Crime Stoppers imagines a world without crime

A new campaign in B.C. takes a broader approach to help drive awareness for the organization among millennials.

Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers is looking to drive awareness among a younger demographic by showing them what the world would look like if crime didn’t exist.

A series of three 30-second TV spots created by DDB Canada Vancouver set up what appear to be situations where a crime is waiting to happen: a figure under a bridge as a jogger approaches, a windowless van pulling up to young children and a car full of men driving past another young man at night. However, those situations are revealed to be far more innocent than we’ve come to expect.

Further videos spots will be released throughout the year, and the broader campaign also features out-of-home, radio, digital executions and extension into social media across the province. In addition to DDB, partners that provided discounted or donated services and media space included Radke Film Group, Cycle Media, Wave Productions, Adam and Kev Photography, Pattison, Lamar, Newad and local radio and television stations.

Linda Annis, executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, says that while overall awareness for the Crime Stoppers brand is high, many young people are unaware of what the organization actually does – allowing citizens to make anonymous tips about crimes in their communities. It is attempting to communicate that through a message that Crime Stoppers offers a way to help contribute to a crime-free world, no matter what that crime is.

Annis says previous Crime Stoppers marketing has focused on specific issues or crimes, and to an extent, that is happening here. British Columbia has had 26 gang-related murders so far in 2017, compared to 23 for all of last year. That’s why the first round of ads features a gang-related video that has its own “#WorldWithoutGangs” hashtag, as well as a focus on gang violence in print ads.

But the overall campaign has a broader focus. “I think everyone would like to have a crime-free world, but people have to participate to make it that way,” Annis says. “We also wanted to be able to give people reasons to report a multitude of things, and not just the things people might have traditionally thought of when they about our organization.”

“We’re not having a high incidence of assault or kidnapping, thankfully, but they are still important things we want people to report on,” Annis says. “We wanted to include those messages, and the others we’ll be featuring throughout the year, to make it broader so people aren’t just thinking we’re for reporting gang activity.”