Thinkerbell and Our Watch Encourage Australians to Do Something When They Witness Sexist Behaviour

Sexist jokes, objectifying women, off-colour comments; most people hate these all too common signs of disrespect towards women, but often they just go along with it, or don’t feel comfortable voicing their disapproval.

Australia’s national body for the prevention of violence against women, Our Watch, has today launched an interactive campaign to help Australians do something when they witness disrespect towards women.  

The campaign, Doing nothing does harm, was developed in conjunction with Thinkerbell in response to new research that revealed four in five Australians (79 per cent) want guidance on how to take positive bystander action, with only 14 per cent of Australians currently likely to act.  

The campaign centrepiece is a series of short, interactive videos that recreate everyday situations and challenge the viewer to click “do something” when the conversation turns disrespectful. The conclusion of each video is dependent on the viewer’s choice of action – or inaction.    

If the viewer chooses to ‘Do Something’ they will be rewarded with being ‘detargeted’ so that they will not need to see the ad again.  If they choose to do nothing, then they will continue to be retargeted – seeing the ad (and the sexist behaviour) again and again, encouraging them to do something.

Our Watch Chair, Natasha Stott Despoja AM, said the campaign aims to help people understand what disrespectful behaviour towards women looks like and how bystander inaction can imply acceptance.

Our research that disrespectful attitudes and behaviours are part of the culture that can drive violence against women. When everyday signs of disrespect go unchallenged, it is normalised, excused and tolerated,” Ms Stott-Despoja said.

Adam Ferrier, consumer psychologist at Thinkerbell, said “We wanted to create a campaign that mimics real life. This work both captures the awkwardness, and harm, that occurs when people choose to do nothing, however it also rewards people for taking action – in that they will witness less sexist behaviour if they do.”

Thinkerbell has worked closely withVictoria Berthinussen and the team at Google to develop the technology that allows people to be detargeted after taking action, a creative world first on YouTube.

Our Watch has also developed an interactive website which provides a deeper understanding of how people could act when they see disrespectful behaviour towards women.

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