How Natgeo India’s UnStupid University Frees Indians From Stupidity This Independence Day

Looking at the UnStupid University launched by NatGeo India and Flying Cursor, as part of its digital promotions for the new season of Science of Stupid

Genius physicist Albert Einstein once said, ”Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe”. There can’t be a better observation on the height of stupidity than this. National Geographic Channel India has been freeing us from stupidity one show at a time with ‘Science of Stupid’.

Presented by actor Manish Paul, it shows you hilarious fail videos of different stunts resulting in accidents and then goes on to explain the science behind these stunts and how you can pull them off without having to be carted off to the hospital. The first season of ‘Science of Stupid’ was launched with a bevy of creative activities on digital last year. Illustrations, comic strips & a Stupid-O-Meter challenge helped spread the word about the show through the channel’s social media properties.

For the brand new season of Science of Stupid first aired on Independence Day 2015, the channel decided to do something interesting on digital, like launching a university to bring the world ‘Freedom from Stupidity’. NGC India along with its agency Flying Cursor, created an online university called ‘UnStupid University’.

So this Independence Day wasn’t just about celebrating 69 years of freedom, but also the beginning of a new era of freedom from stupidity. UnStupid University has five different courses to educate the stupid people of the world and teach them how to not be stupid and think before committing a stupidity crime.

Interestingly, this entire university rests on a microsite NatGeo UnStupid University and has been designed like old school university websites using fonts, gifs and design elements from the early 2000s. Calling itself as ‘the finest institute for the hopelessly stupid’, its motto is ‘Duniya ko badal de, stupidity ko mita ke’. The fun with Hindi-English mix is everywhere – Stupidity Chhodo Aandolan, Aap unstupid banna chahte hai? and the names of the courses too.

Natgeo Unstupid university

The five courses are aptly categorised for various categories of stupid friends. One of the course is for that friend who is ‘Dekh sakta, lekin phir bhi andha hai’. Another course is for those unbelievably stupid friends – Are you for real? Don’t forget to click on these courses if you haven’t on the university microsite. The courses are a bunch of hilarious listicles consisting of gifs that you will sure love to share with all your stupid friends.

Being the founder of the university, Manish Paul was also appointed as the dean and professor. People could call Manish Paul to learn more about UnStupid University. One missed call and they would immediately get a call back with him telling them more about the show and when it’s happening, and a reminder call on the day of the show as well.

In addition, the university also features an ‘Exam of the day’, a ‘Click to set reminder’ for the show and all the details about the show. If you can crack the exam, you get certified as a student of the UnStupid University.

To bring about a fun engagement and get the buzz going on social media, the courses were shared through NGC India social media properties. People were asked to tag their stupid friends who could benefit from the various courses at the UnStupid University.

When the first show aired on August 15, 9PM, the NGC India Twitter handle conducted a ‘Unstupid exam’ via Manish Paul. People needed to watch the show for the right answers and a chance to win an iPad. They had to use #ScienceOfStupid in their answer tweets.

Cool. Shareable. Buzzy

Talking about everyday science could be a tad boring to people who don’t like it. NatGeo’s ‘Science Of Stupid’ with its crazy host, has made the subject an interesting, fun and shareable thing. The concept of launching the ‘UnStupid University’ makes for fun promotions on digital. Moreover, designing the courses as funny listicles is a great way to go ‘buzzy’ on social media. Viewers are likely to share funny gifs with their social connections, than science facts on torque, center of mass and combustion.

Besides, the idea of a live exam on Twitter has ensured more viewers watching the television show, interacting with the brand in real time while building #ScienceOfStupid conversations on their second screens. Who does not want to win an iPad?

The campaign is a winner in terms of its concept and the content strategy implemented. Funny gifs that are directed at the various types of stupid friends we have and the incentivized exam on Twitter has ensured the show not only creates a buzz on digital but also gets maximum viewership.

I’m off to take one of their courses, what about you?