Digitas transforms Duolingo's mascot duo into Tollywood superstar in new campaign

The campaign has been conceptualised and executed by Digitas India

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Digitas transforms Duolingo's mascot duo into Tollywood superstar in new campaign

Digitas India has created a social-focused campaign to raise awareness about the app’s new Telugu-to-English course in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The campaign has been conceptualised and executed by Digitas India.

Duolingo has now added Telugu to its list of supported Indian languages, alongside existing Hindi and Bengali courses.

Digitas India created Duolingo’s 'Go from a star to a global star' campaign, incorporating elements from the Telugu film industry popularly known as ‘Tollywood’.

The objective of the campaign is to encourage users in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to learn English using their local language. It not only helps them gain conversational confidence but also empowers them to pursue their global aspirations.

Digitas India’s social strategy utilised Instagram to showcase Duolingo's mascot, Duo, arriving and touring Hyderabad. It included collaborations with local content creators, interactions with the community, a rap track with a local artist, and even a mega-public unveiling with a massive Tollywood-style cutout of himself. The goal was to build affinity and reaffirm the ease of learning English for Telugu speakers.

To merge global success from Telugu action-drama film RRR and the local Tollywood scene, Digitas India envisioned a 60-foot cutout of Duo, resembling the iconic movie superstars' cutouts.

To emphasise the enjoyable and free nature of Duolingo's lessons, Digitas India also partnered with Roll Rida.

Abraham Varughese, CCO, Digitas India, said, “What a blast we had working on this campaign! From identifying local barriers to English fluency and unraveling cultural nuances, we took all that we learnt from the success of our brand strategy for Duolingo in India and brought it to life with Duo’s pushy motivation, irreverent humour and an authentic Telugu makeover.”

Karandeep Singh Kapany, Country Marketing Manager, Duolingo India, said, “Telugu is one of the top 20 most spoken languages globally and we are happy to introduce a new Indic language course that helps Telugu speakers learn English. Our social-first campaign titled ‘Star Nunchi Global Star Avandi’ (From Local to Global Star) in collaboration with Digitas was aimed at referencing elements from the Tollywood industry. Digitas has played a pivotal role in making this campaign a remarkable success by keeping the brand’s authenticity alive and seamlessly blending elements which are specific to the heartland of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.”

Duolingo’s new campaign

Duolingo RRR Digitas India Telugu-to-English course Go from a star to a global star Roll Rida Abraham Varughese Karandeep Singh Kapany