BETC created Hé – the app that raises awareness of street harassment

Creativity, Digital & Media, Mobile

For the 5th annual International Anti–Street Harassment Week, BETC and the French association Stop Harcèlement de Rue (“Stop Street Harassment”), created a special application, available in App and Play stores.

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The app is the French version of the American “Yo” – a hugely successful product allowing users to send simple interactions to their contacts. The difference is that, soon after it’s installed, “Hé” becomes intrusive, imitating the every day problem of street harassment.

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“Hé” includes a specific function and, once a specific user – Martin88 – adds himself to one’s friend list, that person will start receiving messages: from simple and innocent Hey!-s in the start to more frequent and more aggressive messages.

The notifications eventually build to a point where they become intolerable, with the user receiving messages like «Hey sexy!», or «Hey bitch, turn around when I’m talking to you», among other equally shocking catcalls. The only way to make it stop is by deleting the user who’s “harassing” you.

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The moment one user is deleting the harassing contact, the message Stop Harcèlement de Rue (End Street Harassment) appears on the screen, accompanied by the message: “Today you got away, but for many people street harassment is an everyday problem. Afterwards, the user is directed to the group’s website, where he will find a list of concrete strategies for tackling street harassment.

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The activist organisation Stop Harcèlement de Rue was founded in 2014, with the goal of raising awareness regarding this last remaining stronghold of what is termed “everyday sexism”- the seriousness of which is too often downplayed.

The group aims to offer concrete solutions to all those affected by the issue and that is why it asked BETC to help in creating this “snare” app. Aiming to reach as many people as possible as quickly as possible, the operation seeks out those who may not yet be aware of the dangers of street harassment in the most intrusive way possible: by hijacking their smartphones. The logic is clear: only when each and every person understands the seriousness of Street Harassment will we be able to stop it in its tracks.

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Client: Stop au Harcelement de Rue

Agency: BETC

  • Agency management: Caroline Rey
  • Creative Directors: Olivier Apers & Stephane Xiberras
  • Art Director: Steven Poindron
  • Copywriter: Guillaume Palmantier
  • Development: CAS: Florent Remize, APP: Sidereo