It was touted as the biggest run in the city of Mumbai and one of the most eagerly awaited sporting events for Mumbaikars.
The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2016 lived up to its billing, as Asia's largest marathon. The 2016 run went beyond runners and helped people find reasons to run.
So what was the participation like in this prestigious event? It was a staggering 40,000 people this year and interestingly, the count keeps increasing every year.
The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon remained Asia's largest mass participation sporting event.
So what's different with this year's run?
Title sponsors Standard Chartered wanted to make the run more inclusive this time. What this meant was ensuring participation not just from runners, but also from people who have never really experienced a marathon before.
So, a number of initiatives were taken. The 2016 Run For A Reason campaign had a 360 degree digital first effort that was aimed at helping the masses connect with the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon on a personal level.
Led by ibs, the campaign comprised of digital films, engaging social content, AMAs, radio spots, a virtual run and also the world's first Twitter Run.
Abhishake Das, Executive Creative Director, ibs, said, "It was a pleasure working on such an iconic and culturally rich project. Especially with a forward thinking brand like Standard Chartered, who insisted on a digital first campaign this year. SCMM 2016 was conceived from the very beginning as an experience, rather than just a communication piece. Marathons are places where stories are born; stories of heroic efforts, and the triumph of the human spirit. So we celebrated it through engaging content & immersive tech experiences."
The campaign launched with a film titled, 'Why I Run' which depicted the maximum city in an all new light. The film amassed 1 million views online and was appreciated by runners and non-runners alike.
(Why I Run )
What then followed was a wave of engaging social content - gifs, activities and even a Twitter 'Ask Me Anything' with fitness advocate, Gul Panag.
The campaign took things offline with India's first SCMM Virtual Run. The run was made possible with the help of an immersive video embedded into an interactive virtual environment with the help of the Gear VR; a head mounted display designed by Oculus Rift.
In association with WASHE (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene Education), Standard Chartered enabled girls studying in municipality schools to experience the first marathon of their lives with the SCMM Virtual Run.
The Virtual Run setup made a second appearance at the 3-day SCMM Trade Expo, where it gave over 1000 people a glimpse of the marathon.
"This year as part of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, we wanted to do something beyond the usual, where we could give a taste of what it is like to be a part of the SCMM even if you aren't a part of the actual marathon itself. Using the new and upcoming 360 video technology to shoot some of actual locations of the marathon route, we created a first -of- its- kind immersive experience, aimed at bringing the Marathon to those who may not be able to physically participate on the race day." said Lakshmi Goyal, Head, Brand & Marketing, Standard Chartered India.
On race day, Standard Chartered debuted the world's first socially run marathon category, the SCMM Twitter Run.
The SCMM Twitter Run let the Twitter universe run for 42 km on the social platform with the help of their tweet characters. Twitter successfully achieved this monumental feat with a timing of 7 hours, 22 minutes and 28 seconds, and every participant received a personalised certificate for his contribution.
"We reached out to the most avid runners, and the underprivileged with the same idea - make everyone a part of this magical run, through design, films, radio and VR experiences. And for those who weren't able to attend the marathon physically, there was the world's 1st Twitter Run, where users could run the whole of 42 km on Twitter. We received almost 29 million impressions on that run alone. The reception has truly been overwhelming. But nothing beats the look on a 9-year old's face when she is introduced to virtual reality. That makes everything worth it." added Abhishake Das.