New Readers/Raising Awareness in India

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The Wikimedia Foundation is working with Wikimedians across India to increase awareness of Wikipedia. Our goals are to improve recognition of Wikipedia and understanding of its uses.

Defining the problems[edit]

Since the completion of New Readers research in October 2016, the Communications team has been focusing on two of the findings from India:

  • Low Wikipedia awareness (~75% of Indians surveyed say they have never heard of Wikipedia)
  • High brand confusion

We believe that working to clarify understanding of Wikipedia will increase usage and eventually, participation in Wikimedia projects.

Community context & direction[edit]

This project began with Community consultation. From December 2016 to January 2017, Wikimedia volunteers across India were invited to share how they explain Wikipedia and what approaches should be used in India to promote Wikipedia.

According to Indian community respondents, Wikipedia is a vast source of knowledge.

  • It is an encyclopedia and filled with knowledge
  • It acts like a wise, generous, know-it-all.
  • It is ideal for school work, free, and in Indic languages.
  • It looks like a library, filled with books, and it is made by society, for society.

Wikipedia should be promoted in schools and with social media posts.

TV advertisements and government partnerships are also recommended as ways to introduce and promote Wikipedia to Indians.

The project in brief[edit]

New Readers User persona - Kumari - India


  1. Increase awareness and understanding of Wikipedia
  2. Drive new usage of Wikipedia


  1. Students across India (see user persona "Kumari")
  2. Internet users in India (with focus on Hindi language)


  • Strategic Marketing approach
  • Web video that explains Wikipedia to new Indian audiences


Positive change in “Have heard of Wikipedia” annual phone surveying India (from benchmark 25% have heard of Wikipedia in 2016) Increased unique devices accessing Wikipedia content in India


  • Planning: April - June
  • Creative concepts: July
  • Community review: August - project launch
  • Production: November - February
  • Content launch: March
  • Evaluation & reporting: April - June

Project team[edit]

Indian Wikimedians[edit]

Wikimedia Foundation[edit]

External partner[edit]

To support our awareness work in India, we are working with an organization called Happy mcgarrybowen. Happy mcgarrybowen specializes in video production, digital design, and marketing, with an office in Bangalore. They will guide creative development for this project, offering experienced perspectives on how to appeal to our target audience and how to produce appealing video content. They’ll also collaborate on channel approaches, developing a strategic overview of digital media platforms where we can share videos to reach people who are unfamiliar with Wikipedia. Happy will lead all video production in this project.

We chose to work with Happy based on their expertise in social media and video marketing, and their appreciation for the values of the Wikimedia movement. They are committed to working with our Community team to ensure the creative materials reflect the work and needs of our volunteers in India.

Progress summary[edit]


  • Finalized community team with self-nominated volunteers
  • Hosted community kick-off meeting and aligned on student audience focus
  • Community team reviewed first draft of script proposed by Happy
  • Project paused for 1 week to discuss concerns and questions about Hindi community consultation (past and current), survey data that directed this project pilot, and need for fuller Hindi user group discussions. Hindi Community representatives committed to making choice on project continuity or permanent suspension by August 4, 2017.


  • Hindi community representatives responded on August 4, 2017 with further details on community concerns, and request for more time to make final decision.
  • Wikimedia Foundation reps answered multiple rounds of questions from Hindi community and committed to improve collaboration process


  • Project approved to resume by Hindi Wikimedians
  • Community team reviewed second draft of script proposed by Happy


  • Community team reviewed third draft of script proposed by Happy


  • Script finalized by Happy and approved by community for production


  • Video shoot took place in Mumbai on 9 December


  • First review of video draft took place on 9 January
    • Community feedback requested:
      • More prominence of "Wikipedia" branding to make the site easier to identify
      • Clarification of relationship between Grandmother and Wikipedia
      • Use of Hindi Wikipedia logo and as the destination URL


  • Second and final review of video took place on 12 February
    • Foundation Legal team approved video
    • Community requested adjustments:
      • Color grading (to be integrated)
      • Darkening of type on final screens (to be integrated)
      • Voiceover (not to be integrated because it is out of scope)
      • Consideration of new tagline (to be integrated only with specific community recommendation)
  • Pre-campaign phone surveys conducted in Madhya Pradesh to set awareness baseline
Clip from completed ad


  • Video completed
  • Campaign launch day set
  • Key social media promotion platforms choosen
    • Facebook (potential audience of students in Madhya Pradesh = 5.7 million)
    • YouTube


  • Video published on 3 April

Final videos[edit]

Audio tracks[edit]

Raising awareness in India - Impact Report

Two original pieces of music were produced to make the "Ektara" video ad. These audio tracks are available as freely-licensed music.

Learn more[edit]

Please add a comment on the Talk page here to share your thoughts. You can also email Project lead Zachary McCune at zmccune [at] wikimedia [dot] org to discuss the project.