Crime involving knives has claimed the lives of 40 Londoners under the age of 25 this year (as at 15 November 2017)
As a Branding & Marketing Consultant who is passionate about several cause, including young people and youth crime, I have an opinion on this one!
Over the last 20+ years, I’ve managed a number of campaigns aimed at hard to reach groups (on some of the most dullest subjects) with great success. Two of my campaigns were used as examples of best practice under themes of Community Safety and Waste Management (on the latter, I kid you not) to change behaviours and perception. This was whilst I was working at large and diverse London borough. I’ve also led private sector campaigns where behaviours and perceptions have had to be changed, again around crime and safety. So, when I write this piece, I am aware of what it takes to engage and connect with young people and hard to reach groups.
For several years, I worked within and alongside local councils at a senior Campaigns/Communications level. I led on a number of campaigns working with multiple organisations and influencing groups.
The #LondonNeedsYouAlive campaign could have been executed slightly differently to ensure greater impact, however, I am not sure what the desired outcomes are and perhaps this is phase 1 of a series of videos? Did you see my Instagram post on this here
Whilst I respect the attempts made and support the overall message in this campaign, I’m intrigued to know what the design/video brief was.
This video reminds me of the importance of spending budgets on tactics that will yield best results. Assuming that the Mayor of London is wanting to reduce knife crime, I would like to suggest that a harder hitting, more relevant message was used.
When I watch the video I am wondering who is it aimed at and what are the objectives of doing this beyond simply “raising awareness”? It would take a lot more to achieve actual behaviour change via the people who are living and experiencing gangs/youth violence and bullying.
Whilst the (music) video has a catchy beat, one can only query who would watch this and in direct response, reconsider leaving that gang lifestyle because of seeing this video lasting just under 2 minutes.
Just so I can get a point across, most young people who understand of “road code” will not be interested or relate much to any of the people, messaging or visuals I’m seeing here. And this is where celebrity endorsement is most relevant.
I’d like to suggest that London needs people like:
The above list are just a handful of real people who are respected in the industry and respected in music. Celebs who can back these campaigns from a ‘community’ standpoint. This would be a much better use of Government budget alongside some community champions and the backing of channels like community (& pirate) radio stations
Targeted promotional campaigns are most effective when ‘representative’ images and illustrations are combined with a strong message. beyond this, for behavioural change to occur, I would further argue that it is more than a few people in a video captured on their housing estate. In some ways this is tokenistic.
I’ve been saying this for years!
Having grown up on a council estate and having family across London/UK in various postcodes, this is something that is very close to my heart. Whilst I totally support the campaign, I would love to know what the objectives were and I would also like to see the results of this campaign. I don’t feel it is hard hitting enough.
Some may argue, money would have been better spent engaging at the community level with people that are living this life first hand (in communities where this is happening daily). Even opening back up the youth clubs to conduct more outreach in the community would be a good use of funding. A video and hashtag is just a small part of the solution
Misrepresentation in this campaign? Or not?
– Community matters, yes
– Diversity, yes
– Inclusivity yes.
When we look at the stats, are any of the “real” victims, families or individuals affected by knife crime conveyed in this campaign? We need harder hitting messages led by real people. This will do well in schools. But on the streets, this may not be as effective.
I don’t believe that this campaign was produced by people who have lived or experienced hardship or any kind of gang life or youth culture that exists today. I may be wrong, but I am intrigued.
Can I ask you?
Does the above image or any of the people in the above video look like they could get a message across to someone whose mindset is that crime pays? anywhere similar to the characters we see in mugshots or any of the images related below?
And let us not forget the issue of gun crime either:
There are people who have lived this lifestyle that could have backed this campaign and I would hope that the Mayor is already in talks with them. And there are also a few people who are still living this lifestyle that (with a financial incentive as a ‘way out’) may have also did their part to promote and back this campaign too.
So what next?
In order to really address this, I’d like to suggest that we bring in some real community leaders and influencers with HUGE social media following or genuine street cred and ‘road rep’ to back this campaign.
This promotional campaign is a great PR piece and news story but we need to go beyond this. There is plenty of work to be done. You can read more on my views on this here