (Senior CD, Art)

Account Management: Saurabh Saksena (Senior VP), Neetika Aggarwal (VP), Anusheel Chowdhury (Account Director)

Account Planning: Pinaki Bhattacharya (Senior VP), Bhaskar Thakur (AVP), Kamakshi Thareja (Account Planning Director)

Films: Mandeep Singh (VP & Films Head - Delhi)

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