What is it about poverty and farmers that we do not understand or know? We have heard of farmers committing suicide a million times, read about them in newspapers and discussed it on television. But Times of India decided that it was time to change the way we looked - or tried not to - at news about farmers committing suicide.
In a campaign titled, Farmer Suicide, Milestone Brandcom used simple data to stop people in their tracks. According to data, one farmer kills himself every half an hour in some part of India. Drought and the inability to repay loans push them to take such a step. However, while media has focused and sympathised with the departed, what it has not thought about are the ones left behind. Often, the farmer is the only earning member of the family and with his death the others in his family are brought closer to the end of their own lives. TOI and Samaj Sevak Charitable Trust decided to help them through this campaign.
Milestone used the OOH medium to bring the point home. They kept photographs of deceased farmers ready and every half an hour, put up one picture on the billboard. This worked in tandem with the data, making people realize how often this occurs. By using billboards in prominent traffic junctures in metros, they were able to drive traffic to the site, SaveTheFarmer'sFamily.com. Here a simple call to action message asked them to donate so that the families could survive.
As a result of this campaign, site views went up 45 per cent while donations on the site increased by 11 per cent. According to Milestone Brandcom, the money collected has already put 30 children back in school and helped 18 families back on their feet by teaching them alternate methods of livelihood.