Spoken Fest

In 2019 and 2020, The Small Business Project promoted three editions of Kommune’s Spoken Fest – Asia's Largest Spoken Word Festival – achieving an attendance of more than 10,000 at each event.


The Small Business Project was associated with Kommune – an organisation that showcases the best of performing arts through poets, storytellers, and musicians – long before we actually worked on its flagship event Spoken Fest – Asia's Largest Spoken Word Festival.


Setting the stage

Our first association with Kommune was through Beatmap, promoting their curated house party experiences across Indian cities – starting in December 2017. Because of our success with Beatmap, the Kommune team entrusted us with online marketing for Mehfil, a three-hour long event in celebration of Hindustani and Urdu poetry, music, and storytelling in April 2018. 

Following the success of Mehfil, Kommune founder Roshan Abbas tasked us with achieving Amazon bestseller status for his book Speechless, which we went on to bag across several relevant Amazon book categories. We continued to associate with Kommune in various capacities, including marketing several of their smaller events and workshops. 


A successful debut

It was later in 2018 that Amishi Patel, who was festival coordinator for Spoken Fest at that time, got in touch with us for the promotion of Spoken 2019, to be held in January 2020 in Mumbai. Amishi felt that we’d be a good fit for the job given our familiarity and experience with Kommune’s audience and past event data. 

We worked closely with the Kommune team, running paid campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google. This included managing some 50 paid ad collaborations with various artists across platforms. Together we achieved a footfall of 10,000 at the event. 

It had been an exciting journey, and we were delighted to be asked to work on online promotions for the next two editions of Spoken Fest, to be held in Delhi and Mumbai. 



First up was the Delhi edition in December 2019. Phase one of our ad strategy involved introducing the festival to different audiences, while also testing different creatives and messaging routes. Phase two was conversion-focused, with an artist-first approach. Spoken Delhi also featured multiple workshops, such as Ankur Tewari’s songwriting. We marketed and targeted for each workshop individually to gain traction. The event was a roaring success, seeing attendance of some 15,000 people.

The Mumbai 2020 edition was scheduled for January 2020, about a month later. December can be a challenging month for digital campaigns, with increased digital costs and changing user behavior. However, with our diligent ad monitoring, we were able to optimise the budget for maximum impact. We made the most of our experience with existing audiences, sentiment analysis, and creative messaging to maximise our outreach and conversion for the Mumbai edition. Our hard work paid off when over 15,000 people attended Spoken Fest 2020 in Mumbai. 


A Little Info

POD’ium was launched in 2020, in collaboration with Spotify, Anchor, and Kommune to grow the podcast culture in India. Led by the country’s best podcasters, it virtually organised educational workshops to empower promising podcast creators and bootcamp workshops on how to create and distribute podcasts via the Spotify-owned Anchor app

Point of Contact

At the time, we were working with Kommune, a pan-India creator collective. When the POD’ium collaboration was finalised, the project head of Spotify connected with us to promote it. Through the collaboration’s pilot edition of Pitchfest, wherein a budding creator can pitch his/her podcast idea, the organisers wanted to create 200 new podcasts.

To achieve this, they wanted our help in reaching 8 million promising creators, who would be interested in attending podcast workshops, across India.

Strategy & Process

To grow the number of participants in the workshops, we planned to run cross-platform ads on Facebook/Instagram, YouTube, and Google Display Network for a period of 30 days. The ads would urge recipients to register for Pitchfest.

Understanding the requirements from the POD’ium team, we set up brand awareness and traffic campaigns targeting all regions in India. Campaigns – featuring Kenny Sebastian, Pooja Dhingra, Kalki Koechlin, and Ranveer Allahbadia – were run to generate workshop registrations for audiences interested in comedy, food, storytelling, and self-improvement respectively.   


To track visits directed from the ads, a dedicated landing page was created, where visitors could register via a form. The ads were constantly optimised to maximise reach and page visits. 


We were able to reach 80% of our target audience while conserving 40% of the ad budget. A reach of 14 million users was achieved on all digital properties. More than 1.8 lakh people visited the website during the campaign period, with YouTube contributing to 44.3% of the traffic, followed by Facebook/Instagram (38.9%), Google Display Network (16.4%), and Google Search (0.4%).

