How Experience Commerce & Lenovo India empowered YUWA girls to demonstrate the brand belief of ‘Fail Forward’

Case study by Experience Commerce & Lenovo India to bring alive new brand proposition while enabling YUWA girls to achieve their goals, under the category: 'Best Real Time Marketing' for LI Digital Awards 2017


The Client

Lenovo, a technology brand of global repute is known for its out-of-the-box and innovative products. Over the years, Lenovo acquired IBM’s Think division and continues to improve on the legendary brand year after year. But what truly sets Lenovo apart is its homegrown line of YOGA Laptops and Tablets. At its very core, Lenovo as a brand believes in doing things differently for the sake of being better.

The Agency

Experience Commerce designs intelligent businesses that connect humanly with the world. We are an agency of whole-brain thinkers, offering the perfect blend of creative imagination, digital media and analytical intelligence. ​Using​​ ​an innovative wired approach​ ​to connect​​ ​brand assets with content & commerce platforms,​ ​our solutions enable transformation to a digital business.

Problem Statement

In the eyes of the consumer, Lenovo is widely known and revered for its products. But the problem for the brand was people did not know what Lenovo stands for.

Lenovo’s brand belief titled ‘Fail Forward’ celebrates those who take failure in their stride and keep moving forward. To overcome this problem, Lenovo partnered with YUWA- an NGO based out of Jharkhand that uses football to empower tribal girls in the state’s rural parts. Tribal girls from this region are victims of trafficking and child marriage.

In 2016, when the fledgling YUWA team was invited to the world’s largest youth soccer tournament in Spain, Lenovo saw a unique opportunity that will help translate one of the core Lenovo’s brand beliefs to behavior by telling the heroic story of these girls to the world.

The Yuwa girls made perfect role models to demonstrate this belief and thereby translate this brand belief to behavior in the consumers’ eyes.

Identified Objectives

The client brief called for a participative campaign specifically seeking to engage the audience during the entire 2-week journey of the girls. The plan was to showcase the girls’ journey to raise awareness about their cause, and invite interested people to a crowd-funding exercise to help build a school for these girls.

The Strategy/Execution

The idea

The idea was to produce the first-of-its-kind, unscripted documentary in near real time, by casting Yuwa Girls in an episodic ‘Girls with Goals’ film that was going to be the world’s first such storytelling (format) innovation. And a radical departure from the usual way a cause is communicated.


When it comes to a powerful cause such as this, one often loses sight of reality in an attempt to endear people through compassionate storytelling.

As a result, they end up with minimal audience interaction. We came up with the creative idea based on the insight that people to like to participate in live sporting events. The rush to be in the moment pulls people like a magnet.


The creative challenge was to tell a story where you have an underlying brand theme, know the beginning but not the end.  Whether the girls lost all their games or won them all, the #FailForward brand attitude still had to come through.

Lenovo brand ambassador Ranbir Kapoor played the role of storyteller. We leveraged this A-lister’s movie and football connect (he being the co-owner of premier club Mumbai City FC)

We leaked a teaser of Ranbir to his fan clubs to pique their interest and to draw the audience in. At the opportune moment, we released the first episode of the documentary through our social channels and the fan clubs.

This move acted as a catalyst as people instantly connected to the story, wishing the girls well in their endeavour, and some, in their patriotic fervour held the girls as India’s unsung heroes. All of Ranbir’s scenes were completely unscripted, with him improvising as the camera rolled.

Seeing the overwhelming response from the audience to Episode 1, we used this engaged audience as evangelizers to spread the message for a dream school, further. We came up with the ‘Kick For A Brick’ challenge. Every time a ball was kicked on social media, Lenovo responded by adding a brick to the YUWA girls’ school.

Entries came in from college students, girls, mothers, little kids and even educational institutions to show their support.

Lenovo Girls with goals

As entries started pouring in on Facebook and Twitter, the girls touched down in Spain. We immediately hit the ground running as the girls took to acclimatizing to the new conditions. We followed them to their practice sessions and captured them preparing, all the while looking for high-points and low points to tell a dramatic story.

The biggest challenges came when the tournament began. We did not know how the girls were going to fare in their games and we went in blind during each and every game, thinking on our feet and capturing footage that showcased the girls’ #FailForward attitude in Episode 3 & 4.

But we didn’t stop there. To further add to the authenticity of the campaign, we broadcasted the YUWA girls’ group games LIVE on Facebook and even played it to their friends and family back home in Hutup.

The Girls With Goals web asset housed all of the UGC and also served as a hub for the initiative, educating people about it, providing daily updates of the girls’ journey, and housing all the episodes. To further encourage the audience to have a say in this story, the website egged them on to contribute funds for the YUWA school.

Lenovo Kickforabrick

A fundraising campaign page was setup on Ketto that encouraged people to contribute to the YUWA school. Every episode we released subsequently brought people back to the website where they could either take the ‘Kick for a brick’ challenge or contribute funds.

But we didn’t stop there. To further add to the authenticity of the campaign, we broadcasted the YUWA girls’ group games LIVE on Facebook and even played it to their friends and family back home in Hutup.


All episodes put together, racked up 10,000+ shares. More than 800 genuine comments, and 5.3M views. The LIVE games broadcasted on Facebook garnered 6k unique viewers and the YUWA girls fundraising effort was kick started as we raised close to 1.68 lakh rupees in 10 days.

Engagement went through the roof as people from all parts of the country couldn’t help but laud the YUWA girls and their efforts.


  1. When it comes to real time marketing campaigns, it is important to engage the audience at the same time. If they’re made just mere spectators, then the whole point of doing a real-time campaign is rendered redundant.
  1. Using a celebrity is tricky. The right cues need to be given so that the celebrity’s involvement doesn’t look staged. There must be a strong rationale behind using a celebrity and making their part in the story believable.