Nanhi Kali: Story of the triumph of communication

14 Jun,2012

By Tuhina Anand


Project Nanhi Kali along with StrawberryFrog has set a fine example of what an evocative communication can do for a cause. When KC Mahindra Education Trust, a registered public charitable trust in India and Mahindra Foundation USA, both not-for-profit arms of the Mahindra Group commissioned StrawberryFrog NYC (known for being the world’s first cultural movement agency), it had an inkling of the path ahead. The task for the agency was to help create awareness and support for its Project Nanhi Kali globally, especially through digital and new media campaigns.


For decades, Project Nanhi Kali relied on paid advertising to generate awareness and support. Seeing the immense potential of the world wide web and the recent social media boom, the management decided to focus all its resources towards the cause and completely reinvent its marketing strategy to harness the potential of the digital media and online space.


The collaboration between Project Nanhi Kali & StrawberryFrog has witnessed the design and launch of some unique and successful digital campaigns like the ‘A Girl Story’ (, ‘Girl Store’ ( and the more recent ‘Girl Epidemic’ (


Through these innovative campaigns Nanhi Kali has not only been able to successfully create mass awareness globally and raise sponsorships amounting to $44,218 for the project as well as drive traffic to the official Nanhi Kali website and generate a buzz on online communities such as Facebook and Twitter.


The StrawberryFrog-Project Nanhi Kali collaboration has witnessed the launch of some innovative and hard-hitting campaigns that have created a buzz online. StrawberryFrog has purposefully designed these campaigns to be provocative to create an initial shock and awe response to the campaigns, and thereby create awareness and break through the wall of indifference.


The websites individually and collectively not only put the issue of uneducated girls being most vulnerable to exploitation upfront, but also provides the viewer with a solution to join the fight against it by sponsoring the education of young girls. The idea is to bring about a shift in the “culture of silence” in our societies and bring critical issues to the forefront and seek global support to bring about effective change.


Sheetal Mehta, Executive Director Project Nanhi Kali, on the Girl Epidemic (the recently launched campaign) said: “The Girl Epidemic must be seen and shared, there’s never been anything like it.”


She added, “The work for Nanhi Kali could convert those who think that creativity in advertising is on the wane. The sheer volume of first-rate award winning work being produced is impressive. From the simple brilliance of “A Girl Story” which is the world’s first donation-based online film series to another standout – The Girl Store an opportunity to bring e-commerce and creativity together in an innovative campaign and where you can buy a girl her life back before someone else takes it.


The creative excellence, strategic smarts and work ethic of StrawberryFrog working on Nanhi Kali has helped spark something special for brand Nanhi Kali. Further, StrawberryFrog has always understood that a nonprofit has limited resources, and therefore the message being sent needs to be strong and powerful enough to start a movement. The momentum, being slowly built over the past four years, has created a body of work that is outstanding. We are seeing Nanhi Kali at its best.”


Scott Goodson, Chairman of StrawberryFrog said: “Our goal with this work is to generate more money to educate girl children through Project Nanhi Kali. Period! And we wanted to do this with the greatest weapon we have at our disposal: creativity and innovation.”


Here’s a look at what StrawberryFrog has created for Nanhi Kali Project


The Girl Epidemic

StrawberryFrog & Nanhi Kali recently launched the Girl Epidemic. It shows how girls in some parts of the world are treated as an infectious disease. It highlights the centuries-old absurdity that would value the life and potential of a young girl less than a boy, the result of which is the disappearance of girls, the selling of young girls as young as 8-years-old into sex slavery or marriage. The extremely powerful campaign brings home the message that this is wrong, that it must stop, and that education is the cure. In fact, it is the cure to solving the most important challenge we face as human beings. If you educate a girl, you educate a family, and as a result you reduce overpopulation, environmental impact, hunger, disease and a host of other world problems. The Girl Epidemic shows how educating a girl can save the world.


The multiplatform Girl Epidemic campaign features an innovative e-commerce site. The main spark to ignite the Girl Epidemic is a major film production for YouTube and the Girl Epidemic ecommerce site where you can make donations. It is a unique trailer-style film that dramatizes an already disturbing societal norm. Young girls are often sold into sex slavery, child labor, and are frequently killed at birth because they are not of the desirable sex: male.


The cure for The Girl Epidemic is education. Donating to can help change deep-seated social norms by allowing girls to receive an education, therefore transforming young girls to become valuable members of society – making them indispensable.


The Girl Store

In 2010 KCMET & StrawberryFrog together launched ‘The Girl Store’ is an innovative website which allows the viewer to sponsor the supplies that allow an underprivileged girl in India to go to school and get an education. The Girl Store operates like an e-commerce site. The site asks visitors to a buy a girl her life back by donating school materials to underprivileged girls in India. Visitors can buy specific items, such as a backpack, workbooks, or school shoes for a girl pictured on the site.


The core idea reiterated throughout the site is that the life of an underprivileged girl is not a condemned fait accompli. It is up to the viewers to change her destiny by ‘buying’ her life back – empowering her through education.  Funds raised through the site are used to provide holistic educational support (not only academic support through classes, but also material support in the form of a comprehensive material kit) to underprivileged girls in India. This website has raised $40,000 through online donations on the store, from 1115 donors globally till date providing educational support to 500 underprivileged girls in India.


The site has received over 3 million hits till date, raising enough funds to send hundreds of girls to school, and has also received global media coverage. The ‘Girl Store’ has earned critical acclaim to its credit, including the ‘Bronze Pencil’ at the prestigious One Club Annual at One Show Awards held in New Yorkin 2011. It also received a ‘Bronze Cyber Lion’ at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival 2011.


A Girl Story

Launched in 2010, A Girl Story is a unique, donation-based film series that combines technology, film, and storytelling to shed light on the global challenge of educating young girls. The animated, emotional story follows the path of a young Indian girl named Tarla who wants to go to school to better her life. Whether she succeeds, however, is completely up to you, because Tarla’s story progresses only by audience donations that unlock new chapters within the film series. This website raised approximately $4,000 from 182 donors globally.


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