Breakthrough, an NGO working to end violence against women has recently released a video which highlights how communication between a mother and son about sexual harassment can have a lasting impact on the son. The video titled ‘Popcorn’ has been conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather. A second film will be out soon. The tone of the film is educative and the narration has been kept simple.
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KV Sridhar, Chief Creative Officer, Sapient Nitro, said, “It is a beautiful way of tackling eve-teasing. The agency has worked on a very beautiful insight that teenage boys will learn the most from their mothers. The conversation which a mother and a son can have is not as same as the one between a brother and sister. The idea of talking and having an open conversation with your son is unique and it stands out. It is after the conversation with his mom that the behaviour of the teenage son changes. The age group of the child along with the mom totally goes with the story line.”
According to a survey done by the NGO, every woman deals with sexual harassment in varying degrees in her day to day life. It showed that 90 percent of women and girls have experienced sexual harassment once in their lifetime. In maximum cases, young boys and men are actually unaware of what constitutes sexual harassment. Many of their actions that are ‘fun’ to them can actually be categorised as harassment. Worse still, their actions are justified by friends, family and community with a dismissive statement — “boys will be boys”. The agency thus made the ad that this notion needs to change immediately and it has to first start from one’s home.
Sharing insights on the creative strategy, Zenobia Pithawalla - Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather said, “The task at hand was to go beyond creating awareness. Society needed a solution. To talk to these young men, we decided to partner with the greatest influencers in their lives - their mothers. It was important for every son to realise even his mother is not spared. So we invited mothers to share their sexual harassment stories with their sons. In the hope that every son will do his bit to ensure what happened to his mother doesn’t happen to another woman."
One of the most popular campaigns was the Bell Bajao or ‘Ring the Bell’ campaign, which was launched by Breakthrough in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Development and UN Trust Fund. The campaign, conceptualised by Ogilvy was targeted at men and boys to urge them to ring the bell and intervene if they witness domestic violence.
The films highlighted that men overheard violence against a woman taking place and ring the doorbell to ask a simple question such as to borrow some tea, to use the phone or to have a glass of water. The intension behind which was to let the abuser know that others can hear them and will act to interrupt the violence.
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