Presented by Freshworks


On July 14, Freshworks, the software company that I work for, flew a blimp over the Lord’s cricket stadium during the finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup.

While it is true to our maverick marketing character, there was much more behind it. It was an opportunity to support two causes our employees are passionate about — cricket and fighting hunger.

India is a cricket-crazy nation. Also, we are a global company out of India, where hunger is a huge issue. Hunger affects one in nine people globally, and 250 million Indians go to bed hungry each night — over three times the population of the United Kingdom, where we flew the blimp.

This was our way of shining a spotlight on this critical issue in a way that is authentic to our brand.

This isn’t the first time we have flown a blimp. Last year, we flew one over the Dreamforce event in San Francisco. And that time, we used it to draw attention to a business issue we deeply cared about — businesses were struggling with clunky, bloated CRM software that was difficult to implement and use.

Why blimps?

One can’t deny that people love flying objects. Drones, helicopters, mini aircrafts with messages written out in smoke… a flying object has the ability to grab people’s attention and get people to immediately talk about it. And it helps target very specific audiences. It’s an effective way to engage people in an important topic, like hunger.

As marketers, there are two paths we can take. One is to spread wide and make sure our name is all over the place with billboards, radio ads, TV ads, merchandise, etc. This generates strong recall value for the target group because they see the brand and the messaging everywhere.

The other path to take is to have a narrow focus, but go deep. For instance, with the blimp, we targeted a relatively smaller audience and the efforts were focused on a small region. Yet, the impact of such a marketing campaign can be higher. The goal is that the audience is then compelled to take the call to action — which is what you ultimately want, right? 

Prepping for success

To be successful, both timing and placement must be carefully considered. Ideally, pick an event that is close to your company’s character.  Then make sure to choose a time when there isn’t anything that could block the message from being seen and shared.

We could have launched our #cricket4life campaign at any time because the issue of food waste and hunger is always relevant. However, we chose to launch it during the cricket world cup because cricket is something very close to our hearts, and it provided a built-in audience.

#cricket4life 

Thus #cricket4life was born. Its point is that cricket is life (for us) and also meant that cricket could provide the platform to better the lives of millions of struggling Indians.

It complemented our “customer-for-life” campaign, which had recently launched across Europe. In short, the CSR campaign was a natural extension of our ‘customer-for-life’ campaign, which showcased how using our software helped companies keep their customers for life. In other words, Cricket4life was more than just a catchy hashtag, it was authentic to our organization.

Feeding India, an award-winning non-profit organization, works towards solving the challenges of food waste, hunger, and malnutrition

They repurpose extra food from individuals, weddings, restaurants, corporate offices and get it to people who have little to no access to food. Over the last four years, the organization has been recognized by the Prime Minister of India, the Queen of England, and the United Nations World Food Program.

Freshworks is kickstarting this partnership with an initial donation that provides over 100,000 meals for children.We will continue doing our part by donating excess food from the daily meals that we provide to our over 1800 employees in the Indian offices. We are also asking that people and organizations join us and consider making a donation.  Together, we can make a dent.

Launching the blimp

The efforts to get the blimp off the ground (literally) took us a few months of intense preparation. We had to get the right permissions, and more importantly settle on the right hashtag to display on the blimp. We had to make our love for the game and our passion for the cause relevant. We had to leverage language that would resonate with potential blimp spotters and do it in a way that remained true to us as marketers. With the #cricket4life blimp campaign, we think we did just that. It is still a small step for an enormous problem, and we hope we will all be able to take responsibility and collectively improve the situation.

Go deeper: For more information on #Cricket4Life, click here

Arvind Parthiban is Director of Marketing at Freshworks. Previously, he was the CEO of Zarget. He’s an ITIL expert and always passionate about football, beer and movies. LinkedIn | Twitter


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