1 October, 2020
From the age-old Crazy Frog to the infamous Baby Shark, a tune can be dangerously catchy. So, when faced with the challenge of how to spread a social message without spreading germs at the same time, we knew music was the answer.
Our SKY Girls programme, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was established seven years ago in Botswana to help teen girls make, and stick to, the choice not to smoke. SKY doesn’t tell girls what to do, but instead strips the aspirational value out of smoking, and gives girls the tools and confidence to say no to tobacco when offered.
Four years later, SKY launched in Ghana. And this year, we set up two new SKY Girls programmes in Kenya and Côte D’Ivoire… right when the pandemic hit.
Big launch events were suddenly out of the question, robbing us of tried-and-tested strategies for building excitement around SKY and its message of staying true to yourself. So, instead, with our partner agency in Kenya, we launched ‘True to Me’: a feel-good anthem about sticking to your choices.
Creating a hit is hard; creating one with a social message is harder. So, we were over the moon when the song reached number 1 on Kenya’s biggest streaming platform.
This year, we’ve seen time and again how music can connect people from miles apart, making us feel part of something bigger than ourselves. And even when girls are socially distanced, we’re proud that the SKY spirit is still infectious.
By Sarah Howden