The United Nations Foundation was kicking off a new program: Girl Up, designed to take on the specific challenges facing teen and pre-teen girls in the Global South.
Teenage girls have largely been neglected as a target of international development efforts. And non-profits had barely even begun to educate donors and opinion leaders just how important it is to meet the needs of these girls. Fact is, investing in girls is one of the best ways to improve the whole of society.
But there was no real history of how to make that point, and tell that story.
The United Nations Foundation needed a video that would put the issue on the map among potential donors, and around the development community.
And – truth be told – they needed to top a well-received video that another organization had made to introduce themselves into that space.
We came up with a concept to tell a powerful narrative – the turning points that can send a girl’s life in different directions – and assembled the team of illustrators, animators, composers, editors, and a full range of talent – to make a video that would get noticed.
The result: Connecting the Dots.
The campaign has been a success by a dozen different metrics that it hadn’t even occurred to us to consider.
UNF’s corporate partners have been so enthralled by the video, that it’s been aired in various forms on the giant screen in Times Square, on scoreboards at WBNA games, on (of all places) Ivanka Trump’s Facebook page, on airport monitors around the country, and in the in-car taxi television systems in a wide array of cities.
It even got put into the much-coveted PSA rotation of MTV networks, including an airing on VH-1’s “Do Something Awards.” (Making an MTV executive cry at a viewing will inspire that, apparently).
All without paying a dime in paid advertising time.
Girl Up is now an established program, with the full commitment of the development community behind it, and a large and growing base of American women and girls who are ready to support the cause.