Essence brings Balan as Shakuntala Devi to Vedantu’s MasterTalks

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Essence, a global data and measurement-driven media agency which is part of GroupM, has announced its collaboration with live online learning platform Vedantu to feature Bollywood actress Vidya Balan as celebrated mathematician Shakuntala Devi in Vedantu’s MasterTalks with Achievers series. As Vedantu’s integrated media agency of record, Essence led content innovation, media planning and media activation for the initiative, in partnership with GroupM’s entertainment and sports division ESP Properties.

The Covid-19 lockdown in India has transformed online education from being an option to a necessity. During this period, in line with its motto ‘India’s Learning Won’t Stop’, Vedantu introduced free live interactive classes to Grade 1 to 12 students, as well as motivational content such as its MasterTalks with Achievers series. The series kicked off in July with Deepika Padukone, actress and founder of The Live Love Laugh Foundation, sharing the importance of mental health during the pandemic and beyond.

The second episode featured Vidya Balan, lead actress of Hindi-language biographical film, Shakuntala Devi, speaking on her character’s success story as a renowned mathematician, often referred to as a ‘human computer’. Following a promotional campaign across offline and digital media channels, as well as Vendatu’s website and social media platforms, the episode entitled ‘Bring Out the Genius in You’ aired live on the ‎Vedantu app on 31 July. 130,000 people registered for the episode, while the Vendatu website attracted 1 million visits and 800,000 unique pageviews on the same day.

The film, directed and written by Anu Menon, and produced by Sony Pictures Networks Productions and Vikram Malhotra under Abundantia Entertainment, was also released on Amazon Prime Video on 31 July.

Shivani Suri, Chief Marketing Officer, Vedantu, said, “Vedantu envisions to reimagine and transform the teaching and learning experience for every child. Backed by India’s finest teachers, superior content and technology, we endeavour to provide students with holistic learning skills and readiness to adapt and thrive in an ever-evolving future. Towards this very endeavour, MasterTalks with Achievers is a live session special feature where we bring eminent personalities from different walks of life to share their journey of trials and tribulations, and inspire our community of students, parents and teachers. The collaboration with the movie Shakuntala Devi and actress Vidya Balan was another effort in this direction with the focus of helping bring out the genius in every student.”

Anand Chakravarthy, Managing Director, India, Essence, said, “Vedantu is redefining the education landscape in India. As millions of their students continue to learn from home, engaging them is a constant need. We are thrilled to collaborate with the movie Shakuntala Devi and feature its lead actress Vidya Balan on Vedantu’s MasterTalks with Achievers series. Aimed at inspiring students, parents and teachers alike, the association with this movie is an excellent fit. Building a brand today takes a lot more than just advertising, and we believe partnerships like this will accelerate the growth and stature of Vedantu.”

Vinit Karnik, Business Head, GroupM ESP Properties, said, “Given the unique product offering, we are very happy to have created this creative communication for Vedantu. The dynamism is very relevant today, where a brand encourages communication around making education exciting in the new normal. It is an exclusive mix of knowledge and inspiration which makes learning enjoyable for students across the nation, which will in turn help boost downloads for the app.”


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