Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Adnan Arnautlija
Despite progress over the years where women perform visible roles in certain contexts and stages in the Albanian society, there is still widespread evidence of the continued exclusion of women from the critical decision-making in Albania.
The barrier is both in the overall society in which these women (should) seek inclusion, as well as in the mentality of some of the young women themselves.
An additional barrier is – since gender parity and equal role of women have been a decades-long topic in media, schools, etc. – that people are under the impression that they have their prejudices resolved. Consequently, many of them do not realize they are discriminating themselves, every day, without even being aware of it.
Based on this situation, USAID asked the agency New Moment Tirana to create an awareness campaign with the main goal to help the target audiences (both men and women) realize the wrong perception they have regarding the capacities, potentials and qualities that women have in influencing their own lives, the community, and the society.
The most challenging part of the task came from the fact that most of the Albanians have a deeply embedded gender prejudices towards women, of which they are not aware, and refuse to change their mentality, thinking that they are not discriminating towards others.
So the campaign had to act in a way to prove and demonstrate to the people what lies deep beneath their conscious thinking, and how they relate to men and women.
The agency created a social experiment with people from various backgrounds. The invited people were informed of the personal stories of 6 super-successful anonymous Albanian citizens, and were asked to describe how they imagine these people look like, based only on the information they heard for each of them. Almost all of the respondents were imagining and describing men, only based on the fact that these 6 people were very successful. The agency on the other hand had actually never mentioned which gender these individuals were, and yet, they still all described men. In reality, all 6 successful individuals were women.
The campaign had great impact in both national and local media, social media and wider public in Albania. It became the most share advertising campaign on social media in Albania.
About the campaign Woman Can. Woman Do., we talked with Oliver Petrovski, CEO of New Moment Tirana.
We came up with the idea … unusually early in the brainstorming session, regardless that it is a brilliant idea.
The brief said that the Albanians should see in this campaign that there are many successful women in the Albanian society, and to stop discriminating women.
But our key insight was that the discrimination is “subconscious”, nobody is aware that they are underappreciating women. And they are.
We knew that the key thing is to “lure” the people to show their deeply embedded opinion about the capacities and successfulness of women and men, in order to see for themselves that they actually have prejudices. The idea of how to craft the social experiment did exactly that.
Our guiding thought was … that we cannot make anyone aware that he/she is discriminating women, just by telling them that. We needed to prove it to the people. The video we made of the social experiment, was not serving only as a proof that the participants in the experiment are having prejudices towards women. The video was done in such a way that even the viewer himself gets caught in the net, and gets aware of his own prejudices.
During the realization, the biggest problem we encountered was … Actually, it went perfectly well and easy. Everyone involved in the project, starting from ourselves, the Client, the production and everyone else loved the idea so much that it all went really smooth. A social experiment by nature is unpredictable, but even that part went exactly as we expected. Every one of the participants, including women, “fell for the trick” instantly, and showed their deeply embedded prejudices regarding the capabilities and successfulness of women.
The greatest contribution of this campaign was … that everyone that saw it took an honest reflection to their own behaviour towards women and was strongly willing to re-examine their own stand on this topic.
The campaign launched an avalanche of social media and traditional media comments and support, and managed to put a strong attention of the public to this sensitive issue in the Albanian society.
And it is special because … it is completely different than anything else done in the local market, and the market recognized this.
When it comes to our project, we are most proud of … the hope we had installed in many school children around Albania, where the campaign caravan reached.
We are also very proud of the fact that the online mini-film of our social experiment became the most shared piece of advertising in the Albanian market, ever!
And because we were invited on TV shows and we were in the news, many, many times J
If we were to go from scratch ... well,… we would probably aim higher. Now looking back, we realize that the success of the campaign in the media had largely overcome our best hopes, and we should have probably believed in it even more, and set in front of ourselves even higher goals.
Throughout the process we learned … that real emotions of real people have a mighty impact on the audience
What you certainly didn’t know … is that maybe yourself, or the people around you are having the same prejudices. Test the guy next to you with the same questions as in our experiment… you’ll be amazed how many people fall for the trick J
In addition to the awards from BalCannes, we also brought with us … a belief that our work is not just about campaigns and clients, it can have a higher purpose, that of changing attitudes and opinions, living a footprint on our society.