In 2021, the Northamptonshire Office for the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (OPFCC) and West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) were together awarded Home Office funding to invest in the safety of women in the night-time economy.
Through their ongoing consultation with women’s and local community groups, the local council and police had already implemented numerous programmes across Northamptonshire to improve safety. These include increased street security, training for venues and staff, and checkpoints for offering support to victims.
Northampton OPFCC and WNC engaged Amplitude to develop a night safety campaign to spread awareness of violence against women and girls (VAWG), and to share advice for how to combat and prevent it.
THE BRIEF (IN BRIEF)
The It Only Takes One campaign’s objectives included:
- Promoting safety advice for women (applicable to everyone) going out at night.
- Raising men’s awareness of the impact that harassment and inappropriate behaviour have on women, and encouraging conversation amongst groups.
- Providing bystanders with the knowledge to recognise unacceptable behaviour and the confidence to challenge it or offer support to the person targeted.
The campaign sought to involve and get backing from night-time economy premises and workers (e.g pubs, clubs, taxi drivers, police, volunteers etc).
The primary audiences for this campaign were:
- Gen Z (aged 11-24)
Reach the younger end of the age bracket before they enter the night-time economy, and the older half currently experiencing it.
- Millennials (aged 24-38)
Women and girls who use the night-time economy.
- Parents and family members
Those with the ability to influence positive behaviour.
Both to encourage them call out negative behaviour they witness, but also reflect on their own behaviour.
Secondary audiences included bystanders and staff in licensed premises and private hire vehicles.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Given the sensitivity of the topic, a thorough research process was absolutely essential in the development of this campaign. We engaged with council and OPFCC stakeholders, and with local support groups that work with victims of sexual harassment and assault.
We held interviews and created surveys for stakeholders to give us a clear idea of how to address the issue. We also conducted research into previous campaigns VAWG and night safety from the local area, nationally, and globally.
From this research, we came up with the It Only Takes One concept. The IOTO concept centred on several core tenets:
- Avoid targeting just potential perpetrators, placing a similar emphasis on influencing the behaviour of bystanders.
- While most victims are women and most perpetrators are men, IOTO mustn’t create a ‘men vs women’ narrative.
- Messaging should be simple enough that anyone can understand and engage with it.
- Target a community-wide change in mentality, encouraging members of the community to look after one another.
With these tenets laid out and our research in-hand, we began creating visual concepts for the campaign. Below are a few of the ideas we came up with.
Careful copywriting was key in the It Only Takes One project for several reasons.
The first was the sensitivity of the topic. The words chosen for each deliverable needed to be impactful enough to grab people’s attention without relying on shock value. We sought to avoid victim blaming while still providing tips helping people avoid danger.
Second was the breadth of the target audience segments. Messaging needed to be strong enough for women to feel supported and safe, but not so strong that men felt unjustly targeted.
The final major copywriting challenge was the brevity of the messages we could include. Across all deliverables, copy had to be concise and snappy. This is what we ordinarily strive for, but the sensitivity of the topic made brevity more of a challenge than usual.
Through experimentation and audience research, we decided that a bold and punchy block typeface would be the most effective route. We chose this both to convey the seriousness of the messaging and for practical reasons, as block fonts would improve night-time legibility.
We followed the short, eye-catching block messaging with body copy that reinforced and explained the topic further.
We established a line drawing style and colour palette to tie all campaign assets together.
Campaign deliverables for It Only Takes One included videos for use on social media. These videos combined the messaging from the digital and print assets with an illustrated style and filmed actors.
The illustrative style was kept minimalist to keep the focus on the audio and create a somewhat lonely, dystopian experience. Illustration used our established campaign colours and line drawing style. The design of the streets themselves is based on actual Northamptonshire streets, particularly those where people often congregate at night.
We created several animations to sit at the heart of the social media portion of the campaign. The animations put the viewer in the shoes of a woman being harassed as they walk down an illustrated street. Signature campaign messaging appears on the walls as they pass darkened alleys.
An animated line guides the viewer’s eye through the animation, helping them understand where to look and what to read. At the end of the street, this line traces the outline of a person, and then transforms into an actor who delivers core campaign messaging straight to camera.
We created versions featuring one woman, one man, and both together. The actors were filmed on-site at our very own film and photography studio, with filming taking place over one day.
We chose actors and voice actors local to Northampton, ensuring that everyone involved had an investment in seeing the campaign be a success.
Our clients and their partners were thrilled with It Only Takes One campaign, which was rolled out on social media, stakeholder websites, partner venues, and across Northampton town centre.
The campaign has continued to evolve since the initial rollout, with additional out of home and window placements around Northampton town centre, and videos produced in partnership with Northampton Town Football Club. More local venues have got involves, as well as local businesses such as Metro Bank. We’re currently working on additional assets aimed at a slightly younger demographic, but as yet can’t divulge much. Check back in a few months to find out more.
“We wanted to create a campaign to highlight the issue of violence against women but we wanted our campaign to have reach and impact in a subject where so many words have already been spoken. We set Amplitude the challenge of working with a small group of partner organisations – never easy in itself – to create a campaign to meet all our aspirations and that we would all own and develop over years. And we have very high aspirations.
Jo and colleagues worked seamlessly with us, and felt like part of our extended team, researching the subject, bringing forward great ideas and listening to our concerns and ambitions that we would not blame or alienate men but involve them in a conversation about change. Even better, Amplitude developed a strong concept that is adaptable so that we can build on it as our campaign moves forward.
The marketing campaign was a crucial part of a bigger picture that kept us busy, so Amplitude kept the show on the road, moving forward, updating us every week, and reassuring us when we felt we might have over-reached.
From the first, the creative ideas were strong and of very high quality and Amplitude took us through the development skilfully, refining our ideas so that we achieved what we wanted, and more.
Amplitude gave us an effective, high-impact campaign that we are all very proud of, that we all feel ownership for and that we are all motivated to build on. The process was smooth and collaborative, and we never felt like we were just another client, but that Amplitude really cared about the work we were doing and wanted it to succeed. Working with Amplitude was a pleasure, and I am extremely pleased with what we have achieved with them.”
Deborah Denton, Head of Communications