[NOTE: The Crystal Judson Family Justice Center is not a police domestic violence assistance agency. It is a one-stop domestic violence agency open to all, with police and other coordinated services on-site.]
Creative ads help women escape abuse
DAN VOELPEL; The News Tribune
July 11th, 2008
[EXCERPTS] The folks at Rusty George Creative get paid to push our buttons. They have devised ingenious advertisements that persuade us to order Pizza Time pizzas, open TAPCO Credit Union accounts, get spray-on tans at Urban Tanning Spa and buy condominiums at The Roberson. But how do you create an advertising campaign that convinces women experiencing the trauma of domestic abuse to seek help? This assignment came with intrinsic pressure. The $157,000 television, radio and print campaign would mark the first comprehensive paid publicity for the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center. You remember the late Crystal Judson Brame, right? Her husband, Tacoma Police Chief David Brame, shot her with his police handgun, then killed himself during a confrontation in a Gig Harbor parking lot one Saturday morning in April 2003. While their young son and daughter watched. In January 2006, the City of Tacoma and Pierce County jointly opened the one-stop-shop for women escaping abuse as settlement condition for the lawsuit brought by Crystal’s family... “This is a much more weighty social issue than you see walk in the door everyday,” said Charlotte Boutz, campaign strategist. “This is a very emotionally charged, complex issue” that gut-wrenched a region. “You can imagine,” she said, “if you do this wrong, you’re not only wasting the center’s money, but this is a huge social issue for this community. We needed to get it right.” When the Rusty George team congregated for its brainstorming session, it had armed itself with research data about women in abusive relationships and scoured the Internet for domestic violence campaigns from around the world... The team settled on three options to test on a focus group of 12 women – volunteers who had successfully escaped abusive relationships with the center’s help... The first concept [Communications director for Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg, Ron] Klein tested? A straightforward approach. Testimonials of success from women about their lives after domestic violence. “It got a good response”... The second concept shows a woman giving a pep talk... The women in the focus group “could identify with that” ... Then, as Klein began to describe the third concept, something unusual happened. Two or three women began to tear up. By the time he finished, at least six sobbed openly. “It was chilling,” said Boutz, who watched the focus group from another room... Imagine a wedding scene. The bride and groom at the altar. It focuses on the bride, on the special day she has dreamed about many times. She speaks her vows. Instead of words of love and traditional marriage promises, these horrible things come out of her mouth about what life will be like with this man. She starts with the line: “I vow to make excuses when you humiliate me in public. To forsake my friends and family when you isolate me.” She concludes with: “I vow to blame myself when you hit me. And to fear for my safety and the safety of our children – till death do us part”... Do you think the team at Rusty George Creative pushed the right buttons? Well, the center recorded 409 client contacts in June 2007. Last month: 813. One in four clients who have come in since the campaign started say they have seen or heard the advertisements. The campaign starts up gain in late November. “Making this effective was our biggest goal” ...
[Full article here]