Working under an illusion of anonymity and emboldened by sheer ease-of-use, some segments of people abuse the internet and digital platforms, using these as outlets to insult and bully, or to spread lies and rumours. There is always the assumption that such behaviour has no real impact as it doesn’t happen for real – only on a screen. The campaign needed to somehow impress upon audiences that online bullying has real-life consequences; and inversely, that putting the positive values of integrity, respect, responsibility and empathy into the digital would likewise brighten peoples’ days for real.
Positive actions start from the heart. Our goal with Safer Internet Day 2017 was to leverage emotions and empathy to encourage positive and constructive online interaction and communication. Bullying is sometimes so easy it comes naturally. Yet, seeing someone in pain is one of the hardest things to watch. At the core of our campaign, we used an emotive story-led commercial to juxtapose these thoughts into a powerful narrative that would resonate and initiate introspection. This was supplemented by cyberwellness information and resources across a mix of engagement platforms.
Our TVC presented a story of a protagonist who learns too painfully what cyberbullying does to a person, resulting in a change of heart. Above-the-line further reinforced how what happens online hurts for real. From there, we progressively built a satellite ecosystem to equip audiences with knowledge and guides on how to do what’s right online for a better internet. With fake news proliferating and excessive screen time on the rise – we also aimed to educate digital natives and the larger general populace on ideal content consumption habits.
We conducted social experiments in youth-filled Orchard Road, where we staged real-life enactments of bullying and fake news scenarios to capture peoples’ reactions. Moderators then engaged the youths to chat about the subject matter. These were subsequently seeded online and on the campaign microsite. It proved a powerful way to bring bullying and fake news to light.
Campaign results were positive. More than one in two could recall the campaign, while over 60% of those surveyed found the social experiments effective. Online alone, the TVC views are upwards of 800,000. But perhaps most telling in terms of how the Safer Internet Day campaigns over the years have performed overall was that approximately 60% of the people surveyed said the 2017 campaign would not change their behaviour. Because, truth is, they were already practicing positive internet behaviour! Turns out there're plenty of people already playing their part for a better internet, and we're glad we helped do our bit. Not just as the agency in 2017, but as the 2016 and 2014 agency as well!