Words Can Be Weapons

A joint project from Ogilvy Beijing, The Center for Psychological Research in Shenyang and artist Yong Xie aims to prompt discussion about the effects of the verbal abuse of children by using metal lettering that can be rearranged to make model weapons

A joint project from Ogilvy Beijing, The Center for Psychological Research in Shenyang and artist Yong Xie aims to prompt discussion about the effects of the verbal abuse of children by using metal lettering that can be rearranged to make model weapons

According to Ogilvy’s CCO in China, Graham Fink, the Center approached Ogilvy having seen its Fur Hurts project for PETA. That project was a collaboration with Yong Xie, a professor at the University of Shenyang, who knew the head psychologist at the Center. They suggested doing a project which would look at the dangers of the verbal abuse of children by their parents and others and the possible links to the growing issue of youth violence in China

“In China, verbal child abuse is a taboo topic that is not widely discussed nor easily detected,” Ogilvy say. “To help Chinese parents and guardians see the real-life, destructive consequences of verbal abuse, O&M told the backstories of six juvenile offenders in Shenyang Detention Center, who are serving time for serious crimes like murder and assault. Each teen spoke candidly about the scarring words that their parents and caretakers said to them as children.”

 

Some of the terms cited by the children – such as ‘You’re good for nothing’ – were then cast in steel by Yong Xie so that they could be reassembled into models of weapons such as knives and guns.

 

 

These sculptures were exhibited in a shopping centre in Shenyang which also featured interactive screens and tablets where visitors to put the models together.

A website and social media activity helped spread the word and prompted calls to a specially set up helpline as well as widespread media coverage.

This video explains the project:

Credits

Creative Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Beijing
Creative Directors: Graham Fink, Juggi Ramakrishnan, Wilson Chow, Doug Schiff, Xingsheng Qi
Designers: Yong Xie, Xingsheng Qi, Soonguan Poh, Jason Wang
Copywriters: GuiLin Bo, Chuyu Li, Juggi Ramakrishnan, Wilson Chow
Art Directors: Xingsheng Qi, Xiaodong Xiao, Lei Fu, Kaixin Li, Yong Xie, Fei Wang
Video Editor: Morris Ku
Creative Technologists: Eric Wu, Rita Yang, Quentina Yang
Web Designer: Jason Wee
Film Producer: Jing Li
Social Media Leads: Jeremy Webb, Bob Wang
Content and KOL Manager: Ben Xu
Music Producers: Massive Music, Shanghai

 

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