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Mobile technology as a tool of domestic abuse

Mobile technology as a tool of domestic abuse

Interval House, Toronto: Mobile technology as a tool of domestic abuse

In my own experience as a social marketer, I have found that shame and shock are not the best ways to prompt behaviour change. There is an exception, however, and that’s when you are trying to raise awareness of somebody else’s bad behaviour and motivate bystanders to help stop it.

This disarming new PSA for Toronto’s Interval House definitely falls into the latter category:

The happy, Apple-type ad tone quickly contrasts with a scenario of partner control that gets more and more suspicious until it breaks into open verbal abuse (with an implication of physical abuse to come). It’s unnerving, but pretty memorable. And it also does a good job of showing the progression of control through shared smartphone apps.

UNION ECD Lance Martin commented, “When we started this project, we still had a relatively naive conception of the forms that abuse could take – that it was mostly physical or verbal. But as we learned more, we realized how big a role control and surveillance play in abusive relationships. And how smartphones enable that.”


Interval House, Toronto
UNION (Canada)
Additional credits:
Executive Creative Director/ Partner: Lance Martin
Senior Art Director: Glen D’Souza
Senior Copywriter: Michael Takasaki
Designer: Justin Aitcheson
Producer: Jennifer Dark
Group Account Director: Cheryl McKenzie
Account Supervisor: Daniella Casasanta
Planner: Heather Black
Production Company: Sugino Studio
Director: Todd McLellan
Executive Producer: Dan Arki
Editorial Company: School Editing
Editor: Aaron Dark
Post Production: Paul Binney/Fort York VFX
Sound Design/Music: Steve Gadsden/ TA2 Sound & Music
Direct Submission

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