Ministry of AYUSH leverages Instagram to promote International Yoga Day 2020

Ministry of Ayush Yoga Day

We take a look at how the Ministry of AYUSH made the most of celebrities, contest and cartoons to promote Yoga Day on Instagram.

Ahead of the International Yoga Day 2020, Ministry of AYUSH (Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homoeopathy) leveraged its Instagram presence to promote it using multi-layered campaigns. From yoga gurus to Bollywood celebrities to cartoons, the roster of visuals had something for everyone. For engagement, they ran campaigns as well as counted down days to the event.

Given the scale and importance of International Yoga Day for the Government of India, the countdown to the event was kickstarted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his radio show Mann Ki Baat. An IGTV clip uploaded by Ministry of Ayush on May 31 worked as an announcement of #MyLifeMyYoga, an international video blog contest.

It was followed by several efforts to promote the contest and engage with citizens as a means to promote the importance of Yoga in daily life.

On June 5, the ministry organised a Digital Yoga Conclave, inviting mommy bloggers to join in and take steps towards a healthy lifestyle.

Between June 5 and June 20, several online sessions were taken by various Yoga Gurus to promote the idea of Yoga as a means to fight the impact of COVID-19. These included Yoga Discourses by Dr H R Nagendra, Shri Kamlesh D Patel, Swami Bharat Bhushan, Shri S. Sridharan, Yogacharya Dr Vishwas Vasant Mandlik, Dr Mukund Vinayak Bhole, Rajyogini B.K. Asha, Yogrishi Swami Ramdev, Dr Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra, Shri Prashant S. Iyengar, Muni Shri Pranamya Sagar, Sadguru Shree Shivkrupanand Swami and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev.

Meanwhile, the ministry kept sharing several poster and video assets to promote the event, keeping up with the countdown. #YogaForStressRelief was one of the sub-themes taken up by the ministry to connect yoga to the ongoing pandemic, offering peace of mind to citizens.

The countdown for the event was supplemented by a hashtag campaign, #IDoYogaAtHomE, nudging people to prepare themselves to post pictures while doing yoga on June 21.

#TheShavasanaChallenge was another social media activity by the ministry where people were asked to engage and post content around Yoga. The activity, like the #MyLifeMyYoga, was incentivised with cash prizes.

Several celebrities shot clips in support of the concept of Yoga, as part of the #MyLifeMyYoga campaign. These included Anushka Sharma, Shilpa Shetty, Akshay Kumar and Milind Soman. Others celebrities seen supporting the cause were Kareena Kapoor Khan and Hema Malini.

To bring home the message to kids, #TheCuteYogaChallenge was run, asking for pictures of kids performing Yoga to be shared. This activity was also incentivised with cash prizes.

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The ministry also collaborated with NICK India and created content around their prominent cartoons.

Ek Saans, a song by Sanskriti Productions, was shared by the ministry using multiple video assets.

Eventually, all these campaigns ended (or will end soon as winners for all the contests are announced) with the celebration on June 21.

Most of the politicians and ministries tend to depend heavily on Twitter as a medium to promote campaigns and initiatives. The ability of that platform to facilitate the creation of news is something they often harness.

However, over the last year or so, government bodies and police forces are increasingly going forward and communicating with citizens directly instead of relying on news publishers to take the message forward. This makes Instagram an interesting medium for the Ministry of AYUSH to leverage for International Yoga Day 2020.

Essentially, Ministry of AYUSH leveraged influencers, branded content as well as incentivised contests to spread the word. It was a big campaign supplemented by several small campaigns leading up to an event, crafted to be in perfect sync and targeting multiple, relevant target audiences.