“Fempowerment” is on trending worldwide including Thailand. From insurance to FMCG, that specialize in the art of “cryvertising,” have tried to reach out to consumers concerning women empowerment.
Sunsilk wanted to talk about every girl having the right to express herself through her hair to reach any possibility of life.
Thai culture is deeply influenced by religion(Buddhism). The most important values that Thai culture hold to are respect, self-control and non-confrontational attitude.By contrast, Thailand is also popular worldwide for its LGBT community. The transgender women are very visible and are an integral part of “girl gang”. Country hosts Asia’s first transgender beauty pageant every year called “Miss Tiffany Universe” for over 35 years now; country offers world class sex surgery. These factors make one believe that Thai people are quite open about sexuality and respect gender preference.
But the truth is not as glossy as it looks. As per research conducted by Mahidol university, statistically there are staggering 2million+ transgenders in Thai society, majority of them suffer from undertreatment. Country leads in number of suicidal cases of transgenders, mostly due to societal rejection. Thais enjoy company of transgender women featured commercials/movies or shows but when it is a matter of family and closed ones, they have an unspoken “stigma” and “taboo” attached to this aspect of sexuality.
Besides, this community lacks social security, suffer limited career/job opportunities and education making lower strata members surrender to prostitution. Some countries may have preferred to enforce or impend by law or may have chosen to be violent about it by bullying socially but Thais are silently defending and anti.
Sunsilk “Girl power” campaign was launched to raise awareness of such inequality, improve social acceptance of every girl in the country including transgender women.
To land this message in a passive aggressive society as Thailand, campaign needed to be unique. And to be able to reveal this deep-rooted belief, campaign needed to be highly organic and natural.
Our strategy was 3 folded;
Feeding the truth: By definition, “trans” means “miss-order”, has a negativity associated with it perhaps is one of the reasons why many such individuals do not express or come forward due to fear of shaming. To bring it out of the closet, we strategically partnered with Google, placed branded testimony of a popular transgender woman to create awareness among wider trans community letting them share this content organically with their near and dear ones. Showing the bright side: Next task was to foster society to believe that transgender women too can achieve greater heights personally and professionally just as any other individual. The barrier to achieve this was a societal notion that transgender women are just the show girls. But the fact is that transgenders are one of the most creative and successful individuals in what they do and their success stories are often untold. It was time to unfold and change what Thais traditionally believed in and forever.
Driving social support: After promoting success stories, we wanted to know the pulse of the nation at large. It was important to confer in rather closed culture as many may still be hesitant to even talk about due to dishonor attached to it. We encouraged Thais to like, share, comment in social media to know the pulse. We consistently drove relevant content during key events and moments to increase participation. Larger the number of people engaged and positively commented about branded campaign would only mean blurring the traditional meaning of “trans” and giving the power back to the society for it to flourish.
The campaign was launched within “the Miss Tiffany” winner named “Rock”. The story behind Rock was about a transgender girl, her life in a cocoon, with a withdrawn feeling when she first discovers her sexuality, filled with fear of being disowned by parents if she reveals it, all these only until she succeeds in what she was always great at which later helps her re gain the respect & pride from her parents.
Since the success could not have been determined by paid media upfront, instead revealing such a message be rather subtle and natural. The brand partnered with Google to strategically launch it among the trans community to first evoke emotional response and win credibility allowing them to voluntarily share the content without any fear of losing.
Sunsilk continue to drive social impact by partnering “Diva Show” which was unique program to celebrate women including trans talents by featuring shows of trans, their unique talents and competence that they do for the community and their unfulfilled cravings for acceptance. It was intended for society to believe that these unique individuals are more talented than what you can see from their appearance.
The revealed untold stories inspire society to change perception towards the trans. Every social media participated this movement forcing one to think “Do we allow our near and dear ones to choose their sexuality?” and “#DIVASHOW”. Also, to let the trans women know of the world of opportunities and possibilities when they have Sunsilk hair by their side.