Creative in association withGear Seven

BBDO Germany Conceives Compelling #ENDviolence Campaign for UNICEF

Advertising Agency
Düsseldorf, Germany
BBDO Germany collaborated with production company BWGTBLD and prominent US-American director Jared Knecht

20th November is World Children's Day – reason enough to point out an important fact: far too often, children continue to be subjected to violence. And the marks left by violence are not always visible. There is a need for greater awareness about the scale of violence against children and its impact. It is to this end that this stirring film aims to raise awareness of this issue as part of UNICEF’s new #ENDviolence campaign starting in Germany.

Even today, violence against children is far too often met with silent acceptance, trivialised, or even justified. This is also true in Germany. Worldwide, three out of every four children between the ages of two and four are subjected to physical or psychological violence by their parents or other guardians. The young victims often do not have anyone they can turn to or who will take them seriously. The effects on the children can be severe and leave deep scars. This is equally true for forms of violence that are hardest to see yet which are the most frequent, such as emotional abuse and neglect.

The campaign that the BBDO Germany agency has conceived for UNICEF Deutschland takes the largely unseen humiliations and mistreatments suffered by countless girls and boys all over the world on a daily basis and makes them visible. The campaign films – a 90-second video and three short versions – purposely do not depict any actual scenes of violence. The film, which is also available to watch on the campaign website, tells the story of three children, who have experienced violence in different ways. The message: violence leaves more than a mark.

The subtle images poignantly show the ways in which physical violence, humiliation and verbal abuse scar not only the bodies but also the minds of children. Words such as ‘loser’, ‘good-for-nothing’ and ‘idiot’ are demeaning and create a graphic image of how these experiences can continue to hurt children long after the fact. This impact is depicted most vividly in the two-minute director's cut. At the end, this version shows how people can continue to suffer the effects of childhood violence even as adults.

BBDO Germany collaborated with highly regarded Berlin-based production company BWGTBLD and prominent US-American director Jared Knecht. ‘Sadly the true nature of abuse doesn’t always look one way. It takes many forms and more often than not we ignore the lasting effects it can imprint on children,’ says Jared Knecht. ‘Our goal was to wake people up to the consequences of violence by showing things that are often hidden in plain sight. Instead of showing abuse our focus was on the aftermath of violence. We wanted to keep the children at the centre and take our grim subject matter and present it in a brighter veneer. It shocks you into paying attention and hopefully communicates a lasting impression on viewers to think differently with how they treat their relationships with young children in their lives.’

UNICEF is now appealing to people on social media to share the film using the hashtag #ENDviolence and #NiemalsGewalt for Germany. Prominent influencers from the fields of entertainment and sport will also be supporting the campaign with their own contributions.

Work from BBDO Group Germany
The Glitch
Alzheimer Forschung Initiative