|Product / Service||AWARE|
|Category||B07. Use of Digital Platforms|
|Entrant||AWARE Singapore, SINGAPORE|
|Idea Creation||FORSMAN & BODENFORS Singapore, SINGAPORE|
|Media Placement||FORSMAN & BODENFORS Singapore, SINGAPORE|
|PR||FORSMAN & BODENFORS Singapore, SINGAPORE|
|Production||FORSMAN & BODENFORS Singapore, SINGAPORE|
|Post Production||FORSMAN & BODENFORS Singapore, SINGAPORE|
|Additional Company||LOVE, BONITO Singapore, SINGAPORE|
|Corinna Lim||Association of Women for Action & Research (AWARE)||Executive Director|
|Kelly Leow||Association of Women for Action & Research (AWARE)||Communications Manager|
|Vanessa Yeo||Love, Bonito||VP of Brand|
|Qihao Shum||Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore||Creative|
|Lena Paik||Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore||Creative|
|Jason Feng||Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore||Designer|
|Adrian Ortiz||Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore||Campaign Manager|
|Carolina Rodriguez||Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore||Innovations Officer|
|Sanna Britsman||Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore||Engagement Lead|
ShopForHelp was developed as a response to the alarming increase in domestic violence brought about by the introduction of lockdown measures in Singapore. While support helplines have always been available, victims of domestic violence used to have opportunities to leave their homes and seek help in person, or for the privacy to make a call. But with the lockdown in place, that was no longer possible. To provide assistance, we needed an alternative channel to reach women discreetly at home. The solution: leveraging online shopping behavior to create a disguised helpline within an e-commerce page.
Since the introduction of lockdown (“circuit breaker”) measures in Singapore from April 2020, there has been a significant increase in domestic violence. Gender-equality group AWARE received a total of 752 calls to its Helplines in May 2020 (a 137% increase in family violence reports 436% increase in emotional and psychological distress vs 2019). This was a new, worrying, all-time high record for the organization, whose Helpline had been in place since 1991. Yet, the true extent of domestic violence is likely even higher as many cases go unaccounted for, due to victims being unable to seek help. AWARE urgently wanted to reach more women with their helpline. The objective was to find new, innovative ways to make AWARE's services accessible to women while trapped at home, lacking privacy.
While studying lockdown behavior, one trend was clear: the shift to online shopping. As the pandemic progressed, e-commerce sales spiked by 71.1%. Women flocked online to buy everything from food staples to fitness equipment, electronics to loungewear. They were not only purchasing items, but actively searching and browsing more. We had the idea to leverage on this media behavior and turn it into a most unlikely gateway for assistance - one where women could literally 'Shop For Help’. The idea was to hide the mechanics for connecting with Aware in a place male abuser would never look - a women's fashion sites. What appears as just a regular shopping promotion page, is revealed to be a hidden message from AWARE, and a way to contact them. By providing a disguise, we wanted women to feel safe enough to ask for help.
For our idea to work successfully and quickly, we wanted to work with a female-focused brand that already had a large female customer base. So we collaborated with Love Bonito, Singapore's largest female shopping site that garners 360K visits per month. Together we developed a seamless platform integration where Love, Bonito's front page highlights several promotions, include a 'Stay at Home promotion'. When clicking here, users are directed to a page with the exact same look and feel as the rest of the site, but with content from AWARE. These hidden messages inform women of signs of abuse and the help available to them, including how to directly contact AWARE. Keeping the promotion 'stealthy' was key to our approach. There was no paid media investment to support it. Instead we relied on Love, Bonito's high organic traffic, organic social posts and WOM between women to spread the word.
Timing was crucial as we needed to move fast in order to help prevent more cases of domestic violence from happening. We also knew that our target audience might be short on time, requiring us to create a simple, seamless consumer journey. Through one click, audiences could make an appointment to chat online with an AWARE professional counsellor. Our promotion is disguised with the same look and feel as Love Bonito's other seasonal campaigns. Following the pattern of many other 'Stay Home' collections launched during circuit breaker, and 'ordinary' Love, Bonito promotions, we shared the page campaign on Instagram Stories and used the Swipe Up feature to direct people into our page, which is revealed to be Aware helpline. The campaign ran throughout Singapore's circuit breaker phase 2, when women needed it most.
After the campaign launched, 18% of all chat sessions were referred to AWARE via ShopForHelp. This illustrates how important this touchpoint became in AWARE's overall community outreach strategy during lockdown. The ShopForHelp campaign also helped expand AWARE's reach to new demographics, connecting a whole new group of women—Love Bonito's community—to AWARE's support. AWARE is now in talks with other e-commerce sites, including skincare, makeup, and maternity retailers to provide more support and resources, so that women everywhere can be safe.