Women's Refuge: Steps 1

The path to domestic violence happens one step at a time.

Advertising Agency: HooperNagel, Auckland, New Zealand
Art Director: Jonathan Horner
Copywriter: Jonathan Horner
Typographer: Ben Fraser, Geoff Francis
Photographer: Jeremy Blincoe
Retoucher: Jeremy Blincoe, Brent Backhouse
Model makers: Jonathan Horner, Brent Backhouse
Published: May 2009

16 comments

Guest's picture
Guest

driving a fiat is a step to domestic violence?!

Guest's picture
Guest

A path does not happen. A journey can happen. A path may appear, but 'path .... happens' is a mixed metaphor. Look it up.

shahidali's picture
shahidali
4069 pencils

metaphorically asking, what does fiat means?
why can't u digest the fact that the nonsense word has been incorporated by some musical ballad maestro to give harmony to the four piece of garbages produced look symettrical?

shahid

Guest's picture
Guest

"why can't u digest the fact that the nonsense word has been incorporated by some musical ballad maestro to give harmony to the four piece of garbages produced look symettrical?"

I can't digest any meaning at all from that random stream of words. Or should I say 'garbages'? Have you written any pizza hut ads recently? Your sentence makes almost as much sense as 'Water products are on your plate.'

shahidali's picture
shahidali
4069 pencils

pizza hut baby, u didn't answer my question!!!

shahid

Guest's picture
Guest

If you rephrase the question to make it intelligible, I promise I will. But I honestly have no idea what you asking with this jumble of words:

"why can't u digest the fact that the nonsense word has been incorporated by some musical ballad maestro to give harmony to the four piece of garbages produced look symettrical?"

shahidali's picture
shahidali
4069 pencils

son, its not in my hand to make the phrase 'intelligible' to you. all you have to do is gather some intelligence.
let me help u out. nonsense word is 'fiat' which does not fit in the ad. it has been incorporated to make it lyrical to all other seven words and make 8 words each as the other 3 piece of ads produced.

shahid

Guest's picture
Guest

Unlike where ever the fuck you are from Shahidali (judging by your illiterate gibberish), English is the first language of New Zealand. I expect more from a New Zealand copywriter than a Bulgarian one, but this ad shows the opposite. Not only does the concept suck shit through a wide-bore slurpie straw, the headline shows the writer has no feel for the language that is the basic tool of his trade. Advice: stay in Christchurch. Perhaps you can get away with it there. Don't show this shit to anyone in Auckland or Wellington.

shahidali's picture
shahidali
4069 pencils

dear smart alec, why don't u change ur status from guest to some abracadabra. all the guest r not welcomed always. do u know the problem with an expert intellect, they don't find partners to talk during orgazm. don't pretend to be an english while u r just english speaking. u already have enough racism to make yourself looklike one but not the fine finness ur your words should have contained.

i'm not much into advice, but one for you from the bottom of my heart: don't produce literature. ur words may encourage the whole world to try be a writer. A man's worst difficulties begin when he is able to do as he likes.

shahid

Guest's picture
Guest

"The journey to..." doesn't work nearly as well with the concept. First and foremost you have to get the communication across of the idea, there are dozens of ideas that have used phrases that aren't Queen's English to get their idea across. PS/. Why are you so mad?

bathsheba's picture
bathsheba
220 pencils

Hi there. One of the creators of the concept here... Guest 7:37 - we are from Auckland not from Christchurch. Christchurch is where the client's from. Everyone's entitled to an opinion, but feel that you may have an axe to grind.

Guest's picture
Guest

"...but feel that you may have an axe to grind."

Anything to avoid looking at the problems in the headline I guess. But yes I do have an axe to grind about copywriters and the English language, just as I have about a carpenter who is unfamiliar with the proper use of a hammer.

Yes I agree 'the journey to...' does not work. I was not suggesting it as a headline, only as a way to point out that 'The path... happens...' does not work either. Yes, there are examples of writing that ignores the rules of English and work well. This is not one of them. "The path ... happens" is awkward and clumsy. It is a stone in the middle of the headline for the reader to trip over.

Did you work at this? Did you write it 25 or more different ways and see what worked best, which is part of the basic craft of a writer?

Did you try and measure it against - for instance - "The smallest thing can lead to domestic violence." " Or "Anything can lead to domestic violence?" Or "You never know what will lead to domestic violence." Or the other 22 that should have been tried and tested? The fact is that it is a clumsy piece of writing, tripping over a mixed metaphor in the middle of a long sentence. A path just does not happen, yet alone one step at a time.

There has been a couple of famous campaigns about domestic violence in NZ and you must know that this will be measured against those. I a guessing you are a small or boutique agency, perhaps even a consultancy. A campaign like this is a calling card, a showpiece. And this does not make a good impression.

bathsheba's picture
bathsheba
220 pencils

Bless. Thanks for the tutorial in copywriting, but still believe the alternatives you offer would raise more doubts and create further complications than what we went with (for clarity sake). I could find a lot of campaigns that use less than perfect language, but at the end of the day it's what makes the communication work the strongest. You should know this.

Yes, there are a lot of great campaigns from NZ on this subject but they all tackle it from showing the beatings and violence aspect of dv. We decided to approach it from another direction. Judging from the feedback on this site, it hasn't been altogether creatively successful.

Guest's picture
Guest

"We decided to approach it from another direction. Judging from the feedback on this site, it hasn't been altogether creatively successful"

Bathsheba I think you're being to harsh on yourself here. Its very easy to get caught up in the critique of the concept and copy but at the end of the day what we should ask is does this achieve its aim. As someone who sees these ads on the buses around Christchurch each day and from my conversations with my wife and friends about the ads I can say that they are being noticed and people are being made more aware of the issue. We're not talking designers, copywriters, ADs etc here, we're talking everyday people on the street. As long as you are reaching the audience and that they're getting message and discussing it, surely the ad must be seen as not only successful but creatively successful.

Personally I don't understand how commentators on this site don't get the concept of the ads. Ordinary domestic scenes, starts off with good, ends with abuse but gets there step by step. Simple right? As a Kiwi I think the approach is bang on and the language is appropriate for a NZ audience.

Nice work.

Guest's picture
Guest

Wow - many thanks for that. Means a lot. I think I'll copy, paste and save your comments. Just trying to get an agency up and running is such hard work and so many nay-sayers on here and everywhere. Your comment here rocks. Thanks.

Guest's picture
Guest

re Fiat, you good people have picked up a dictionary right? Fiat - a formal authorization or proposition; a decree. Not quite so out of place really.

Why is everyone so hung up on the words in these ads being in a logical purposeful order? Didn't anyone play the change a letter at a time game? You know, one step at a time. Metaphor anyone? Am I the only one who gets this?

Log in or register to post comments