PSA elicited public ‘help’

Bank robbers don't typically share their contact details mid-heist. Which is why Toronto Crime Stoppers needs help from the public, as illustrated in a new PSA that broke last month, featuring an armed robber barking out his address and phone number, as well as his cash demands. The tag is 'Crimes don't solve themselves.'

Bank robbers don’t typically share their contact details mid-heist. Which is why Toronto Crime Stoppers needs help from the public, as illustrated in a new PSA that broke last month, featuring an armed robber barking out his address and phone number, as well as his cash demands. The tag is ‘Crimes don’t solve themselves.’

‘We didn’t want to do a typical PSA,’ explains Andrew Simon, SVP/CD, DDB Canada, Toronto. ‘We wanted something fresher, a bit more arresting…we wanted to dial up the intensity level.’

While the idea of a criminal ratting himself out is amusing, Simon says they were careful to keep the tone sober. ‘We weren’t trying to be funny. It’s a very serious issue.’

The phone numbers provided in the spot are active lines, complete with voicemail greetings from the actor who plays the robber. Simon says the lines have already received quite a few calls, mostly from young people telling the culprit to turn himself in.

The spot has already landed on bestadsontv.com, and has attracted attention from a Crime Stoppers chapter in Australia interested in adapting the commercial there.

Print, online and OOH will roll out during 2007. And, at press time, six radio spots were in production. One in particular should spark debate, as it tackles the prickly topic of child pornography.

client: Lorne Simon, chair, Toronto Crime Stoppers

agency: DDB, Toronto

CD: Andrew Simon

copywriter: Shane Ogilvie

AD: Mark Bovey

agency producer: Andrew Schulze

prodco: Untitled Films

exec prod: Aerin Barnes

director: James Haworth

DOP: Johnny Cliff

editor: Brian Williams, Panic & Bob

sound: Paul Seeley, Up Is Louder

You are cordially invited to submit your new, dead clever and previously unrevealed campaigns to: editorial director Mary Maddever at mmaddever@brunico.com and CD Stephen Stanley at sstanley@brunico.com, co-curators of strategy’s Creative space.