EXPERIENCE COMMERCE, Mumbai / LENOVO / 2016
Gender Diversity lies at the core of Lenovo’s Brand Belief. Working in partnership with NAF as part of the Scholar Network for STEM education, Lenovo has been pushing for diversity, and more opportunities, for women in STEM.
Lenovo also celebrates the bold spirit of those relentlessly pushing for change – those who never stand still. The YUWA girls of Hutup, a remote outpost in the tribal belt of Jharkhand in Eastern India, demonstrated that spirit.
In a region where 6 out of 10 girls drop out of school to be married off, or are trafficked by their own families before the age of 16, literacy is a distant dream. Yet these girls showed the fire in them to embrace technology; and it is to fulfill their dreams and aspirations that Lenovo reached out to YUWA. The brief was to empower these girls with technology platforms & skills that would help put the future back in her own hands.
Lenovo recognized that these young girls, despite being talented were being compelled to conform to stifling prejudices at home. Our single-point objective was to launch a STEM initiative that would leave the YUWA girls with a more hopeful future.
We launched the campaign platform 'Pitch To Her' inviting the target audience to pitch ideas that were feasible to implement during a 3 month internship.
To inspire the audience to make quality pitches, the girls booted up Lenovo Lab on August 11, and showcased the activities via a live blog. Over the next 5 days, they plotted a nondescript Indian village on the global map using Wikipedia and Google Street View. They collaborated with a popular musician to make tunes using Makey-Makey kits, and coded on MIT’s Scratch program.
On August 15th, India’s Independence Day, the campaign captured national imagination as social media applauded the girls using hashtag #WhenGirlsAreFree. The campaign generated 40mn impressions and garnered interest from 10+ countries.
Over the following 3 weeks, 5000+ pitches poured in. The all-girl jury at YUWA was tasked with selecting the winning interns who were revealed to the world on September 3rd.
Pitch To Her was acknowledged by global institutions (UN for Women, Half the Sky, and Girls Not Brides) that work in the field of women empowerment, and struck a chord with technology leaders like Rajan Anandan, who heads Google India. India’s leading news media supported the cause stating .. “Off-field YUWA girls script history: tribal girls creating india’s first internet app to prevent child marriages”,and played its part in taking the story global.
Lenovo also got a glowing recommendation from Franz Gastler, founder of YUWA, who wrote on his blog “I hope companies like Lenovo putting its teams in villages where they learn as much as they teach and gain as much as they give, represent a strategic shift among Indian companies building partnerships with NGOs.”
Research post campaign demonstrated an 8-point brand lift as consumers identified with the cause, and appreciated the commitment exhibited by Lenovo.