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Campaigning against weapons in a country with strict gun control

Campaigning against weapons in a country with strict gun control

While the US #neveragain campaign against civilian access to military-style firearms is getting a lot of attention right now, it’s interesting to see what other countries content with when people can’t get their hands on guns.

In the UK, knife crime is a growing concern, especially in London. After a few years of reduced crime rates,  the BBC reports that 2017 saw a 21% increase over 2016, and the highest rate since 2011. As a result, the Home Office has launched a social marketing campaign, Live #knifefree, which uses cautionary tales to try to convince youth at risk not to arm themselves with a weapon found in every home kitchen.

This is not a new problem, nor is it unfamiliar territory for British social marketing; in 2009, we told you about a campaign by London Metropolitan Police, which used an early interactive YouTube video to personalize the issue.

Technologically, #knifefree is a step back to more traditional storytelling. It’s well-done storytelling, but there doesn’t seem to be anything new about it. These stories could have been told 40 years (and two generations) ago. Does that mean that violence, rather than weapons is the problem? While knife violence is shocking and horrific, a blade just doesn’t have the mass-murder potential of an AR-15.

See two more ads below.



I am Creative Director at Acart Communications, a Canadian Social Issues Marketing agency. Read more