Category A05. Data / Insight
Entrant YANDEX Moscow, RUSSIA
Idea Creation YANDEX Moscow, RUSSIA
Media Placement YANDEX Moscow, RUSSIA
Production YANDEX Moscow, RUSSIA
Name Company Position
Gregory Abovsky Yandex Chief Operating Officer
Petr Abroskin Yandex Director of Marketing Operations
Igor Agarlev Yandex Developer
Ilya Alexandrov Yandex Heads of Design Team
Vyacheslav Barinov Yandex Designer
Petr Baturintsev Yandex Designer
Alisa Berezhnaya Yandex Designer
Sergey Bondarkov Yandex Analyst
Irina Goltsman Yandex Manager of cross-services functionalities
Olesya Golub Yandex Developer of cross-services data department
Serob Khachatryan Yandex Project Manager
Tigran Khudaverdyan Yandex Chief Executive Officer
Alexander Krainov Yandex Head of ML Lab
Oleg Levchuk Yandex Head of Maps Service
Gennady Lokhtin Yandex Heads of Design Team
Igor Loshchits Yandex Head of Data Journalism Group
Nikita Makarov Yandex Team Lead of Search verticals functionality group
Konstantin Mamaev Yandex Manager
Leonid Mednikov Yandex Analyst
Denis Mosin Yandex Designer
Ruslan Musaev Yandex Manager
Denis Novikov Yandex Head of Communications
Oleg Novikov Yandex Developer
Alexandra Novohatskaya Yandex Creative Director
Timur Nurutdinov Yandex Designer
Pavel Okrema Yandex Designer
Inna Omelchenko Yandex Senior producer
Vasilii Ovchinnikov Yandex Senior Art-Director
Iuliia Ovechkina Yandex Frontend Developer
Sana Paritova Yandex Head of Corporate Communications
Andrey Plakhov Yandex Head of Search Functionality Department
Gleb Polushin Yandex Analyst
Konstantin Pudan Yandex Copywriter
Stas Sabirov Yandex Designer
Tonia Samsonova Yandex Head of Content Services
Evgenii Semiriakov Yandex Designer
Alexey Shagraev Yandex Manager
Denis Shaposhnikov Yandex Analytics of cross-services data department
Sergey Simonov Yandex Designer
Vladimir Smolev Yandex Analytics of cross-services data department
Andrey Styskin Yandex SVP
Sergey Ternovykh Yandex Heads of Design Team
Garry Tonakanyan Yandex Designers
Pavel Tyavin Yandex Analyst
Alexandra Yudanova Yandex Product PR lead


When Covid-19 came to Russia the life in the cities changed. International experience showed that to slow down the spread of the virus and thus save lives people should stay home. The president announced weeks off work to ensure safety and to decrease the number of social contacts. But people perceived this as vacation and went out for walks, BBQs and other free-time activities. Somebody had to do something, otherwise this behavior could cause an increase in new coronavirus cases. This is when Yandex, Russia’s largest creator of various apps and services for a more comfortable life used daily by over a half of the country’s population, decided to step in and use its resources to save people.

Describe the creative idea

We came up with a simple idea: just as you can’t bring the temperature down if you don’t measure it, you can’t decrease the number of people on the streets if you don’t know how many are there. That is how the Self-Isolation Index was developed. This is an anonymous data-based tool that shows how well people are self-isolating in different cities. It is based on the anonymous data from over 20 Yandex apps and services that are used daily by over 60% of mobile users in Russia. We had to make this tool clear for everyone, even children, that is why we made it in a form of a simple 5-grade scale. To make the resultant number more emotional we chose to color it: the red color meant the citizens were on the streets and in danger, green color meant they were at home and safe.

Describe the strategy

Yandex’s ecosystem includes dozens of mobile apps for a comfortable city living like maps, taxi, movie and music streaming, food delivery, etc. These apps are used by over 60% of Russian mobile users. Our homepage is the most visited page in the Russian segment of the web with over 70mln daily views and around 70% of mobile traffic. That is why when Covid came and the national self-isolation regime was announced we started to notice changes in how people used our apps. We decided to use anonymous trends from our services and create an aggregated Self-Isolation Index. We placed it on, so that it would be impossible for anyone to ignore it: regular users, bloggers, media and even officials. We also replaced an indicator of city traffic in all our map-based apps with our Index, as people checked these apps 2 times a day.

Describe the execution

It’s impossible to notice when one person changes his/her behavior but when many of them do, it becomes a trend. And this is what happened. Staying self-isolated, people didn't plan routes, use metro map or order taxi. At the same time they ordered more deliveries, read more content and newsfeeds, watched more movies. We compared these anonymous trends from over 85 mln users of our 24 main services and apps with the same data from before the pandemic. After all the calculations we aggregated the result into a simple 0 to 5 grade scale where 0 was equal to the regular activity day before the pandemic, and 5 meant most people were home. The Index measured daily life for 173 cities with over 100k population. We sent push notifications daily and also when the Index changed by more than 0,3 points, so people were kept posted.

List the results

~8 billion total impressions, including worldwide coverage in news, media and social platforms. +20 mln search queries daily – Yandex became the most noticeable company in Russia during the pandemic and increased the number of users from 57 to 60% of Russian internet users. The Index became an official metric of self-isolation across Russia, as the government noticed it and started to refer to it in the meetings. According to a research made by Higher School of Economic within the National Research University, the joint efforts of people and government during the self-isolation helped prevent 80 000 deaths from Covid during the first two months of the pandemic.