Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Respect your elders

Yesterday, Senator Marjory LeBreton, Minister of State (Seniors), officially launched the Elder Abuse social marketing campaign we created for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

You can read about the government's strategy, and see our national TV commercial, here. Or you can download our brochure here.

This was an emotionally challenging campaign for us, but also some of the most important social issues marketing we've done to date.

Elder abuse has high awareness in its more extreme forms (HRSDC says that 9 in 10 Canadians rate it as a high government priority). However, more subtle everyday forms of abuse such as infantilization, financial scams, and passive neglect continue to fly under the radar for many people.

Our objective was to bring elder abuse to the level of awareness of child abuse or spousal abuse. Our creative strategy was to put the responsibility for spotting it and stopping it in the viewer's hands — literally — by putting him or her in the place of a neighbour peering through the blinds at acts of abuse in his or her community.

We filmed this TV spot in Montreal last summer with director Yanick Paquin and Producer Jacinthe Arsenault at Soma PUB.

Parts of the filming were difficult for the actors, crew, clients, and us. Watching take after take of a woman walking away from her confused father, and a very angry man screaming at his frail mother, was uncomfortable to say the least. The consolation came when each of the actors, when we met with them afterward, told us how much they appreciated this ad, and what important work it is.


  1. I saw this on air a couple of days ago and I was impressed with the impact it had on me. I had read this post previously but admittedly had not watched the TV spot it linked too. Upon seeing it I felt the need to write a comment to commend the work that was done by the actors and creative staff alike. nice work.