How Police Scotland challenged the narrative around sexual violence

By Awards Analyst | The Drum Awards

June 20, 2022 | 4 min read

Police Scotland and Stand won at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2022 in the Public Sector category for their ‘That Guy’ Campaign. Here, we find out more about what went into the successful project...

Police Scotland’s ’That Guy’ campaign challenged young men to take responsibility for male violence and have honest conversations with each other.

The brief

The primary objective was to engage with Scottish men aged 18 to 35 and encourage behavior change around the causes of sexual violence. Police Scotland wanted to educate men on the links between overt male sexual entitlement and serious sexual offending, with a view to reducing rape. This included establishing a direct link between low-level harassment and serious sexual offending. It also aimed to provide reassurance to women, particularly after recent high-profile cases of sexual violence.

The idea

The delivery strategy was digital-only as it is the most effective means of connecting with men aged 18 to 35. The primary measure of success was click-throughs to compelling and persuasive online content curated on a bespoke microsite that mimicked existing male-interest news sites.

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Traffic was then driven to the specialist content by strands of activity including paid-for digital advertising, a social media influencer campaign and engagement with the media to amplify key messages. The content was also shared on newly established ‘That Guy’ social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and also via Police Scotland corporate social channels.

Peer-to-peer communication was essential as research shows young men are particularly resistant to messaging from authority. This was the main driver behind the creative treatment for the film developed by Stand, as well as the decision to invest in social media influencers and the choice to not brand content overtly as Police Scotland.

Stand proposed a simple treatment with young men of different ages and ethnicities talking directly to the camera. The call-to-action would drive traffic to the microsite. Online content included a mix of shorter text and video articles and more in-depth features, all of which was shared, together with the hero film, on dedicated campaign social channels.

The results

The campaign earned 4m video views of the ‘That Guy’ film across all owned channels, with 3m views on the launch tweet. It also estimated additional 2m views across media outlets, YouTube, TikTok etc and gained 34,000 original uses of the #DontBeThatGuy hashtag.

Around 80,000 unique visitors landed on the website with 160,000 page views of its content. On social media, a 13% social media rate on owned campaign channels was earned while trending at number five in UK on Twitter on October 13 with key unsolicited shares including Rape Crisis Scotland and first minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Earned media saw an array of published content from UK TV and radio feature broadcast, UK print and online news and international print online coverage and broadcast coverage.

The campaign resulted in changes to Police Scotland, government and many other UK police services’ strategies to tackle violence against women and girls, with a new focus on men’s responsibilities for their own and their peers’ behavior. Indications are that the UK government’s strategy on men’s violence has changed in response to the campaign too.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2022. You can see all the winners here.

And check out which of The Drum Awards are currently open for entry.

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