How the ad agency leaned on research and turned the idea of victim and perpetrator on its head. The TV spot, as well as radio and print work was developed for Pink Shirt Day (Feb. 27).
TAXI Vancouver, the local office of the eponymous global ad agency, knew it wanted and "unconventional approach" when redesigning the B.C. campaign for Pink Shirt Day, a national effort to stop school bullying by selling T-shirts to raise funds for the Boys and Girls clubs anti-bullying programs.
"Usually, anti-bullying messages focus on the perpetrator and victim," says TAXI Vancouver's executive creative director Kevin Barclay, who oversaw the spot. "But from all the research we received from our partners in this campaign, one piece stood out. It was the fact that an act of bullying stops within 10 seconds of an intervention by a witness," she says. "We knew right then and there that this had to be a campaign about the role of the bystander—the influencer and witness."
TAXI also developed a similar radio ad and the new visual identity for Pink Shirt Day, an embroidered, textured pink typography that Barclay says makes no apologies about it metaphor. "It's eye-catching but also weaves together people and community against the act of bullying."
The agency donated 500 agency hours towards the program, something Barclay says TAXI does annually with a worthy cause. "One of our employees' financee works at CKNW AM980 and approached us with it," he says of the radio station that first organized Pink Shirt Day in B.C. in 2008. "We knew we wanted it right after the first meeting." The 30-second spot was directed by Curtis Wehrfritz of Untitled Films. Check out PinkShirtDay.ca to purchase a shirt and for more info.
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