Cannes Lions

Chekhov is alive

SLAVA, Moscow / GOOGLE / 2016

Case Film
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Case Film






We chose Anton Chekhov from among the vast variety of Russian writers. He is famous for witty short stories and plays. The idea came from the fact that Chekhov created more than 200 characters, whose behavior, habits and views on life are similar to ours today, after more than 150 years. In other words his characters live among us nowadays giving us the right to proclaim that "Chekhov is alive". We chose 28 of the most famous characters from different plays and stories and created a campaign official website with a quiz which let users know which character they would be in Chekhov's world and participate in nationwide casting to participate in online literature event. Then we connected together several theaters, politicians, celebrities and general public from all over Russia in a 24hours online theatrical performance streamed on YouTube, our official website and 1 independent news media.


Google, together with partners, created a spectacular 24h literature experience, broadcasting 50 of Chekhov's stories and plays live, read by 700 people and streamed online from 25 stages around Russia and the world. The famous play "The seagull" was streamed from 7 theatrical stages and every user could choose the stage to watch using YouTube multiscreen technology.

We engaged the audience on many levels:

1) The project website with the quiz, audition feature, characters gallery and constantly updating info about the event.

2) Offline booths on summer festivals and at universities where everyone could pass the quiz, record their audition and participate in casting.

3) Many merchandize items with bright identity which got extremely popular on users photos in social media.

4) Involvement of almost 150 local celebrities in the readings.

5) The grand event on September, 25th with 15 free-to-enter stages where people could gather together with readers and meet celebrities.


The project reached 56% of the Russian population without any paid media.

Earned Media Coverage:

- 1,100 media articles generated 5.5 billion media impressions

- 65 TV news stories aired on every major Russian station

Social Media Engagement:

-700,000 unique viewers watched the live broadcast

-Each 5th user came to website from social, spending on site 270 sec on average.

-The quiz “Which Chekhov's character are you?” was taken 1.2 million times

-70 celebrity posts produced an additional five million impressions

-Total social media reach exceeded 33 million; 63,000 used the project hashtag

-The first promotional video was viewed 8.7 million times; the second, 7.8 million times

Event and Influencer Engagement:

- 300 of the general public who auditioned during the casting period participated in the event

- 100 A-list Russian celebrities performed Chekhov’s passages

- 32 high-ranking government officials and high profile stakeholders participated in or endorsed the campaign.

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