Guest blog by: Jim Feltz, Senior Copywriter, Campbell Ewald
There are a lot of ingredients that go into a healthy long-term relationship. Trust. Respect. And certainly among the most important is good communication.
Over the last 15 years, HAVEN and Campbell Ewald have been working together to raise awareness and reach victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Oakland County. It’s an enormous issue that affects one in three homes. And with each and every piece of communication that we develop as a team, another message of hope and healing is spread throughout the area.
From creating invitations and materials for fundraising events to developing full PSA campaigns, our relationship has really made a positive impact on the community. And while all of the advertising HAVEN and Campbell Ewald have collaborated on over the years has put the mission of awareness and support first, the “Nice Guy” campaign does so by staring abusers right in the eye.
Together, our team developed a strategy to show who abusers really are and what their internal justifications sound like. We knew that, as hard as it may be to see and hear, when people were presented with the real words between the lines, they might be encouraged to offer a little help — or perhaps seek it for themselves.
That simple, truthful insight led to the creation of a fully integrated campaign — print ads, online banners, posters, billboards and more. Each piece of communication sends a powerful message, encouraging victims to seek help and safety from violence.
As HAVEN and Campbell Ewald worked to create this awareness campaign, we had the opportunity to build more relationships with generous and talented people who donated their time and efforts to this cause. One relationship in particular was with the director of our television spot — two-time Academy Award winner, Angus Wall.
This television commercial was an intense piece of communication. It’s a startling face-to-face with an abuser — we see who he is, how he uses manipulation as a threat and how dangerous a villain like this can be. We identify him directly. It’s a perfectly clear communication, not only to victims, but abusers as well.
The campaign was a huge success, resulting in a huge spike in donations to the Capital Campaign — a fundraising effort for the new HAVEN facility. It’s also earned several awards and a lot of national buzz — including AdWeek’s “Ad of the Day.”
While awards and recognition are a great pat on the back for what HAVEN and Campbell Ewald did together, the more important part about it to us is that the message was communicated to a much larger audience. Because when more people are aware, the stronger and more effective we can be as we work to eradicate domestic violence and sexual assault. We helped spread that message together.
And all that is made possible through having a healthy relationship — a long-term relationship that gets stronger every day that we work together. One that really embraces the true power of communication.