Saatchi Wellington unveils harrowing new Women’s Refuge campaign

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The tagline for the 2010 Women’s Refuge appeal almost says it all: ‘Living in fear isn’t living’. But Saatchi & Saatchi Wellington have managed to say a bit more about the scourge of domestic violence in New Zealand with their creative work. And by raising awareness of what it’s like to live in psychologically or physically abusive homes, it hopes more funds can be raised to help the women and children leading fear-filled lives.

The campaign, which includes the ‘Eggshells’ TVC (the gripping of the chair has to be one of the most chilling images of the year), some rather sinister print and Adshel executions that have an almost Being John Malkovich feel to them, and an online viral game that highlights how difficult the reality of life in an abusive home can be, focuses on the one thing that all forms of domestic abuse have in common: the climate of fear.

Women’s Refuge chief executive Heather Henare says people can usually recognise physical abuse because there is something to see. Psychological abuse, however, is far more sinister and also far more prevalent.

“We know that 90 percent of the women we work with are dealing with psychological abuse. Physical abuse destroys the body, psychological abuse destroys the soul,” she says.

Saatchi & Saatchi associate creative director Scott Henderson, who was responsible for the campaign, says fear is something that all New Zealanders can relate to, and while we may not have experienced the reality of abuse, he says we can start to imagine what it must be like to live constantly in fear’s shadow.

“Exercising financial control over a partner and holding their every action to account can destroy a person’s confidence. And a constant undercurrent of potential violence can be so damaging that actual violence, when it finally comes, can almost come as a relief.”

Livia Esterhazy, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellington’s general manager is hopeful the campaign will get New Zealanders to recognise that situations they may not have seen as abusive, are in fact harmful and unacceptable.

Saatchi & Saatchi has supported Women’s Refuge as a pro bono charity client for ten years, and last year’s campaign delivered a 75 percent increase in donations. But campaigns like this are a joint effort and she also thanked the large number of suppliers who gave their time and talent to assist this year, including Flying Start, Toybox, Starcom, Touchcast/Next, Marmalade Audio and many others.

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