TOASTER, Gurgaon, / GOOGLE / 2022
For many Indians access to the internet has been a transformative force. But barriers still exist for millions who are new to the internet and who don’t know how to access information comfortably.
To help overcome this, Google, driven by the belief that information is empowering, made voice search its focus in India.
While voice search makes access to information easy and intuitive for all, we realized there was another significant barrier that it alone couldn’t overcome; a cultural barrier that’s holding half the population back. Our research pointed us to gender biased voices inside and outside the home that taunt and discourage women whenever they ask questions. As a result, curtailing them.
To overcome this deep-rooted gender bias, we needed to find an idea for Google voice search that encouraged women to stand up to these voices and break information barriers so that they can fulfill their dreams.
Even in the 21st century, women in India are faced with taunts like – “prepare for your marriage and not your MBA” and “what will people say if you play sports with boys?”. These taunts from voices inside and outside the home revealed to us a deep-rooted gender bias that still holds women back from accessing their potential.
In this context we knew the role of Google voice search lay in challenging this significant barrier and empowering women.
Thus, #SearchForChange was born – a Women’s Day campaign by Google India that challenged regressive gender biased voices in society, inspired women to do so and empowered them with the tool to access their potential and dreams.
Our target audience were young women across the country. Women who have access to the internet via their phones, but lack the confidence to unleash its potential because of gender-biases.
We chose Women’s Day to kickstart this campaign because that’s one day everyone is focused on women. But this was also our biggest challenge. It is a day when almost every brand and individual is focused on creating posts, tweets, stories and reels celebrating women.
In this context, our approach had to cut through all of this.
With streets regaining their hustle and bustle post the lifting of COVID restrictions, we noticed outdoors were still not being heavily used. So, we decided to focus on delivering our message of #SearchForChange via hoardings to drive conversation online. And with strategically developed films, digital assets and use of women influencers we knew we could drive our message into homes across the country.
On 4th March we started with unbranded outdoors across 7 cities highlighting the deep-rooted gender biases via taunts women hear every day and asked a simple question – #WhyTheBias. Triggered by these, young women in these cities sparked a conversation online. Inspiring women celebrities stepped forward to take this conversation nationwide.
As the conversation grew online, on 8th March – Women’s Day – Google stepped forward to show women the power of their voice and voice search against gender-biases via the same hoardings. Here inspiring local women heroes featured on these hoardings and women celebrities amplified our message across social media.
To amplify this message further, we launched an inspiring film on social media and TV. This together with digital assets created resonance for our message. All this grabbed the attention of leading national publications who pushed our message into dining rooms and kitchens across the country with their articles.
Around International Women’s Day, we broke all our records as the campaign grabbed the attention of and engaged with women:
· In just a few days, it generated earned media worth over USD 500,000. *
· 144K people participated in conversations online with #SearchForChange.*
All this drove a deeper relevance for Google and voice search as we saw record jumps in female users and search queries by them:
· 17% jump in female users using Google Search Vs the year before. *
· 21% jump in search queries by female users on Google Search Vs the year before. *
* Google India Internal Campaign evaluation matrix
ESSENCE, New york