2 video campaigns that capture PM Narendra Modi’s foreign visits


Campaign objectives

Some of the key responsibilities of a good government are to:

  • Talk openly about how they are spending citizen taxes, the opportunities they are creating and how their actions are impacting the long term well being of their citizens
  • Keep themselves accountable and their citizens aware
  • Use public feedback while making political decisions

The foreign trips of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Cabinet colleagues cost the exchequer INR 567 crore in the last financial year (2015-16), an increase of more than 80% from the previous year, budget documents show. These trips include travels to countries all over the world including Japan and Africa.

So last year, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) took an initiative to reach out and educate Indian citizens through their favorite channel of content consumption …. social media. Indian Government decided they need to tell the people about what goes on behind the scenes at during these visits. Behind the flashing cameras and fancy ceremonies, the Indian government is trying to unite continents under a shared vision of prosperity and mutual respect.

Birch worked with MEA to produce 2 video campaigns covering the major events during PM’s Africa and Japan visit. A number of important deals were inked during these visits and the objective was to make public aware about the possible impact of these deals and allow them to share their point of view on progress being made.

These videos were shared by MEA India’s official social channels, watched and appreciated by thousands of Indian citizens. After their launch, PMO also retweeted these videos. 

Here is Twitter India appreciating our work. 

video campaign
Africa visit

Here’s a look at some of the key takeaways from Modi’s Africa tour.

Food security: India signed a long-term agreement for the import of pulses from Mozambique during Modi’s visit, the first by an Indian prime minister to the southeast African state in three decades. The pact will help India tide over shortage of pulses in the country that has led to a spurt in prices. Mozambique grows the commodity without much consumption. India’s cabinet last month had cleared a proposal to enter into an agreement with Mozambique for importing 100,000 tonnes of pulses in 2016-17 with an option to scale it up to 200,000 tonnes by 2020-2021.

Terrorism: Forging a consensus on terrorism has been a key theme during Modi’s visit to Africa which has seen its fair share of the problem with the threat from the Sunni Islamic State in the north in Libya and Tunisia to Boko Haram, which draws its ideology from the Al-Qaeda in West Africa.

Strengthening the India-Africa connect: At every stop, Modi invoked India’s past links with the continent—the shared experience of struggle against colonial powers. Modi also laid out blueprints for future cooperation, in the face of competition from China. In Mozambique, Modi offered to share India’s expertise in agriculture infrastructure. He also noted that healthcare was a sector where India’s capabilities would match the needs of Mozambique. In Tanzania, Modi offered $500 million of concessional credit for water supply connections to 17 cities in addition to an existing $100 million.

The prime minister also offered assistance in public health with the supply of medicines and equipment. In South Africa, Modi sought a partnership between the businesses of the two countries which, he said, can give a new shape to the India-Africa partnership and drive it to new levels. Another important aspect of the India-Africa connect was the Indian diaspora. Modi addressed meetings of the Indian community in all four countries, underlining the links between Africa’s east coast and India’s west coast and their common connect across the Indian Ocean.

Building a personal rapport with African leaders: Personal connect with leaders has been an important element of Modi’s diplomacy since coming to office in 2014. Of the four countries visited, three have held elections in recent years—Kenya in 2013 bringing president Uhuru Kenyatta to power, Mozambique in 2014 that elected president Filipe Nyusi and Tanzania in 2015 that saw president John Magufuli assume office. Modi met Kenyatta and Nyusi last year, while this was his first meeting with Magufuli. Modi invited the Tanzanian president to visit India which was accepted. South Africa’s Jacob Zuma is a better-known figure to the prime minister, given that Modi has met him on a number of occasions like the annual Brazil-India-Russia-China-South Africa (Brics) meetings and the India-Africa summit last year.

testimonial video
Raghoo Puri

MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, INDIA


“We needed to cover the major events during PM’s Africa and Japan visits in a simple and cost effective way for the Indian populace. We got an excellent result with a small investment which was endorsed by PMO as well.”

Japan visit

During PM’s Japan visit, here are 5 big things that happened.

Japan promised to invest over $33.58 billion in India: Japan announced doubling of its private and public investment in India to about $34 billion over the next five years. The 3.5 trillion yen ($34 billion) of investment from Japan to India including Official Development Assistance(ODA) during a 5-year period will be under the aegis of India-Japan Investment Promotion Partnership for development of projects including infrastructure and building of smart cities.

Bullet trains: With Japan committing to fund bullet trains, the dream of running high-speed trains on Indian tracks is now a step closer. Modi’s dream project got a big push after Japan expressed readiness to provide financial, technical and operational support to introduce bullet trains in India in a joint statement.The first high-speed train is expected to run between Ahmedabad and Mumbai at an estimated cost of around Rs 60,000-70,000 crores.

Search and rescue planes: The meeting will also finalize one of the first military sale’s Japan has made since lifting a 50-year-old export ban on arms sales two years ago. According to Reuters, India will buy 12 rescue water-planes from Japan, worth an estimated $1.6 billion. The deal will be included in the memorandum of understanding signed by Prime Minister Abe and Modi during the summit. Both sides have signed five pacts covering defence exchanges, cooperation in clean energy, roads and highways, healthcare and women while vowing to take their relationship from strategic partnership to a special strategic partnership.

Civil nuclear cooperation-pact: Modi and Abe will also conclude a much anticipated civil nuclear-cooperation pact, which would allow Japan to sell nuclear technology to India. According to the Japan Times, the pact will benefit Japanese nuclear-component manufacturers who suffered setbacks after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. The deal may also mark the first time Japan has sold nuclear technology to a country that has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Negotiations began in 2010, before either Prime Minister was elected, and the two leaders reached a memorandum of understanding in December of last year, during Abe’s visit to India. Abe’s Vice-Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama traveled to India last month to put finishing touches on the deal.

Focus on Regional Security: Despite the promises of the meeting, some experts see the recent U.S. election as a monkey-wrench in terms of projected gains from the bilateral talks — as much of the long term success of the meeting will hinge on U.S. influence in the region. There is also uncertainty as to how the new U.S. administration, under President-elect Donald Trump, will respond to its alliances around the world, especially in Asia.
Lessons from this campaign
  • Video campaigns are a great way to reach your audience and engage them with good storytelling. 
  • Whiteboard videos are cost effective and a great medium to consume information
  • Do your homework while building script and screenplay. The payoffs are big if you get these things right
  • Use simple words and clear visual cues. Audience was able to retain 80% of our message because we didn’t complicate things.

Further reading:

How Uber trained their drivers with Birch

Building a brand | 10 tips for creating outstanding video ads

How a Pune based startup reduced their sales cycle from 1 week to 1 day with this testimonial video

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