A spate of eve-teasing and rape incidents had shattered the nation. Women had lost faith in men and men were losing respect. Few bad apples had maligned the image of all men. The marketing challenge was to resurrect the male image in such a volatile and sensitive period.
Sexual harassment is an endemic problem in India. Women are taught from childhood to avoid late nights, not to go out alone and distrust strangers. Indian women feel threatened by men but also feel the most protected around them, when they are accompanied by their loved ones ie. brother/father/husband. Other men just didn’t inspire the same confidence, as Indian men would go to any lengths to protect their own; however they would not get involved and behave as bystanders when it came to other women. The Soldierly behaviour was limited to protecting their own, this needed to change.
It was time for someone to take up the challenge. Challenge to re-instil faith by showcasing the good and encouraging all to stand up together for HER and for the nation. The men, who do stand up for everything right, the ones who do make their little contributions every day in making this society worth living, were feeling outcast and in search of a voice who would speak their heart out.
Based on the insight “Women feel safe and secured only with their loved ones”, the task for Gillette was to create an environment where men would show solidarity with women and women would feel safe and secure even in the absence of her near and dear ones.
Mediacom took a look at history and realised that whenever a nation is faced with any catastrophe, it is the soldiers who come in, with their inherent courage, discipline and conviction to win back trust and create balance.. Thus was born - Gillette Soldier For Women.
The agency leveraged real life 'Soldiers for Women' like the Ex-President of India and noted scientist Dr APJ Abdul Kalam along with India's most credible personalities, to launch a national campaign, inspiring men to take collective fighting action against eve-teasing. Men solemnised their support to protecting women by taking a pledge of “Don’t be a Bystander, Stand by her”.
Gillette stepped in to give the nation what it was starving for RESPECT and HOPE giving birth to a social initiative “Soldier For Women”.
The journey of the campaign from the intent of winning back the respect of men in women’s mind to celebrating hope was divided into 3 phases:
In Phase I, vignettes were encapsulated with celebs urging men to stand up and respect women by taking up the pledge.
In second phase, women were urged to share stories on how common men have made a difference by displaying soldier values. These inspiring stories ranging from daily experiences at bus stops and trains, to girls saved and rehabilitated from the flesh trade by brave and socially driven Samaritans were showcased on national TV.
Thus when these acts of bravery were shared across various media, it helped in not only reducing the negativity surrounding the persona of men, but also reassured the women that soldiers do exist in society and they outnumber the bad guys.
In final phase, top celebrities and eminent speakers participated in panel discussions hosted in a college campus. Also a culmination event was held where all celeb came together to celebrate HOPE
Gillette joined hands with NGOs –Akshara & Plan India to conduct workshops.
The brand released an open letter, authored by the Ex-President of India in the leading national newspaper. Contextual ads on Linkedin were aimed at recruiting soldiers by forming a group. It also devised a soldier parade on FB where 1.6 million people joined in just one month. #Soldierforwomen & #iStandup trended in every city and made it more interactive with the TA.
On International Women’s day, Gillette launched women mobile safety app which allows them to trigger instant alerts in emergency.
• The campaign delivered 103 Index on Top of line sales and achieved the highest ever off take (122 Index) and overall Gillette share (122 Index)
• All Gillette key equities grew by +7 -10 %; Awareness was a record 34 % amongst rep (200 IYA)
• 12 Million men pledged to support women
• 300,000 stories of Men of Honour
• 3.4 million YouTube views
• $5m worth of free media
• #iStandUp trended no.1 worldwide
• #SoldierforWomen trended in every city
• Received 433 blogs with a reach of 34 million
• Gillette India is amongst Top 5 FMCG YouTube channels
• 25+ celebs supported the movement free of cost