Colombo, Sri Lanka – YouLead, a program initiated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for better workforce in Sri Lanka, has released a new campaign made in collaboration with dentsu’s digital experience arm Isobar centered around success among the youth.
The campaign narrates the story of the mysterious pond ‘Kalumal Pokuna’ which allows people to magically transform their lives just by drinking from it, and how three teenagers found the hard path to the answer of succeeding in life through the depiction of forest creature voices disturbing their itinerary. YouLead’s campaign teaches its viewers that there are no shortcuts in life, and one must do the hard work in real life in order to succeed.
Furthermore, the campaign wanted to trigger conversations around the need to equip oneself with the necessary tools and knowledge to pursue success and prosperity. YouLead aims to empower the youth to engage in new-found opportunities for skill development such as career guidance and entrepreneurship training made available to today’s youth.
According to Mohenesh Chamith Buthgumwa, director at Isobar Sri Lanka, the campaign was organically successful through the use of astroturfing or guising itself as unsolicited participants in presenting an orchestrated marketing campaign.
“[The campaign] means being bold and ready to take calculated risks along the way. Taking cues from the Hollywood hype machine, we give fans little bits of content every few days. Each element of the promotional campaign has been designed to give it legitimacy, and it even made a group of local treasure hunters team up to go in search of the mythical ‘Kalumal Pokuna’,” Buthgumwa stated.
In a time where it is difficult to tap into digital native youth across rural and urban Sri Lanka, this campaign helped to create a one-of-kind storyline to deliver a timeless message.
“Storytelling is a powerful tool in the digital age. Sri Lankan youth are extremely social media savvy and engaged. We are excited to have launched this unique campaign. We believe that the story of Kalu Mal Pokuna will inspire youth to think outside the box and take a proactive role in deciding their future while pursuing their dreams,” commented Neela Marikkar, chairperson and managing director at Dentsu Grant Group.
The campaign is live on YouTube, and is available in both Sinhala and Tamil languages.