Cannes Lions

Vodafone Sakhi

OGILVY MUMBAI, Mumbai / VODAFONE / 2018

Awards:

3 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

Our idea was to turn a text message into a powerful tool to fight sexual harassment.

Research had revealed that the problem was rooted in the top-up process of calling-cards. Since 93% of India’s one billion subscribers use calling-cards, telecom companies devised a simple process that allowed subscribers to get their top-ups anywhere. By simply sharing their mobile numbers with retailers, subscribers could get top-ups at every neighbourhood store.

For the safety of women, Vodafone took this step out of the equation with Vodafone Sakhi – a simple text-based private top-up service. With Sakhi, women subscribers could simply text “Private” to 12604 and receive a machine-generated 10-digit number.

At the time of a top-up, this number could be shared instead of their mobile number. After the top-up is done, this number can’t be traced back to the subscriber. Thus ensuring that the subscriber’s mobile number never falls into wrong hands.

Execution

In India, subscribers who need a top-up for their calling-cards follow this simple process– go to any neighbourhood store, choose a top-up amount, and share their mobile number with the shopkeeper for the processing. This step gave the retailers unwarranted access to mobile numbers of all the subscribers who came there for a top-up.

Vodafone Sakhi was able to successfully hide the phone number of subscribers during a top-up. When a woman subscriber would text “Private” to 12604, she would receive a machine-generated 10-digit number. This number worked like an OTP (one-time password) and could be shared with the retailer instead of her mobile number.

However, unknown to the retailer, this number would cease to exist on the completion of the top-up. So even if the number was later leaked, it could not be traced back to the woman subscriber. Thus assuring her complete privacy.

Outcome

Vodafone Sakhi was launched in 2017. With the help of our discreet promotion strategy, we could reach out to as many as 400000 subscribers in India, who now turn to Vodafone Sakhi every time they need a top-up. As their number remains completely protected from falling into wrong hands, women go about their top-ups without any fear. When Sakhi expands to cover the whole country by the end of 2018, it will then be available to over 35 million women who use Vodafone’s calling-cards. By offering hope of complete privacy, Vodafone Sakhi becomes a trusted friend and a powerful ally to all women, helping them live free and fearless.

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