Search engine giant, Google has been striving to get more and more Indian women online, and for good reason too. Back in 2013, the company had launched ‘Help women get online’, an initiative to get more women online in association with multiple corporate partners. The aim was to empower women in India with the help of the internet, where they could gain education, self esteem, self expression and be exposed to a world of new opportunities.
After a successful first phase that saw a rise in the number of women using the internet growing to 35 per cent as against 31 per cent by men, in 2014, Google launched a social campaign in association with actor and director Farhan Akhtar’s initiative MARD (Men Against Rape and Discrimination) to help grow the momentum. A few Bollywood celebrities and a viral song summed up the media promotions.
This year, Google conducted a survey titled “Women & Technology” involving 828 Indian women aged from 8 to 55 and the scene looks bleak. It says that only one-third of the total Indian population with access to the Internet are women. Moreover, 49% of women do not see any reason to access the Internet.
The survey revealed that younger women are keen to get online, and 32% of all non-Internet users plan to use the Internet soon, and 46% of non-users in the age group from 18 to 29 are likely to use the Internet soon. Household chores, lack of privacy, fear of anger from in-laws were some of the reasons cited for not going online.
Giving all of them a stronger reason and a much encouraging environment to get online is the need of the hour. Hence, Google has teamed with Lowe Lintas to conceptualize an ad film promoting the same. The search giant is now asking digital natives to bring their mothers online.
The nearly two-and-a-half minute campaign film is a tearjerker. A daughter is seen stepping out to her workplace, while quickly asking her mother back in the house whether she remembers everything she was told. The tensed mother comes up with a feeble ‘yes’.
The daughter then hears a school bell ringing from across, sending her back into time when she went to school for the first time. She remembers how her mother had been waiting the whole 3 hours outside her school, while she spent her first day at school and also the first day away from her mother. Realising how her mother must be nervous about getting online for the first time, she returns to check back on her mother’s progress. The elated mother is seen accessing a website all by her own.
Part of its ongoing campaign called #TogetherOnline that was launched on International Women’s Day this year in association with Snapdeal, Axis Bank, HUL and GSK, the ad film has been shared by Google India’s Twitter handle. At the start of the campaign this year, Google began by asking people to take a pledge to bring their mothers, sisters, aunts online. Snapdeal ran a contest using the campaign hashtag #TogetherOnline. Read: Google’s #TogetherOnline To Introduce More Women To The Internet.
The nine-week initiative will have Axis Bank host special digital literacy workshops for women customers in their branches across India. Snapdeal will run awareness campaigns amongst its shoppers and educate women on the entrepreneurial opportunities on their platform.
— Google India (@googleindia) May 21, 2015
— Google India (@googleindia) May 19, 2015
The website ‘HWGO #TogetherOnline‘ features success stories of women who have leveraged the power of the internet along with other relevant content like Daily Utilities, Health, Finance and Beauty. The new addition of the ad film has added an emotional call-to-action to the campaign. It has now covered the segment of non-users who were hesitant and needed their digitally-savvy children to help them by literally holding their hand.
Hoping the efforts pay off and more Indian women discover the potential of the internet.