Dentsu Webchutney diverts Google traffic away from the troubling Beyond the Blue Whale suicide challenge

Dentsu Webchutney diverts Google traffic to increase mental health awareness among kids in India

Dentsu Webchutney, the digital advertising agency from Dentsu Aegis Network aims to increase mental health awareness in India with its latest campaign, Beyond the Blue Whale.

The initiative aims to divert the traffic from the search of troubling Blue Whale Challenge - a widespread suicide challenge which targeted and coerced vulnerable teens online into killing themselves. Instead search users on Google will land on topics like anxiety in children, bullying and depersonalisation.

As part of the challenge, the administrators gives a participant a task to complete daily — for a period of 50 days — the final of which is the participant committing suicide. Participants are expected to share photos of the challenges/tasks completed by them.

Webchutney's initiative Project Re-search used the attention that the Blue Whale Challenge was receiving, and directed it to mental wellness. The initiative first identified the top 22 Blue Whale keywords and targeted ads only to users above 18 years, searching Google with these keywords.

PG Aditya, senior creative director, Webchutney said: “Post the Blue Whale Challenge, we had to ask ourselves: where now from here? What is the right takeaway for parents and adults from this? And how do we equip ourselves when say, the next avatar of a Blue Whale surfaces? The masses hadn’t received that information from the large institutions that drove the sensation around Blue Whale. And we decided to take it upon ourselves to change that.”

Anushma Kshetrapal, founder, Color of Grey Cells, said: “Project Re-search uses the Blue Whale Challenge as a wake-up call. And aims to direct an adult’s invested concern in it towards some of the oft ignored mental health difficulties that could have made our children vulnerable to it. The hope is that adults ‘re-searching’ through this initiative take their first step towards learning about issues we’ve ignored as a society for far too long”.

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