I remember seeing the domestic violence advertisement that was shown in the third quarter of the 2015 Super Bowl game and being very disappointed. It was a good ad from NO MORE, a social awareness campaign addressing domestic violence and sexual-assault awareness, but the ad could have done so much more.
(Here is the advertisement from the 2015 Super Bowl)
Instead of looking like an introduction to a horror movie, the ad could have used the time looking at the house to relay important facts and figures about domestic violence. Instead of asking watchers to sign a pledge, at the end of the commercial (which was taken from a real-life 911 call and re-enacted), we would have been better served finding a way to call for help or even signs to recognize. The airtime for this advertisement (and their follow up which is below) was donated by the National Football Association which has recently taken steps to address domestic violence since it received heavy criticism for the way it handled running back Ray Rice’s punching his then-fiancée in 2014.
While the Wharton Leadership Program has never worked directly with No More, a very similar organization, called Breakthrough, was the winner of the 2014 Lipman Family Prize. Run out of our office, the annual prize awards $250,000 in unrestricted funds to a social impact organization that is making transferable differences through innovation across the globe. Breakthrough, just like No More uses powerful multimedia campaigns to raise awareness about domestic violence. Through my work in marketing with the Leadership Program (and thereby, the Lipman Family Prize), I was shocked to learn that not only is the Super Bowl the heaviest human trafficking day in the WORLD, the day of the Super Bowl ranks as having the highest reports of domestic violence in the United States (Note: While these figures have been reported on in the media, it’s difficult to find one analytical resource to corroborate these claims.)
The No More website gives very informative tips on how we as a society can use our voice to stand up to domestic violence, recognize the cues of someone in an abusive relationship, and comes complete with a downloadable tool kit on ways to raise awareness in one’s own community. Not only that, it’s my belief that their advertisement in this year’s Super Bowl was a much better public service announcement. Not only did this advertisement shock and leave you wondering what you can do to help, but it used the way we all communicate nowadays (especially the younger generation) t0 portray a visceral reminder that sometimes saying a little can say a whole lot.