Since the #MeToo Movement got a big boost in 2017 with the help of some celebrity campaigners such as Alyssa Milano, companies have been addressing harassment and/or feminism in their advertising campaigns.
Schweppes is the latest to promote the cause, recently teaming up with Brazilian advertisement agency Ogilvy to create a campaign called the ‘Dress For Respect,’ aimed at shedding light on the sexual harassment of women in Brazil.
‘Dress for Respect’ is a smart dress, designed with powerful sensors, that are triggered when the wearer is touched
The smart dress was made to sense and track when and where the person wearing the dress was touched. The campaign was made to shed light on the serious issue of harassment and non-consensual public touching.
The video of the ad opens up by indicating the statistics from 2016 of harassment in Brazil’s nightclubs
It states that the staggering number of 86% of Brazilian women have been harassed in clubs. As for other types of harassment, according to Agência Brasil, wolf-whistling is the most common form of public harassment of women (77%), followed by staring (74%), unwanted comments (57%) and cursing (39%). In addition, almost half of the Brazil’s female population have experienced unwanted physical contact at least once in the year of 2016.
But the men who were interviewed before the experiment started, were skeptical
One interviewed man rhetorically asks “Who will go out on a Thursday night to just dance?,” probably implying that the women who go to nightclubs are actively looking for a partner instead of just wanting to have a good time dancing. The other man comments that he thinks that the women are “just whining…about everything!” However, the video footage that was shot afterwards speaks for itself. Non-consensual public touching is still a huge problem, and not only in Brazil, but all across the globe.
During the experiment, 3 women wore the ‘smart dress’ to a nightclub in São Paulo
Every time the three volunteers – Juliana, Tatiana and Luisa – were groped at the club, a signal from the dress was sent through WiFi to the researchers. Needless to say, the women were touched numerous times throughout the experiment, even when they expressed their disapproval of it.
According to the data collected, the volunteers, in less than four hours, were touched 157 times
That is equal to being touched more than 40 times per hour! At the end of the video, after the evening was over, men from the club were invited to watch the footage of the experiment. Fortunately, they seemed really appalled by what went down at the club: “That’s so ridiculous,” one man commented. The other was shocked to see that a stranger was trying to lean in for a kiss with one of the women.
Watch the full commercial for yourself: