How ICICI Bank Created The Magic Pencil Project To Launch A Social Cause Drawing Competition

ICICI Bank launched its social cause campaign 'Creative Masters Drawing Contest' after creating an interesting social buzz around the magic pencil project, where one could bring their imagination to life.

They say there is a child inside all of us who believes in magic, who believes in the impossible and isn’t afraid to express it. Of late, our team received an anonymous tip off about the ‘Magic Pencil Project’ that aims to bring people’s dreams to life, all with a magic pencil. The curious, excited child in me jumped at the idea but my skeptic adult mind warned me to stay in the real world.

While the war was on, I glanced through the ‘Magic Pencil Project’ website, and was delighted to see a blog, a Facebook page, a YouTube channel and a Twitter page. Now the magic felt almost real – there must really be a set of believers who are working to create magic pencils with which we could bring our imaginations to life. And, whatever little was remaining of the scepticism in me, was erased by a video on the home page.

Nearly 3 minutes long, it has the founding team talking about the idea of the project and the technology powering it. A Chief Dreamer, a Dream Architect and a Head Geek explained the making of the magic pencil with pictures and diagrams. An art curator and a dream weaver, a set of focused groups and even adman Piyush Pandey join in to talk about the magic pencil and convince the viewer of its magical possibilities.

The film ends leaving the viewer with a question - “What would you do if you had the Magic Pencil?” and asks them to share using the hashtag #IfIHadTheMagicPencil.

Stunned, amazed, curious viewers now got eager to get their hands on one. What if such a pencil has been invented and you could really bring your imagination to life? People have been pouring out their imaginations through the hashtag - #IfIHadTheMagicPencil; it was crazy reading through them. From the nature loving, ‘I’ll draw a jungle” to the kind hearted, “I’ll draw a machine that removes disability” to the crazy, “I’ll draw a pair of wings and fly off”, everyone had something magical to draw.

The project also set about to ask the people of Mumbai what they would draw with the magic pencil. It created a movement where videos were shared and blog posts were written about the progress of the project. It also roped in celebrities, writers, philanthropists to join the magic pencil project.

The project took off in early May when its online and social presence began creating intrigue about this magical project with visuals and videos, until the final revelation of the ICICI association yesterday.


Bringing forth the idea that ‘Every pencil is a magic pencil’, a video was launched announcing the bank’s Creative Masters Drawing contest, and also busting the magic behind the project. Explaining how ICICI would bring your drawing to life, the video displays the contest link at the end:

The magic pencil project website now takes one to the drawing competition website, where folks of all age groups can participate to bring about a positive change in society. Once registered, you will be given a social or environmental theme as per your age. The best works of art will be auctioned and the proceeds from it will be used to bring alive the drawings. For instance, if the drawing is on education for the less privileged children, then the proceeds amount will be donated to GiveIndia, an NGO that works in that space.

The pan-India art competition will be judged by the expert panel of Piyush Pandey, Prof. G G Waghmare and Mahesh Hadkar, and has exciting prizes like a family tour to Disneyland in Hongkong.

The ICICI Bank Facebook page had also shared the magic pencil project video with its over 2.9 million fans, thereby adding to the story build-up.

Innovative and magical

The launch has been a rather interesting one. Using a mix of digital and social, the campaign did manage to pique curiosity around the magic pencil project. With its sound storytelling and use of various social media platforms, the campaign got folks to sit up and listen. Adman Piyush Pandey and other celebrities added the touch of authenticity to the magic pencil project, while for the severe skeptics, it talked about 3D technology and shared visuals of the pencil’s prototype.

Like me, the campaign got many others to keep watching the space until it revealed the drawing competition and how it tied up with creating real magic. Like me, it must have dashed hopes for many others to finally discover that there is no such technology like a magic pencil and you can’t get your hands on one, but it does shout out loud that ‘every pencil is a magic pencil’!

Brilliant case study of a launch and social media engagement for a social cause by ICICI Bank.