ADDED: Image sketch of the campaign overview with the key stakeholders, their roles and incentives for participation.
An overview of the (RED) initiative for those who are unfamiliar here
Let's try to move away from the negative re-inforcing of gender stereotypes. There are countless men out there who care and are prepared to act in support for the women. Why don't we harness the power of this group to subdue the would-be-attackers and build a sense of safety and security for the women
Building on the Gillette Soldiers Wanted campaign: (Contribute your suggestions in the comments please)
- One of the biggest strength of the big FMCG brands, is their product line. Would love to see if they can bring in advertising to their packaging (think of cigarette packs but with positive behavior reinforcing images this time instead of gory images) lines or to the store fronts they sell their products in. There were a number of ideas shared in the research phase which highlighted the importance of behavior change at a subconscious level. An example here
- Raising awareness for the public through social media/TV Ads is a good first step. The real impact however depends on how far the campaign can extend to the grassroots because the likely attackers are more likely to be your under-educated, unemployed youth in sub-urban/rural areas than the metrosexual men in the cities.
- Brands can and should move away from trying to get just social media eyeballs, to actually scaling up their grassroots program involvement. Instead of social media targets, brands can set targets such as # of workshops run, # of men-at-risk reached, # of sustained engagements, etc
- Working with NGOs is a great step, but can we multiply the reach by roping in other associations/groups where men congregate - higher secondary schools, unis, sports grounds, fan clubs, etc
- Starting a movement for this cause equivalent to that which Bono championed for AIDS in Africa through Product (RED) can drive business growth through increased sales and stronger customer loyalty.
- An alternative is to consider the TOMS Shoes 1 for 1 model, in which every single product which is purchased, contributes to a women empowerement initiative of a partnering NGO.
- By building a partnership with communities targeting the youth in remote areas, brands also build outreach channels and brand exposure in hard to reach areas, which provides opportunities for direct customer feedback, new product testing, building customer engagement and importantly driving sales.
- Can we bring in visual identifiers which can help the "soldiers" recognize each other? In India, we have the Rakshabandhan festival in which sisters tie of threads called Rakhis to the wrists of their brothers and male friends they consider brotherly. Can we make special Rakhis to identify the soldiers ?
- Should we promote special badges/pins for these "soldiers"?
- As part of the campaign, the male soldiers could train the women in the art of self-defence through training classes
- As part of self-defense curriculum, the women could also have alarm triggers - a loud noise alarm, a quick dial number, a self-defense weapon, etc