06 Jul

Wow… just… wow

I’ve now seen this ad, below, twice – on my Facebook timeline.

It’s for the National Centre for Domestic Violence.

Domestic Violence copy


If you can’t read the copy in the bottom right-hand corner, it says:

‘If England get beaten, so will she’

Then (smaller copy):

‘Domestic violence increases 26%
when England play. 38% if they lose’

The call to action says:

‘For help with a protective injunction, text
NCOV to 60777 or call us on 0800 970 2070′

My thoughts on this ad (and the campaign – as there are different executions):
as indicated by the title of this post, I think it’s a superb piece of creative work for an incredibly difficult brief / subject matter.

It’s shocking, it’s visual (even ‘graphic’), it’s simple – it’s arresting.

And while we’re all giddy with excitement over the mediocrity of reaching a quarter final, it throws the spotlight on a darker side to the World Cup (or rather, a side effect of the World Cup) – something we forget about… unless it affects us directly.
It’s awareness-raising at its finest.

And, whether deliberate or not (with creative work this smart, I think ‘deliberate’), it makes a clever visual reference to the iconic Wayne Rooney poster, for the 2006 World Cup.
It’s the antithesis of that ad, which was full of wild, chest-thumping elation: it’s that ad’s darker twin.

I wouldn’t usually advocate charities going the ‘deep and dark’ – or even, mercenary – route, but when it comes to an issue as serious as domestic violence, sometimes you need to make your audience feel a little uncomfortable, to raise awareness.

It’s worked for British Heart Foundation, in the past, and it’s worked for the RSPCA… but it shouldn’t be the go-to route. It should be the exception – when an issue really needs the spotlight thrown on it (and when you can make the creative executions work, rather than them being shocking for the sake of it, with no real idea behind them).

The other thing that’s worthy of praise is: people will just see these quick, simple, visual ads and probably not realise the leg-work it took to get to that point – hours upon hours of research on domestic violence, the stats that had to be looked through, the harrowing case studies that had to be read, the routes that were thought about… then dismissed.

Both the National Centre for Domestic Violence and their agency, JWT, should be proud of this campaign – the bravery in running with this creative work, and not shying away from the brutal nature of the issue itself.
Let’s hope the campaign raises the awareness it deserves to, and needs to.

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