A knife is the most common weapon used in killing youth in the UK, four out of ten youth killings have used the weapon in perpetrating the crime. Part of the reason for the prevalence of knife attacks is that many youths carry them believing that its going to provide them with some protection. To tackle the issue, and to dissuade the youth from carrying knives for protection the Metropolitan police (London, UK) and AMV BBDO collaborated with the UK’s central Office of Information to run the “Choose a Different Ending” Campaign. A series of hard-hitting interactive videos and a website that reach out to youths in their own environments.
What is it about?
A central part of the campaign are the interactive videos, 21 in total, presented from the 1st person perspective that let the viewer make a decision at the end of each 30 second clip which might save or doom the protagonist. This was one of the first usage of interactivity on Youtube for a campaign which was used by many other campaigns with great success.
The campaign was promoted through TV adds that directed viewers to search for the campaign, through in-game advertising and social networks. Effectively going out and putting it in the face of the target market in the places they hang out at and confronting them with the campaign, an approach that is commonly used in awareness campaign but not effectively accomplished online.
The Buzz In Numbers
The video generated a lot of interest at the time of its release, and has won several awards for its creative use of the medium and its success. Over the span of the past year the video is still generating a steady and increasing number of views.
The channel has generated to date a total of over 3.18 million views and has an average user rating of 4.6 out of 5.
2.1% click-through rate on viral video trailers.
At peak, more than 80 comments a day were posted.
Highest total recall of any Metropolitan Police campaign, ever. 78% among our target.
Why did they do that?
The campaign got several things right and it truly owes its success to the creatives behind it.
- Clever use, and presence on channels and mediums that the target audience is present on like video games, MTV and Youtube.
- Intriguing and realistic plot that appealed to people and made them curious enough to click through and attempt to find out all the alternative endings evidenced by their comments and click through rates.
- Branding was kept to a minimum. The videos contain no indication of their source or the party responsible for them, and that makes a lot of teens less likely to dismiss them without giving them a chance like is the case with many awareness campaigns.
Did you get to an ending? Did you try to find others? What was your reaction to the events that went on in the storyline? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.