Asking For It
Breakthrough’s Asking For It campaign was geared towards dispelling myths and raising awareness around the reality of sexual harassment. Based on Breakthrough’s research, we knew that the prevalence of sexual harassment meant that our audience couldn’t recognise the signs of harassment. Further, even if they could identify an instance of sexual harassment, they were unaware of how to react.
For this campaign, we had to reach out to a broad audience made up of people who had or could face sexual harassment – either as a survivor or as a bystander. This audience had to know how to recognise sexual harassment, and what action to take when they did.
Given the vastness of our target audience, we needed our communication to be concise as well as shareable so it could reach the maximum number of people. Our viewers needed to be able to immediately grasp the message while scrolling through their social media feeds. The message also needed to be pertinent enough to convince them to share it with their networks.
The first content pillar we devised was aimed at spurring action. Survivors and bystanders are often left feeling helpless about how to act when facing sexual harassment situation. We created a series of posts aimed at demystifying the laws available as per the IPC giving them the information they needed to take a concrete step to end sexual harassment. These included signs of sexual harassment on ground and online, as well as information on how to file an FIR.
We also needed to bring out the reality of sexual harassment and the ‘innocuous’ ways it manifests itself. For this, we spoke to five people who had dealt with sexual harassment and turned their experiences into a series of stories on Instagram. We used images with minimal text overlays to tell these stories from a first-person perspective, so viewers could put themselves in the place of the narrator.
Working with Breakthrough, we had also come to understand the nuances in language that reinforce the societal norms that lead to sexual harassment. We needed our audience to be more aware of how their own language might be perpetuating sexual harassment and violence against women. This is why our final content pillar was aimed at defining the language guidelines around sexual harassment. For instance, the use of the word ‘survivor’ rather than the word ‘victim’ or using the phrase ‘sexual harassment’ over ‘eve-teasing’.
By the end of the campaign, Breakthrough’s #AskingforIt album on Facebook went viral with over 8,000 organic shares. The album was also picked up by content sharing websites including ScoopWhoop, Storypick and The Logical Indian.
Breakthrough’s page reach increased from 28,000 to 3 million in a day. The campaign #AskingForIt had 612 mentions on Twitter along with 882 re-tweets in the course of its one-month duration.