Social distancing norms were difficult for people to follow even after repeated efforts by the authorities. Covid-19 cases were spiking fast (at the time of the campaign) and social distancing was not just a government recommendation but an essential life-saving skill. Community spread was a threat as large families were living together. Mask-less travel and sanitizer-less contact were still popular. Social distancing couldn’t become a habit even though important communications were coming through from authority sources.
The challenge was that most people found it difficult to understand ‘how’ something as simple as social distancing can prevent Covid-19 spread. Hence, the objective was to deliver easy-to-understand and actionable communication for all age groups that explains why social distancing works and teaches how social distancing can be followed well.
Mobile gaming saw a big spike in plays during the lockdown – across all age groups (According to the Next-Gen Indian Mobile Gamer: A Consumer Survey Report by CMR). Family members and friends played games, new and old, together, like never before.
The strategy was to use the most popular of these mobile games to reach the widest base of consumers and increase awareness for social distancing across the map. So, the game chosen was LUDO – a game that every family member understands and enjoys. It was named #SafetyFirstLudo. However, it wasn’t a garden variety Ludo, innovative modifications were introduced to this always-popular and never-changing game.
2 new ‘modes’ of play were added to the mobile version for the first time in history. The modes were named ‘Social Distancing’ mode and ‘Viral Spread’ mode. Each mode was designed to educate about social distancing in unique ways.
A video was first launched to introduce the idea of a new type of Ludo, a game that has been popular but unchanged for years. The video also introduced the concept of Ludo teaching social distancing in a fun way and presented the two new unique modes – Social Distancing & Viral Spread.
Mobile site for the game was launched and was made available in Hindi and English (2 most popular languages on Indian internet). After getting good response from single players, game rooms were added where players could play with their family or friends in the vicinity or with strangers over the internet. Further, leaderboard was also added for gamification and to increase the time spent on the site.