Spark the Rise digital platform goes live today

First Indian multinational to leverage movement marketing to drive positive change

August 17, 2011, Mumbai: After the successful launch of its new brand position – expressed by the word “Rise” – in January 2011, the US $12.5 billion Mahindra Group recently announced the launch of a multi-media movement which seeks to inspire and empower people across India to shape their own future. It consists of Spark the Rise, a movement which aims to drive positive change, and two inspiring Rise thematic TVCs.

This ambitious and provocative campaign was developed by a global team (more than 10 nationalities were involved in the creation of the work) spearheaded by Mahindra, cultural-movement agency, StrawberryFrog, award-winning filmmakers, Harmony Korine and Anthony Dod Mantle, digital agencies Qais Consulting and Blogworks.

It will launch in stages, beginning immediately with innovative digital efforts aimed at building a cultural movement from the ground up, using digital, offline and on-ground media. A major new television commercial (Rise thematic film) as well as press and online advertising will all coalesce to create a sense of a vibrant global movement.


  • While the 60 sec Rise thematic TVC premiered on TV screens on Aug 11, 2011, the Spark the Rise digital platform ( and a 30 sec Call to Action thematic TVC go live today.
  • Click here to view the 30 sec Call to Action thematic TVC:

“Rise is a simple call to action. We want to encourage people to be part of this movement and to engage with the idea of Rise - to think outside the box, to be inspired and ultimately to take action. A big idea often begins with a tiny spark of inspiration – a spark that can sometimes even ignite a revolution. Through Spark the Rise we seek to not only create a platform for ‘Sparks’ across the country to connect, collaborate and drive positive change but also lend financial support to the best ideas,” said Mr. Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra Group.

“Spark the Rise is a platform where ‘Sparks’ can start projects and ‘Volunteers’ can get involved in them to help people to Rise. By funding outstanding projects, Mahindra seeks to empower Indians to take charge of the future. Spark the Rise also aims to promote a rich culture of initiative and innovation by bringing people together to work for change. We hope that all ‘Sparks’ – not just the ones who receive grants – will utilise this unique platform to promote ideas, motivate volunteers and raise funds for building a better India,” said Mr. Ruzbeh Irani, Executive Vice President - Corporate Strategy, Chief Brand Officer - Mahindra Group and Member of the Group Executive Board.

Calling all bright ‘Sparks’

Through Spark the Rise, Mahindra intends to create a digital platform for individuals, groups and organisations to submit project plans online at Visitors to the site can view projects to offer advice or get involved by volunteering or donating money and equipment.

Each month, eight winning ‘Sparks’ will receive financial grants from Mahindra. Five will be chosen by public vote and three will be chosen by an expert jury. Over the course of six months, Mahindra will award a total of 48 grants.  In the Grand Finale, 18 finalists – the top two winners from each month by public vote plus six entries chosen by an expert jury – will have the chance to win further funding. The ‘Spark’ with the most votes and the three runners-up will receive grants.

In this first step in Mahindra’s global campaign, Spark the Rise will focus on Mahindra’s home market, India. All Indians, including individuals, institutions, corporates and non-profit organisations are eligible to apply on the site.  In addition to Indians, the global community can also participate in supporting projects by voting, volunteering, donating, and discussing.

Entrants should create a profile on Each entry must clearly state a project name, category, description and clearly explain who the project will help to ‘Rise’ and how it will achieve its goal. Participants can also note down resources already at their disposal and ask others for help related to funding, equipment, volunteers and expertise. Thus, even if a particular proposed project does not receive a grant, it can use Spark the Rise as a platform to gather the support required to implement the same.

The site also features a Discussion Board which is a place to spark conversations about how to help India Rise. Visitors can share ideas, pose questions, ask for advice, field a debate on current issues or participate in an existing conversation.

Please visit for further information.

The Rise thematic and ‘Call to Action’ TVCs

The two Rise thematic TVCs and Spark the Rise have been created by StrawberryFrog, the cultural-movement agency that helped Mahindra develop the Rise strategy. Working together with director, Harmony Korine, the creative team was able to create a piece of filmmaking that has a completely unique look and feel - thanks in large part to director of photography, Anthony Dod Mantle (winner of the Academy Award for Slumdog Millionaire and Oscar Nominee for 127 Hours).

The commercial was filmed entirely with the new ‘Phantom camera’, which shoots 1,000 frames per second to produce striking slow-motion effects.

The 60 second thematic TVC which released on August 11, 2011, shows people from different walks of life – from green activists to factory workers, from rock musicians to boxers and even school children - sitting on the ground, frozen in place, and waiting for something to happen. Halfway through the film, one young schoolgirl makes up her mind to defy the status quo: She rises, and in so doing inspires others all around to rise up with her. And then, in quick succession, the boxer knocks out his opponent, the factory workers manufacture high-technology products, a green activist inspires a room to their feet, young people in a crowd are shown celebrating freedom (in footage shot during the recent Egyptian uprising), and a runner blasts through the finish line. The film ends with the super: “There are those who accept things as they are and those who rise to change.”

“The campaign emotionally and dramatically shows the power in a simple action—Rising,” said Mr. Ruzbeh Irani, Executive Vice President - Corporate Strategy, Chief Brand Officer - Mahindra Group and Member of the Group Executive Board. “It focuses on the tension between accepting the status quo and the spark that can make a whole new world seem possible.”

Mahindra as a Group which spans everything from Aerospace to Automotive, from Farm Equipment to IT and logistics, now communicates with Mahindra’s new core purpose to all its external and internal stakeholders.

As announced by Mahindra at the time of the new brand repositioning in January, the Group intends to invest Rs. 120 crore over 3 years, in activities related to building the new brand position.

About the Mahindra Group

The Mahindra Group focuses on enabling people to rise. Mahindra operates in the key industries that drive economic growth, enjoying a leadership position in tractors, utility vehicles, information technology and vacation ownership. Mahindra has a presence in the automotive industry, agribusiness, aerospace, components, consulting services, defence, energy, financial services, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, retail, steel and two wheelers. 

A US $12.5 billion multinational group based in Mumbai, India, Mahindra employs more than 119,900 people in over 100 countries.

In 2011, Mahindra featured on the Forbes Global 2000 list, a listing of the biggest and most powerful listed companies in the world. Dun & Bradstreet also ranked Mahindra at No. 1 in the automobile sector in its list of India’s Top 500 Companies. In 2010, Mahindra featured in the Credit Suisse Great Brands of Tomorrow. Its flagship company Mahindra & Mahindra Limited is the only Indian automobile manufacturer to feature in the top 10 list of the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index in India - 2010, created by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

In 2011, Mahindra acquired a majority stake in Korea’s SsangYong Motor Company.

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For further information on Mahindra, please contact:

Ms. Roma Balwani

Senior Vice President & Group Head, Corporate Communications

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd                                                           

Phone: (+91-22) 2490 1441                                                          

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