The European Antibullying Network, with Ogilvy & Mather Berlin, has launched a campaign to stop teens bullying by speaking to them through GIFs.
The looping animated images have become a way of communication for teens, with many created and shared for humour. However, many of the laughs come at someone’s misfortune.
Ogilvy decided to use that characteristic to show that bullying gets worse the longer it continues, by increasing the suffering of the GIF character each time it plays.
Called ‘Escalating GIF’, the campaign has three GIFs featuring what appears to be harmless bullying, with one girl’s hair being cut, a boy being hit by a thrown shoe and a ‘touch me’ sign being attached to a girl’s back.
However, each repeat sees the actions towards the victims grow harsher and the consequences become more severe.
The characters in the GIFs are not actors, but students of Berlin's John Lennon High School. Many have previously experienced bullying themselves.