Barnardos’ latest campaign shows victims of child sexual abuse hiding in plain sight

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Tax time is unarguably the most competitive time of year for charities vying for donor attention. Hence Barnardos Australia engaged We Are Otter to doing something completely different to stand out from the crowd.

 

When it came to Barnardos work, what stood out to the We Are Otter creative team was children suffering sexual abuse do whatever they can to avoid attracting attention. In other words, they try to make themselves invisible.

The team built a campaign reflecting this by capturing children in various everyday scenes where the viewer has to find them. To tell this story and draw the audience in, the campaign focuses on three scenes all shot within the same house. It is a normal looking home, showing that child abuse can happen in familiar surroundings. Clever set design tells a story of family history in each scene, with colour building mood and tone.

The 30 second ad opens on a typical kitchen at breakfast time, then moves to a child’s bedroom in the mid-afternoon and then to a loungeroom in the late evening. Each of these rooms appear empty, but as the camera tracks, we see a child hiding in plain sight. The child is stock still with a face devoid of expression. The audience is compelled to empathise with the child trapped in this world of abuse, driving them to take immediate action. The voiceover explains:

Sometimes it’s those we can’t see who need our help the most

At home, children suffering from sexual abuse will do anything to avoid attention

Barnardos fights for children to be seen and protected

So they never have to hide again

The campaign shows the viewer that Barnardos is working hard to help children feel safe and seen, so they don’t need to hide from abuse.



Says Simon Jarosz and Jen Peace, We Are Otter: “For too long those the subject of sexual abuse has been in ‘the dark’, we were keen to literally show how Barnardos helps people step out from the shadows. This campaign is not a typical campaign designed to drive pity from hopelessness, rather, it’s about showing how Barnardos empowers and equips those affected to move forward toward a more optimistic future.”

We Are Otter also worked with Barnardos to help define and articulate their unique selling proposition (USP) as Fearlessly Optimistic in changing children’s lives to ensure they reach their brightest future.

This is the first campaign delivered under this new USP and the first time Barnardos have used a full production unit to create content for a fundraising appeal. It was only made possible thanks to We Are Otter and their production partners going the extra mile, investing time and effort over and above for such an important cause they truly believe in.

The campaign is being pushed out across YouTube, online display banners, paid social (Facebook & Instagram) and paid search.