Grow with specialisation and not with 'licking', says upGrad in its campaign

Conceptualised by The Womb, the campaign talks about the edtech major providing 'Sirf naam ki nahin, kaam ki degree' for working professionals

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Grow with specialisation and not with 'licking', says upGrad in its campaign

Click on the Image to watch the TVC.

Online higher education company upGrad has unveiled a bold and clutter-breaking mass media campaign. The TV commercial, featuring a donkey, draws from the cultural insight that in the corporate world, everyone wants to climb the ladder and choose various ways to get ahead — one of the most common being the tendency to ‘lick ass’.

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Shashanka Chaturvedi

Shot in Estonia, the humorous film has been developed by the creative agency, The Womb, and has been directed by Shashanka Chaturvedi, a.k.a Bob, Co-Founder and Director, Good Morning Films. He directed the shoot crew, including the endearing animal, remotely from Goa.

Arjun Mohan

“Our primary objective is to define the kind of education upGrad provides, which is not constricted by the mode of learning — which just happens to be online. The next ambition was to compellingly summarise all the types of courses we provide — post-graduate degrees, certifications and diplomas. We chose the word ‘degree’ because in India, the concept of a ‘degree’ holds emotional and practical heft across all socio-economic classes. While degrees are available a dime a dozen, the conflict occurs when they tend to be generic, out-dated and from not so credible institutions, that are ultimately not valued by employers. Thus, the genesis of ‘Sirf naam ki nahin, kaam ki degree’ — upGrad’s promise to provide outcome-oriented specialisations that help learners to achieve the ROI on education – job/profile switch, increment or promotion, in other words, employability,” said Arjun Mohan, CEO, India, upGrad.

Kawal Shoor

Kawal Shoor, Co-Founder, The Womb said, “upGrad and The Womb got together a few months ago to start working on building its brand and business in India. Covid-19 has hastened the need for edtech as a category. upGrad is a very substantive brand in the midst of many lightweight educational institutions that have mushroomed all over India. It has a great culture, knows how to teach, and has tie-ups with some of the best universities in India, and the world. It can fulfil the learning needs of working professionals and undergraduates. We had to bring its various offerings under one, clear positioning idea for the brand that stems from and can influence culture. This spot introduces that idea, along with a clear proposition for working professionals."

Navin Talreja

"upGrad's Data Science and Management programmes for working professionals have great pedigree with tie-ups with institutions such as IIIT Bangalore, IIT Madras, and Deakin Business School. To make this resonate culturally, we borrowed from culture — work/corporate culture to be specific. We uncovered a very rich insight — in organisations, those who're not good enough to find other means to rise. We built our proposition around this insight. What was even more challenging was to find a way to execute this in a lockdown — so what you'll see, are Indian-origin actors from the UK, performing in an office in Estonia, being remotely directed from a villa in Goa. The clients at upGrad have to be complimented for believing,” said Navin Talreja, Co-Founder, The Womb.

The performance-driven media planning on TV channels is being executed by the agency DCMN and on OTTs and Google platforms by Tatvic Analytics. The mass media campaign will also be complemented by narrative-driven influencer campaign on social media, which the company officials have not revealed yet. In partnership with HTTPool and Twitter India, upGrad has rolled out an emoji campaign wherein one of the key brand attributes (KBA) — a red arrow moving upwards will be automatically added to upskilling related hashtags when tweeted by any user worldwide during the campaign period.

The TVC:


Agency: The Womb Communications

Founding Partners: Navin Talreja & Kawal Shoor

Creative Team: Suyash Khabya, Arnab Manna, Shreyas Manjrekar

Planning & Research Team: Mittu Torka, Kunal Jha, Ishita Agarwal

Account Management: Heval Patel, Richa Shah

Production House Credits: Good Morning Films

Director: Shashanka Chaturvedi (Bob)

Producer: Robin D’Cruz

Executive Producer: Vikram Karla

Producer (Estonia): Kadi Freja Felt, Get Shot Films

Cinematography: Mart Ratassepp, ESC

Music: Subhajit Mukherjee

Production Designer: Kristjan Suits

Editor: Tushar Shivan

upGrad The Womb Sirf Naam Ki Nahin Kaam Ki Degree