JWT’s AnxietyIndex is designed as a place to discuss how brands and consumers are responding to the global recession. With daily content updates, AnxietyIndex.com includes contributions from around JWT’s network, offering a truly global perspective.
Last year, we posted a few items about brands aiming to make women in India feel more secure in the face of harassment and violence (for example, the telecom MTS India launched a plan that permits women to make calls despite a negative balance). Now an innovative new product from JWT Singapore in support of the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) addresses the issue of women’s safety with a wearable device, the Guardian Angel.
The chic $120 pendant can be worn as a necklace or bracelet and works in conjunction with a smartphone app. It has two uses: Clicking a button on the device during an uncomfortable situation triggers a call to the wearer’s phone, and in more precarious situations, pressing the button for three seconds sends an emergency text that includes details on the sender’s location to a designated contact. Ten percent of each sale goes to AWARE. The Guardian Angel points to the potential of wearables in the area of personal safety and the creative ways that brands can use new technologies to help alleviate consumer fears.
After numerous headlines about rapes in India, including several incidents involving tourists, fewer female travelers are visiting the country. The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India has reported that visits by female tourists dropped 35 percent year-over-year in the first three months of 2013. In response, as The New York Times reports, Indian states are forming police forces dedicated to protecting tourist-heavy spots, and the Tourism Ministry is opening a multilingual toll-free helpline to be staffed by women.
The Tourism Ministry’s latest idea involves badges emblazoned with the phrase “I Respect Women” in languages including English, Korean, Russian and Mandarin. Workers in the tourism industry, like drivers, guides and travel agents, will be encouraged to wear them. Skift has termed this effort to curb anxieties around sexual violence “2013’s worst idea in travel” on the grounds that it does nothing to actually change social attitudes and behaviors.
The Indian consumer is very anxious when it comes to crime and is constantly looking for a sense of safety in his surroundings. In a spot for Godrej Security Solutions, created by JWT India, the home safe brand addresses this anxiety by giving the consumer control over the situation.
A couple is sleeping peacefully when rumbling from another room wakes up the wife, who urges her husband to check out what’s causing the commotion. The husband spots two thieves trying to break into the family safe, then calmly heads back to bed, popping cotton balls in his ears to muffle the sound before cozying up under the covers. The wife inquires as to what happened, and he replies, “Nothing, it’s just some thieves.” The spot concludes with the line “No matter when trouble arrives, what is the need to be scared?”—and a shot of the frustrated thieves breaking into some dinner leftovers instead of the safe.
Rather than relying on fear tactics to convey the benefits of using a Godrej safe, the brand smartly breaks the seriousness of the category by using subtle humor without compromising the gravity of a break-in.