The usual assignment in our industry is to convince a group of people that our client makes a better mousetrap. You can use the facts. You can use incentives. Or you can use aspirations.
But encouraging those affected by domestic violence to make “the last time” the last time is not one of those assignments. The statistical probability of someone close to you being directly affected by abuse is staggering – but shame, embarrassment and fear creates the cloak where it continues largely unchecked.
Simply saying “domestic violence is bad” is a waste of words. Everyone, including those committing the abuse themselves know it’s wrong. But they’re not the ones we needed to convince. It’s the abused, stuck in the endless rinse-and-repeat cycle of abuse.
When we pitched this campaign, the singular, interruptive thought was to speak eye-level, saying all the same things they’ve heard before. From victims, we can create survivors. And, if #metoo and #itgetsbetter have taught us anything, our survivors could create a movement.
A big challenge was to create a campaign for everyone that wouldn’t offend anyone in the process. This meant capturing not just the “expected” female group, but men, LGBTQ, seniors and children – to say nothing of multiple ethnicities.
Traditional print and digital advertising was always intended to create an uncomfortable but necessary social media movement. The end goal was always to create an uncomfortable but overdue social media conversation with survivors who found the courage to speak out.
To be clear, this was not a comfortable campaign to create. And there was certainly outrage for crossing that imaginary line into “too far”. But #BeHeard was not created to be warm or fuzzy, it was to generate conversation, awareness and most importantly, survivors.