New campaign by JWT Sydney calls for it all to Stop Before it Gets Ugly

29 September, 2014


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SYDNEY — A bloodied victim of alcohol-fuelled violence carries a high impact message to would-be aggressors and their friends in a new campaign launched by the NSW Government and JWT Sydney; “Stop Before it Gets Ugly”.

Developed for the NSW Government, the campaign targets potential aggressors and those who can influence their behaviour in an attempt to reduce the number of people that are victim to alcohol-related acts of violence in NSW. It launched over the weekend and will run throughout summer.

This is the first NSW Government advertising campaign to focus specifically on alcohol-fuelled violence.

“The challenge is that few people see themselves as a potential aggressor or victim and that drives self exclusion from messaging.” said JWT Sydney’s General Manger, Jenny Willits.

“Our strategy therefore is to talk to people about something they do acknowledge – their drinking behaviour - rather than talk about violence. We don’t ask them to stop drinking or stop having fun; but rather to be aware that there is a tipping point when alcohol consumption can change their behaviour. The aim is to persuade them to think about stopping or slowing down before they reach that point.”

The result is the “Stop Before it Gets Ugly” campaign, spearheaded by two commercials – ‘Aggressor’ and ‘Influencer’ – which will be shown on FTA, Online TV and Cinema. They can be viewed here:

30 sec ‘Aggressor’ - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZdP7Zkzn-4
30 sec ‘Influencer’ - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEnCwW8fb0M

JWT Sydney ECD, Simon Langley, said these two executions aimed to grab the attention of two main target audiences to drive home the effect that drinking beyond your tipping point can have, by using the perspective of an injured victim of an alcohol fuelled act of violence.

“Our primary target in the campaign is would-be aggressors. These are usually young men aged 18 to 35 who regularly go out drinking with their mates. They are decent, likeable guys who wouldn’t normally behave in a violent or anti-social way, but need to be reminded that with too many drinks, things can quickly turn ugly,” he said.

“We also developed a second execution to speak to ‘influencers’; the friends and family of these would-be aggressors who may be able to help curb excessive drinking and the resulting behaviour.”

“Throughout the campaign we aim to convey messages from the victim’s perspective, and the social, physical and emotional consequences that alcohol fuelled violence can have,” Langley continued. “By having a potential victim of an assault communicate with his future attacker, it depicts in a startling way the damage that could be done after just a few more drinks.”

“We also believe that the tagline of “Stop Before it Gets Ugly” is a very confronting, and immediate encapsulation of the behaviour change that we all seek to make our State’s streets safer.”

The TVCs are supported by OOH activity (standard sites and specially-built mirrored panels depicting a gaol cell), in-venue activity including ATMs in pubs/clubs/bars, posters and coasters, and social media, which incorporates paid advertising on Facebook to prompt behaviour change at key times. All utilise the tagline “Stop Before it Gets Ugly”, and also highlight other consequences of losing control including legal, social and emotional implications.

JWT Sydney was appointed to develop the creative campaign following a pitch earlier this year. Its idea received extremely positive consumer testing before being developed into a full campaign.


Creative credits:


Executive Creative Director: Simon Langley
Creative Director: John Lam
Creative Group Head: Laurie Geddes
Executive Planning Director: Angela Morris
Account Management: Anne Gibson, Rachel Wintle
Producers: Amanda Slatyer (Broadcast), Rachel Townsend (Print)
Director: Michael Spiccia (Good Oil Films)
Photographer: Simon Harsent
Media: Universal McCann
Production: Good Oil Producers - Juliet Bishop (EP), Ben Scandrett-Smith (Producer)
JWT is part of STW, Australasia’s leading marketing content and communications group.

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