Vodacom: How e-School limited disruption in a global crisis
Keeping young South Africans learning and connected when schools closed their doors
When Vodacom South Africa partnered with the Department of Education in 2014, it was to develop a mobile tool or application to assist school children from Grades R to 12. Vodacom has always committed to supporting education and believes that technology is a critical enabler in this process. Together, Vodacom and the Department of Education created e-School, an easy-to-use educational app for children and parents. The app was developed in multiple languages and aligned with the country’s local syllabus. Yet, when e-School launched, no one could have imagined just how important technology would prove in supporting education goals and continuity in 2020. With everyday lives changing drastically overnight, Vodacom recognized an imperative and an opportunity: to drive forward with bold purpose, as e-School would become critical for South Africans as schools closed. As part of the brand’s initiatives to support customers when they need it most, they ramped up communication efforts, making parents, and the country at large, aware that e-School is available to use for free.
WE Communications worked with Vodacom to share its story and shine a spotlight on the e-School platform as the go-to educational destination during lockdown. Executing a targeted influencer campaign with WE’s PLUS Network partner, TILT, WE helped generate authentic conversations with influential South African parents and their audiences. The agencies worked with influencers, who have more than 4 million followers collectively, to drive awareness, traffic and sign-ups to the app.
Metro FM news reader and mother Melanie Bala shared her experience with over 100,000 followers, and 5FM radio host DJ Sureshnie Rider expressed how she successfully turned “lockdown into learn-down” with her kids. The campaign was also promoted by South Africa Idol’s host, Proverb, sportscaster Carol Tshabalala, and TV presenter Ewan Strydom.
Vodacom’s e-School app allowed children to stay connected and inspired despite being in lockdown. It encouraged children to keep up with their studies, and empowered parents to lead their children’s education — with limited disruption. The results included:
- 1 million registrations by March 2020.
- Content use increased by 300% compared to previous averages, with Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Accounting topping the charts.
- Increased registration on the app beginning March 15th, with Vodacom e-School originally averaging 40,000 student events per day, expanding to nearly 150,000 per day.
- 43% engagement rate.
- Over 24 pieces of content.
- A 1,000% increase in registrations compared to the pre-lockdown period.
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