Social Marketing: Times of India's 'Teach India' Campaign

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG251 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Social Marketing / Marketing Communications / Brand Management curriculum
Case Length : 20 Pages
Period : 2007-2010
Pub Date : 2010
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Times of India
Industry : Newspaper
Countries : India


This case is about The Times of India's (ToI) social marketing initiatives. Though TOI was one of the largest circulated newspapers in the world, it was criticized for promoting 'yellow journalism'. In order to build its brand image, TOI adopted a social marketing strategy and projected itself as an agent of social change by launching a series of social campaigns highlighting social issues. One of them was 'Teach India'.

The 'Teach India' campaign was launched on July 6, 2008, with the objective of providing education to the unprivileged children in India and eradicating illiteracy. The campaign was inspired by TOI's earlier initiative 'Lead India' launched in August 2007.

According to the feedback received from the 'Lead India' campaign, India would not be able to lead unless its populace was literate and that there was a need for citizens to come forward and contribute to the cause. It was for this purpose that the Teach India campaign was launched. The campaign was divided into two phases. The first phase invited citizens of the country to volunteer with a non-government organization (NGO) in their locality and spend two hours a week teaching underprivileged children. The second phase, which started at the end of 2008, selected students from top educational institutes all over the country who were willing to dedicate two years to teaching the underprivileged.

To execute the campaign, TOI tied up with select NGOs in the field of education in multiple cities across India. Corporations, schools, and social organizations also lent their support to the campaign. The campaign was promoted through print, television, online, outdoor and on-ground events. While the campaign won some of the most prestigious advertising awards, experts remained divided in their opinion on whether TOI had adopted a genuine approach to initiating social changes in India or whether it was just a marketing gimmick to enhance the brand image of the Times Group


Understand various issues and challenges is social marketing.
Study the social marketing campaigns launched by ToI and analyze whether ToI was successful in achieving the objectives of its campaigns.
Understand the role of cause-related marketing in enhancing brand image.
Explore ways to make the Teach India initiative could be made sustainable


  Page No.
Introduction 1
About Times of India 2
Earlier Campaigns 3
The 'Teach India' Campaign 6
Results 8
Great Social Marketing or Just a Marketing Gimmick? 9
Looking Ahead 11
Exhibits 12


Social marketing, 'Lead India' Campaign, 'Teach India' campaign, Digital marketing, Integrated viral campaign, Brand awareness, Corporate social responsibility, Marketing gimmick, Times of India, Newspaper industry, India

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