Meeting Indian youth online with fun and engaging GIFs
Research from the SHOPS Plus project in India identified a lack of accurate family planning information for youth in India. To address this, the project is meeting Indian youth where they are: online.
The research found that the lack of accurate and reliable information has left young people in India with misconceptions around sexuality and contraception. The project team also identified prevalent social norms and negative attitudes towards contraception as key barriers to adoption of modern contraceptives among youth.
Youth rate online platforms as their most trusted source of information. Given that, SHOPS Plus set out to use multiple online channels to meet youth where they are with key messaging promoting safe sexual practices. The channels included Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
SHOPS Plus is working to create reliable, accurate information that addresses a range of issues from social normative beliefs to the specific information needs of each individual. The project engages in social and behavior change to promote the uptake of priority health products among the urban poor in India, and digital media has become a key aspect of the project’s strategy. Bobble AI has helped with that strategy by collaborating with SHOPS Plus as part of the digital campaign. The campaign creates information that addresses a range of issues, from social normative beliefs, to the specific information needs of each individual.
To reach the hearts and minds of the millennial and Gen Z, one needs to be where they spend the most significant amount of time and "dig" into their needs and likes. Messaging platforms including WhatsApp allow the youth to have intimate conversations, and are driven to check it more than a hundred times a day. - Anika Tanwar, Head - Brand Marketing Solutions, Bobble AI
In 2020, Bobble AI won a gold Shark Award in the ‘best use of mobile’ category for this campaign. And they beat out internet giants like Amazon Prime Video and Flipkart Google. The ETBrandEquity.com Shark Awards is conferred by The Economic Times, which is India’s most-read business daily.
In addition to creating information, SHOPS Plus has also helped give youth tools to discuss family planning topics in ways that feel more natural for them. Some of the tools developed were a unique series of rich visuals around healthy behaviors. The visuals include stickers and GIFs that can be used as part of everyday conversations on chat messaging apps including WhatsApp. The fun and quirky messages reinforce contraception use, consent, and safe practices. Since the stickers were launched in July 2020, they have been downloaded more than 304,940 times across India, and they will remain available to be downloaded until 2025. When combined, the stickers, GIFs, and core messages of the SHOPS Plus digital campaign use colloquial language to appeal to young Indians and normalize conversations around safe sexual practices.