The New Domestic Violence adverts (Feb 2010)

I saw this advert on television for the first time the other day. I think it is such a brilliant advert. Although it shocked me at first, by the time it ended I just thought it was really really good. It is similar to the Women’s Aid advert starring Kiera Knightley (figure 1) except it is less hard-hitting. I feel it is a good idea to advertise for awareness of something so important as doemstic violence, as it effects so many women every year. It also is effective that they have targeted a younger, teenage audience, as it can happen to them as well, but it is so less likely that they would discuss it with anyone, probably because they feel even more alone and isolated than adults. The issue of teenage domestic violence was addressed in teen soap ‘Hollyoaks’ (see figure 2) which was hard-hitting but highlighted the issue brilliantly. I think that the new adverts for domestic violence are just the right balance between being effective, something that makes a lasting impression and something that goes too far- like the Women’s Aid advert was deemed to, as it was banned. I belive it is a much better use of advertising revenue and air time than the NHS’s new drinking adverts (see figure 3) as I feel they are pointless in the way they do not make a big enough deterrant to the target audience to stop drinking- something the audience have done as a part of their lives for so long. Whereas the new domestic violence adverts highlight an important issue, not just for the perpetrators or victims, but for those around them, the advert leaves a memory on their minds; whether the outcome be that they think before they hit the next time, or are hit the next time, or when someone they know shows signs of domestic abuse. The advert is a good length and just as you are wondering when it will stop, the character hitting the window appears and then the slogan. Some critics are already saying that it is not just females that suffer abuse, according to statistics 25% of teenage girls suffer domestic violence and a shocking 18% of boys are vitcims too. Some critics suggest that therefore the adverts are sexist, but whilst I agree that both issues should be tackled, it is one at a time and to suggest that it is a sexist advert is a bit strong. I think that there are too many domestic abuse adverts that are banned so to have one that is effective and more importantly is allowed to be aired, means that critics should not be so quick to judge. I think it is really effective to have the abuser or victim (like in the Women’s Aid advert) shown seperately and detached from their abusive or victim state, to show how they are normal and real people and that the abuse does not have to be constantly happening, it can just be infrequent occassions, but it is still serious. I really do feel this is a good advert and really gets the message across.

[Figure 1] Women’s aid advert-

[Figure 2] Hollyoaks  –

[Figure 3]  NHS advert –

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