The transmedia project Half the Sky is a global project with the message of fighting for basic gender equality and focus on helping women. A book of Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn with the same title inspired this multi-million dollar project and it is now being rolled out to the public. It operates on a numerous platforms such as broadcasting, Facebook, twitter, websites and online games. Celebrity appraisals from example Angelina Jolie and George Clooney have provided a high profile for this book – and now for the transmedia project.
By using this new strategy they want to easily reach their audience and use new ways of raising awareness and make people act. I think this is a very exciting and interesting way of a “charity” promotion and I think it will provide much needed focus on the current issues. Because it is not completely finished yet it’s hard to tell the outcome but the main focus will be the broadcasting, filmed in nine different countries showing what the problems are and how you can help. The specially designed games for older versions of mobile phones and computers is thought to be accessible for people in low-tech countries which means they would reach a lot of people often left out from this modern way of communication.
From the website of the game creators it is told that the audience interaction comes when stories are being told across all these platforms and then it is up to the audience to participate. It could be through a simple click on your phone and learning more about the project.
I like the design of the project and it is something that feels more modern and will reach a younger audience as well as the, in my opinion, target audience of women aged 25-50. Trouble is how they can make sure that it is something that will stay for a long time and continue to raise awareness and make people act. Because there are so many movements, organisations and information in the digital world they really have to make sure theirs is not lost. It will help a lot that they have celebrity people in the broadcastings and also important spokespeople such as Hillary Clinton. The Facebook game looks very promising by adding stories from real life and easy ways of volunteering or donating money it probably will reach a wide audience of people who haven’t read the book.
It is definitively a transmedia project, telling different stories on different platforms but with the same theme and goal. I would like to see previews of the broadcast material and in that way create a buzz before the actual premiere, they write about setting up websites to show behind the scenes but I think now would also be a good time to use YouTube for example before the premiere in 2012.
It is an important message that I hope people will engage with and make a change to the world together, with help from this huge project.
More info on the Project
Half the Sky website