In 2011, Mahindra & Mahindra, Indian multinational farm equipment-to-software group embarked on a new brand positioning to project a singular voice for various entities under its umbrella. The group decided to use ‘Rise’ as the new brand positioning. This year the company came forward to support the farmers in their tough times.
The state of farmers in our country isn’t hidden. According to reports, in the last 3 years more than 3000 farmers have committed suicide.
In these times of crisis Mahindra wanted to lend its hand beyond providing moral and financial help, without hurting the dignity of farmers. So instead of using suicide or a bleak, dark filter to highlight the situation, the objective was to allow people to get involved by focusing on the pride that we feel for our farmers and the work that they do.
With digital in mind Mahindra involved Mumbai based digital agency Flying Cursor. “The brief was to use digital to change the sentiment around our farmers,” informed Shormistha Mukherjee, Director at Flying Cursor in an exclusive conversation with Lighthouse Insights.
Named as #SeedTheRise, the digital crowd funding campaign had a close to two minute digital film at its core which drives people to a web portal. The portal has five social causes related to farmers and people who wish to participate in the campaign can select any one of the five projects, and donate to these initiatives. Mahindra, which aimed to raise funds of Rs. 2 crore for farmers, doubled the donations for farmers welfare.
The video features Bollywood’s most acclaimed actor of recent times Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who begins by telling the stories and hardships of farmers. How they work 365 days and even if they might not have the riches but their heart is always big. Thereafter he talks of times when everyone needs some help and today these farmers need our help. The video ends on a positive note inviting everyone to support five projects listed on the website – seedtherise.com.
Along with the film, the second big effort was designing and developing the website – the final destination where people could know about the initiative, projects and provide a helping hand.
“The main thought was always to narrate the story in the first glance. Since we realized how powerful the basic idea was, and that it was going to be supported by an impactful video, we wanted to covey our message on the site very directly and come straight to the point of how people could help the farmers by donating through well-crafted communication,” Kartik Chandramouli, Creative Director at Flying Cursor informed.
Once you are on the single page portal - #SeedTheRise, the first snapshot of the website has ample information to know about the initiative, how you can donate and the most important thing - the donation counter. A much required counter to earn trust in such projects.
As you scroll down you come across the five projects. Milaap, the online fund raising platform based in Bangalore was roped in the project since it not only has the technology and experience for crowdfunding campaigns but also the expertise to verify and audit the work of the five selected projects.
In a card layout design, the projects have been placed under categories such as Information, Education, and Alternative Livelihood among others. Tap on any of the causes to get enough information about the project and how you can make the online donation. If you are not comfortable with online donation you can make it via cheque too.
One of the very basic requirements of any website is that it should have ample amount of easy to consume information at finger tips. “Absolutely, presentation of content can simplify or spoil everything depending on how it’s done. It’s important to be careful about overdoing it with the content. For instance, we had a strong video but our main aim was not to focus on showcasing it once a user was on the site. To show the users our idea and motivate them to donate was more important.”
Providing more insights over an email on how presentation of content was taken care, Kartik recollected that all the essential information was in one scroll itself, without directing one to any other page. “A donation campaign needs strong calls to action, so we made sure that the copy and design worked in sync to establish that.”
A good design and presentation is of no use if the technology used fails to cater to the expectations of today’s digitally equipped user. Not just being responsive is mandatory, elements like how fast a site loads on different devices, structuring of the content are crucial too, and it was taken care on the #SeedTheRise website.
“The site was annotated on the video and we knew a lot of people would visit the site via mobile. This meant that the loading time of the site had to be minimal. The wireframe of the site was planned in such a way that, apart from just being responsive, it also had a modular approach to content which meant that there was a clear distinction in structure between every content piece,” Kartik shared while explaining about the execution keeping a device agnostic approach.
With a topic of national significance, the team was well aware that the site would be viewed by people outside India as well. So the standards of design were made globally appealing and user friendly while explaining the idea simply and optimally. “When you expect users to give you money, the journey through the site has to be simple, seamless and logical to make them feel comfortable. And we think we achieved that.”