IPA Effectiveness Awards 2005: Silver Award - Northern Ireland Office Community Safety Unit

NORTHERN IRELAND OFFICE COMMUNITY SAFETY UNIT Campaign: Theft from vehicles Client: Northern Ireland Office, Community Safety Unit Agency: AV Browne Advertising Principal authors: Mike Fleming, Damian Donnelly Media used: Print, outdoor, radio, press


The aim of this campaign was to make vehicle owners in Northern Ireland more aware of the danger of leaving valuables in their cars and vans.

It was part of an initiative to drive down instances of car theft in the run-up to the busy Christmas shopping season.

The strategy and creative idea showed how, by leaving their valuables on view, careless drivers were drawing thieves' attention to the rich pickings available in their vehicles.

This behaviour was dramatised through a variety of creative executions using press, radio and outdoor media. Posters carried lines such as "My handbag is behind the passenger's seat" and "Thieves! Check out my new mobile" to exaggerate the need for drivers to keep their valuables out of sight.

This creative approach, underpinned by the strapline "If they see it, they'll steal it" and combined with a tightly focused, geo-targeted media strategy, resulted in a 33 per cent reduction in reported thefts across the targeted areas during the campaign period. Reported thefts were also 22 per cent down for six weeks after the campaign ended.


"The judges admired this paper for the clarity of its demonstration of advertising effectiveness. The campaign succeeded in reducing theft from vehicles in some of the most crime-ridden areas of the region. In a small but significant way, it contributed to improving people's quality of life and also empowered local communities. The demonstration showed a year-on-year reduction in crime in the advertised areas. Intermediate research data showed a strong chain of effects linking the message and media to the effects."

- Tim Broadbent, managing director, BrandCon.


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