Refuge, the UK domestic violence charity, yesterday ran a clever stunt campaign during an episode of ITV daytime chat show Loose Women. The campaign is our Ad of the Week.
Created by BBH London, the stunt appeared to be a normal segment of the show. It showed Jamelia, a celebrity panelist on Loose Women, talking directly to camera, in a style typical to the show, about her experiences in the past in an abusive relationship. As she relayed her story, the camera slowly panned backwards, so that the singer became increasingly isolated. By the time the section ended, it showed Jamelia entirely alone in the empty studio before the hashtag #youarenotalone appeared on screen, alongside the Refuge web address. The show then cut to an ad break. The campaign is shown below:
The stunt is a clever way of spreading Refuge’s message to a relevant audience. By playing with the show’s normal format, it is likely to have attracted the attention of viewers in a way a typical commercial may not, plus Jamelia’s literal isolation on screen is a simple yet powerful visual message. Its effectiveness was obvious with a strong and immediate reaction on social media, and when the show returned after the ad break, its message was further emphasised by a discussion about domestic violence with the full Loose Women cast and Sandra Horley, CEO of Refuge.
This is not the first time Refuge and BBH has experimented with unusual approaches in its ads. In 2012, the charity created a powerful film featuring YouTube star and make up artist Lauren Luke, who offered tips on how to cover up bruising.
Creatives: Jack Smedley, George Hackforth-Jones
Creative director: Caroline Pay
Social engagement director: Alex Walker-Sage
Photographer: Tom van Schelven, Making Pictures
Digital design lead: Simon Parmegianni
Motion graphics: Vinny Olimpio
Producer: Jeremy Gleeson