You’re most likely to be the victim of shaming for the first time in your teens.
But today, shaming isn’t just confined to the classroom. It’s on social, on mobile – and girls are often too scared to stand up to the bullies.
Objective: Help young Israeli girls take a stand
EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US HAS SEEN BULLYING AND HASN’T INTERVENED
Some of us have been the victims of bullying or shaming, some have stood by when it’s been happening to others, just happy to be the one who isn’t picked on. This is a universal experience.
Technology is often blamed for the ills of the world and, in the hands of shamers, it can be a destructive tool. But what if technology could also be part of the solution?
Virtual Reality, for example, makes anything possible. It lets us experience out-of-this-world activities in a safe and controlled environment. What if we could let girls experience – and overcome – the challenges of adolescence before they had to face them for real?
What if, for example, we could harness its power to assist girls who are facing shaming?
Talking to girls who had experienced shaming first hand or witnessed it as by-standers, we realised that their first physical reaction was simply a loss for words.
We understood that preparing these girls in advance could act as a rehearsal for bullying, giving them the ability to find the right words to combat the bullies. Our insight was that Virtual Reality technology could allow us to create a unique experience. One where they would be able not just to witness shaming, but to stop it, to understand what to say in the moment and ultimately change the outcome.
It was time to take a stand!
WE WOULD USE VIRTUAL REALITY TO ALLOW GIRLS TO CONFRONT THE SHAMERS
Always is Israel’s leading feminine hygiene brand. Nevertheless, it faces stiff competitor pressure, particularly at the younger end of its market. Sanitary products are a loyalty-driven market. Once a woman has found a brand she likes, she tends to stick with it.
However, teens and young adults have yet to form absolute loyalty and can therefore still be persuaded to try alternatives.
Always’ purpose is to build feminine confidence both through its products, as well as on a higher-level, by empowering girls. So as mobile and social media proliferation helped public shaming become more prevalent (one in five girls are now affected), Always wanted to be the brand that gave girls the confidence to resist bullies.
Our strategy would use Virtual Reality to give girls an insight into what shaming looks and feels like. It would build their confidence to take a stand.
This would be a new form of Virtual Reality – Empowering Reality – that would use video content to create real-life situations that challenged our target audience.
It would be like a dress rehearsal and we would give them the right words to say, just when they needed them most.
On-screen subtitles would help them respond, so rather than being lost for words, they would be empowered to tackle the shamers in the moment.
The launch would be a major event, getting our target involved and attracting a huge audience to drive a national debate.
This would be amplified via digital, using 360-degree versions of our experiences, to recreate the same, in-the-room feeling across the country.
Additionally, we would seek to earn coverage both via the power of our execution to drive social media content, but also by putting the issue of shaming on the media agenda.
WE PLACED ISRAELI WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE OF A SHAMING INCIDENT
We launched our campaign on International Women’s Day with a pop-up VR booth in the centre of Tel Aviv.
We challenged passers-by to try our experience with a powerful rally cry: “Don’t be a bystander, take a stand”.
Once inside the booth, our videos – developed with local start-up company REACT – made the participants the lead actors in a drama, with scripted on-screen subtitles guiding them on how and where to intervene.
We gave them the opportunity to feel what it’s like to be part of a shaming incident and, more importantly, the words they needed to respond the moment they saw it, as well as the confidence to do so.
Huge TV screens relayed the drama to the crowds watching outside.
This event gave us a platform we could amplify and the same experience was transmitted across the nation via interactive first of its kind 360-degree videos on YouTube, targeted at girls watching popular teen content.
Alongside this, we built support and media coverage for our movement to “take a stand” by creating a national petition to challenge the shamers.
Stern Ariely Sahar Communication