Girl Effect and Unilever’s Dove Self-Esteem Project joined forces to launch a social media campaign aimed at improving body confidence among adolescent girls and young women in Indonesia. The partnership goal was to develop an evidence-based, scalable, and cost-effective model to boost girls’ body confidence, media literacy, and ultimately, their mental wellbeing, through entertaining and engaging content.
In Indonesia, over 50% of young women experience at least some dissatisfaction with their appearance. Low self-esteem and a lack of confidence can have a profoundly negative impact on girls achieving their potential. Social stigma around mental health and a lack of support in schools or school closures during Covid-19 means that digital channels are an increasingly popular source of information for young people in Indonesia. Over 90% of 15-19 year olds have access to the internet across the country.
The campaign was developed by adapting Dove Self-Esteem Project’s in-school educational programmes for a digital audience. Using behaviour change science, the evidence-based short video series intended to meaningfully engage girls on issues around body confidence and self-esteem. The content was created in collaboration with young Indonesians and rigorously tested by academics at the Centre of Appearance Research (CAR) at UWE Bristol to ensure that body satisfaction and self-esteem would be positively impacted by engaging with the campaign.
The campaign called Warna-Warni Waktu - or “The Colors of Time” - aims to engage girls with a fictional story told across six short videos featuring Putri, a young Indonesian living in an appearance-obsessed dystopia. She is faced with common appearance pressures like unrealistic beauty standards in media, harmful cultural norms around skin shade and online bullying. Putri learns to resist these pressures with the help of animated time travellers who identify her as someone who can change the world's dismal trajectory, but only if they go back in time to help her gain confidence at critical moments in her development.
Girls engage with Warna-Warni Waktu via Girl Effect’s branded content on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and a campaign microsite. Each 5 minute episode also has an interactive element to gamify audience interaction and reinforce the core body confidence messaging.
The content was informed by research into the body confidence of girls in Indonesia by Girl Effect and CAR. Before the campaign’s public launch, CAR independently tested the campaign content with over 1800 young women from 10 cities across Indonesia to ensure it was successful in positively affecting girls’ knowledge and attitudes about their appearance.
Beyond positively impacting girls’ lives in Indonesia, this social media campaign pioneered a new approach for Dove to translate its successful offline curriculum and test how to reach new audiences online. Using a social-only strategy, this campaign proved that reaching young people with Dove’s evidence-based body confidence education via digital media will deliver positive impact. It is a scalable, cost-effective model that can be replicated elsewhere and accelerate progress towards Dove’s commitment to reach 250 million young people by 2030 with evidence-based body confidence education.
Over the 8 week period the video content series achieved over 14.2million views on Meta (Facebook, Instagram) and YouTube.
193,408 unique users watched at least 75% of content across 6 videos.
The Randomised Control Trial (RCT) led by the Centre for Academic Research (CAR) found that “every video resulted in an immediate, significant positive impact on body satisfaction.” A paper sharing these findings will be published by the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) in Spring 2023 titled: “Evaluating the Efficacy of a Social Media–Based Intervention (Warna-Warni Waktu) to Improve Body Image Among Young Indonesian Women: Parallel Randomized Controlled Trial”.
The social-only strategy was designed to understand what level of impact this could achieve. The campaign proved that adapting Dove’s offline body confidence curriculum for digital audiences does deliver positive impact - this is now a model that is scalable, replicable and evidence-based.
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