Friendicoes, an animal charity in Delhi, has been sheltering and protecting distressed and stray animals for the past 30 years. On 13th August 2015, Friendicoes put out the word that they would be forced to shut down all services, if it failed to pay huge medical and food bills within a week. They had desperately reached out to various sources to raise funds, but nothing materialized.
We conceived a digital campaign to raise awareness, galvanise support and drive immediate donations. In line with our goal of evoking people’s empathy and generosity to donate, we named the campaign - #MAKEAFRIEND.
• #MAKEAFRIEND went live with this short compelling video, specially designed for viewing on the go. The video went viral, was watched by millions across the globe and money started pouring in.
• Celebrities took onto Twitter to make #MAKEAFRIEND one of the top 5 trending Twitter hashtags for 1 week in India.
• The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) owed Friendicoes INR 30 lakh for the animal sterilization programme. We collaborated with www.change.org to start an online petition for the release of funds. The petition crossed its goal of 10,000 signatures and caught the attention of the Chief Minister.
• Next, we conducted a photo-shoot with the animals at the shelter and created a series of posters with their photographs and messages from them. At consistent intervals, these posters were released from the Friendicoes FB page. Witty and topical, these posters became extremely popular and were liked, loved and shared by thousands.
• Thousands of profile pictures and banners across FB began to pop up with these posters in a matter of hours. This ensured that #MAKEAFRIEND was constantly trending on people’s FB walls and feeds and the flow of donations kept swelling.
• The crowd funding stormed through social media and surpassed the initial goal of INR 20 lakhs in two days. Even the revised target of INR 40 lakhs in just three weeks. The campaign finally closed at 61 lakhs. Donations poured in from all states of the country and from even outside the country.
• The change.org online petition’s success stepped up pressure on the Delhi government and the MCD released 30% of the funds due to Friendicoes as a direct result of the petition.
• Riding on the wave of this campaign, several other initiatives, artists, individuals came on board and designed their own off-shoots of #MAKEAFRIEND. This added another 10 lakhs to the Friendicoes kitty.
Using the power of creating strong videos and posters on Facebook and Twitter, #MAKEAFRIEND phenomenally soared as an extremely impactful campaign in supporting Friendicoes resume its services of protecting those who are of least priority to the State.