Vir Das

''I have been raving about you and Harshith to Rosh(an) and Rohit. Would rehire in a heartbeat, and will definitely be recommending you to others. You guys have been absolute professionals. You should be really proud of the heart you bring and what you’ve built.''

RAKSHITACOO, Weirdass Comedy Requirements

About the client

Emmy-nominated actor and comedian Vir Das doesn’t need a long introduction, so we will keep it short! As an actor he’s known for movies like Delhi Belly (2011), Go Goa Gone (2013), and set to star in a Judd Apatow film next. As a comedian, he’s performed at over 100 stand-up comedy shows, eight TV shows and six comedy specials (One of which we were involved with in a not-insignificant way!). He’s supported by his team at Weirdass Comedy, who we collaborated with closely on our project.

First contact

In July 2020, his team at Weirdass Comedy reached out for help with marketing his comedy special ‘Inside Out’. A novelty concept borne out of the lockdown, it consisted of close to 30 paid online shows wherein he would interact directly with the audience. All proceeds from the series of shows were to be donated towards Covid-relief work.

At the time we were approached, the show was only going to be live for 10 days. And the Netflix special it is now known as was not in the offing.

Target for the campaign 

15,000 purchases at ₹30 each within a ₹3 Lakh budget



Pre-Launch: 15 days 

Post-Launch (during which the campaign was live): 10 days

Extended Campaign: 6 days



Total number of ticket sales: 11,281

Total amount raised: INR 35 Lakhs of which 60% was through our paid marketing campaigns

The success of the campaign and the show itself helped it get picked up by Netflix and released as a Netflix film Vir Das: Outside In the same year in December.


We worked closely with the team at Weirdass Company, consulting them on the infrastructure that they were going to build. 

  • Originally, they planned to tie up with a ticketing partner but we advised against it as relying on our own infrastructure would grant us more flexibility with targeting and data analytics, and hence, bring us far better results. 
  • We helped the team construct a landing page to direct traffic from the ads we would be running. 
  • We planned to run ads on these platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google and Reddit. 
  • We guided the Weirdass team on the various ad messaging routes based on the types of audiences that we planned to target. As part of the campaign, we created an Instagram filter that had Vir asking people what they were looking forward to doing after the lockdown.  
  • Over the course of the campaign, we constantly monitored the ads with lots of audience listening to tweak and optimise them for maximum results. 
  • Our target age group in terms of users and sales were between 18 and 34. This age group comprised over 70% of website visitors and led to around 80% of the total sales.
  • Around 21% of the total visitors returned to the website to make the final purchase, which accounted for around 78% of the total sales.

Show Score

About the client

Part of the TodayTix Group, Show-Score is a New York City theatre review aggregator, community review site, and ticket finder. It has been likened to "the Rotten Tomatoes for theatre" and also to TripAdvisor, and provides a 'leaderboard' of most-active reviewers and most-liked shows.


A “Wonderful” Wicked Giveaway

Show-Score was running a giveaway around the popular musical Wicked from November 18 to December 20, 2021. Prizes included a night out at the theatre with five friends, dinner/drinks before the show, and an exclusive virtual meet with the cast. To win, participants needed to accumulate points by reviewing shows on the platform, sharing the giveaway on social media and inviting friends to create accounts on the platform.

Our approach

Show-Score’s General Manager Deeksha Gaur got in touch with us for a strategy to maximise user acquisition during the giveaway. We suggested a focus on Facebook and Instagram ads, and started by putting together a media plan and studying and segmenting Show-Score’s databases and audiences. We also worked closely with the Show-Score team to develop crisp, straightforward messaging for ad campaigns.

The results

Over a 30-day period leading up to Christmas, we set up various campaigns and experimented with different audiences. We kept a very close eye on the campaigns and met bi-weekly with the Show-Score team to evaluate ad, audience, and creative performance as well as website drop-offs. We constantly optimised campaigns with a view to gain maximum users at minimum cost. As a result, we achieved close to 1,000 reviews via paid media and contributed to 40% of the traffic generated by reaching close to 135,000 users in the US.

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