Mahindra Group moves to harness the power of girl child education

Mahindra Group, along with Project Nanhi Kali, aims to dispel the misconceptions around girl child education, by taking on a fresh view for the phrase with the campaign #LadkiHaathSeNikalJayegi. Conceived and scripted by FCB Interface, the campaign’s objective is to demonstrate the opportunities that result from educating every girl child. The campaign went live from August 1, 2018 across all digital channels of Mahindra Rise. 

A number of surround activities are planned to spread the word and create a movement to support the cause. These activities will celebrate women who have achieved greatness by taking that crucial first step. These women will be both from outside Mahindra, as well as inspiring stories of Nanhi Kalis across the country. 

Watch the film:

Commenting on the purpose and genesis of the campaign, Sheetal Mehta, Senior Vice President - CSR and Executive Director, KC Mahindra Education Trust, said, “With over two decades of experience in educating girls, Project Nanhi Kali has sufficient evidence that education is the only tool which enables girls to rise from a life of poverty, and go on to live a life of dignity. The objective of this campaign is to change attitudes towards girls, by giving a positive perspective to the phrase #LadkiHaathSeNikalJayegi. We hope that every Indian citizen will not only view this film, but also help spread awareness and contribute to this worthy cause.” 

“Mahindra is a socially responsible and trusted brand, but with our RISE philosophy, we not only want to do good in the community, but also aim to inspire others to do good in order to drive societal change. This is the heart of Mahindra’s ‘Rise for Good’ campaigns. With the #LadkiHaathSeNikalJayegi campaign we’re turning this phrase on its head into a message of positive empowerment for girl child education and their ensuing success,” elaborated Vivek Nayer, Chief Marketing Officer, Group Corporate Brand, Mahindra Group

Commenting on the creative thought process, Robby Mathew, Chief Creative Officer, FCB Interface, said, “This film is an ode to the unsung heroes, who reject our society’s patriarchal mindset and encourage their daughters to fly. It is a celebration of a girl child’s dreams and her father’s determination to make it happen. It changes the meaning of this often-used phrase ‘Ladki Hath Se Nikal Jaayegi’ and instead uses it to make a case for putting her destiny back into her own hands.” 

Speaking further on the campaign, Vivek Nayer told Adgully, “This campaign goes well beyond CSR. CSR is something where I’m trying to do some corporate social responsibility work in the community where we operate. With this campaign, we are trying to bring change in the society. Of course, we do a lot of CSRs, but this is something beyond that. This has not been undertaken by many brands in the market. Apart from this, the campaign further reiterates Mahindra Group’s ‘Rise’ philosophy. The whole concept of Rise makes us different from other brands. At Mahindra, we believe in driving positive change in the lives of our stakeholders. It’s not about sales and profit but going well above it. For that, we have chosen a topic that can make an impact on the society. We wanted to turn this phrase – ‘Ladki Haath se nikal jaege’ – because we believe it’s a negative thing in our society today. Brands like us have that kind of credibility and the strength to the changes in the society.” 

The reason behind making it largely a social media campaign is because the group wants to tap those people who can become the ambassadors of this campaign. “I can’t do that kind of targeting on TV because it’s too massy. I want to be smart and target those people because they will help me in driving this campaign and this message wider,” explained Nayer. He added, “Digital is extremely important. You have to be where your consumers are. If our consumers are on digital, then we have to be on digital in a big way.” 

Speaking about further activities planned, Nayer informed, “We want to do this at scale because when you do things at scale then only they create impact. We are targeting 15-20 million views over the next couple of months with this campaign. And whatever it will take us to get that, we will invest that kind of money into it. We will also do few surround activities to create bigger impact.” 

The Mahindra team conducted a detailed social media listening exercise on social issues. Not surprisingly, girl child education was among the most talked about issues online. Furthermore, focus group discussions highlighted that:

  • It was a common desire among parents to be protective of the daughter. Even working mothers felt the need to restrict their daughters’ movements
  • Men often self-appointed themselves as protectors of women
  • Even today, there is an accepted belief that certain jobs are for women, and certain jobs aren’t

The film has been conceptualised keeping these insights in consideration. A semi-urban setting was chosen for the film to ensure relatability, given that these beliefs exist not just in rural India, but also in cities. It is through a conversation between a girl and her father that the prevalent mindset is challenged by providing a new perspective to ‘Ladki Haath Se Nikal Jaayegi’. 

Since 1996, Project Nahi Kali has empowered over 350,000 girls, including 153,999 girls in this past year alone. This massive undertaking was made possible thanks to over 4,560 Community Associates who tutor Nanhi Kalis for 2 hours every day, 6 days a week through the year, working across 5,262 Academic Support Centres in remote, tribal and rural pockets, as well as urban slums in 11 states of India. The objective of the campaign is to increase awareness and encourage more and more people to join the movement.

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