When controversy equals success

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Posted on 22nd Nov 2011 by Scott Goodson in Case Studies

Being controversial can make a campaign stand out and create a lot of buzz, and so when we created www.the-girl-store.org for non-governmental organization Nanhi Kali, which aims to provide underprivileged Indian girls with 10 years of quality education, we knew exactly how provocative it would be.

It was the whole point. We had to make it stand out to get the impact needed. The name itself implies a website where you can actually buy an Indian girl. But what it actually encouraged were people to buy a girl her life back through education. Visit the site and you can buy one of the girls featured all the tools they need for their education – backpacks, workbooks, school shoes.

Its impact was so great that within 24 hours of launch, all ‘stock’ had sold out, and to date the site has received over three million hits, raising enough funds to send hundreds of girls to school.

The campaign was so successful it received not one but two Cannes Bronze Cyber Lions awards, one for its impact as a charity and awareness-raising website and the other for best use of video.

Because, cleverly, we also included an animated video story of a young Indian girl called Tarla. But there was no set ending to her story. Whether she got to school was completely up to the viewer. She only progressed through viewer donations, which unlocked new chapters in the video’s series.

Project Nanhi Kali is part of the work we do for the Mahindra Group, for which we also created a Cultural Movement around just one word - Rise. Nanhi Kali’s goal is to reach out to 500,000 girls by March 2014, currently it supports the education of over 70,000 girls in nine states in India, which is increasing by the day.

The project is a great, inspiring example and a fitting tribute to the Rise Cultural Movement. Through Nanhi Kali and The Girl Store, Mahindra drives positive change for the better, enabling people to ‘Rise’ and make a better future for themselves.

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