Outrage! Promo, Case study BASHING by FamousGrey Brussels

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Industry Public awareness
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Belgium
Agency FamousGrey Brussels
Creative Director Joeri Van Den Broeck
Copywriter Bram Ceuppens
Released January 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Public Affairs
Advertiser: OUTRAGE!
Product/Service: HUMAN INTEREST
Creative/Development Application: Bert Vermeire (Famous Brussels)
Strategic Director: Jonathan Detavernier (Famous Brussels)
Public Relations: Liesbeth Pyck (Famous Brussels)
Public Relations: Anne-Cécile Collignon (Famous Brussels)
Account Manager: Marlies Neudt (Famous Brussels)
Design: Ken Wuytack (Famous Brussels)
Copywriter: Bram Ceuppens (Famous Brussels)
Creative Director: Tim Driesen (Famous Brussels)
Media placement: Press Conference - Conference - 2/1/2012
Media placement: Launch App - Conference - 18/1/2012
Media placement: Direct Mail - E Mail - 18/1/2012
Media placement: Famous Press Room Publication - Internet - 18/1/2012
Media placement: Outrage! Publication - Internet - 18/1/2012
Media placement: Interviews - All Media - 18/1/2012

Summary of the Campaign
Last year, Brussels was everything but a Gay-friendly environment. Homophobic attacks took place in all parts of the town. But because most victims did not report the attacks, official figures were so low they never forced politicians to take action against this crime.

Outrage! decided it was time to raise awareness for this reality. They wanted to give the public a true sense of the gravity and frequency of 'gaybashing', and force politicians to act.

That’s why we launched the Gay Bashing app. An iPhone app that allows victims to simply report attacks – both physical and verbal – and pinpoint them on a map. So all users of the app and visitors of the website, gaybashing.be, could see the insults and physical violence the gay community has to live with every day.

We started a PR campaign to launch the app and open the gaybashing debate. The media immediately picked it up. Talk shows, newspapers, blogs, etc., all covered the gaybashing story. The term gaybashing instantly became mainstream.

In no time, we proved pubic opinion and politicians that homophobic violence is a reality in Belgium. But more importantly, for the first time in Belgian history, real political actions were taken against gaybashing. The national security plan was adapted to include a chapter about gaybashing, enabling the police to fine harassers immediately. And - even more impressively - politicians are looking into changing the federal law on physical violence so that incidents with a discriminative nature will be sanctioned even more severely.

The Situation
Last year, the Belgian gay scene became victim of a series of violent homophobic attacks - both physical and verbal. As most of gaybashing attacks were never reported to the police (reasons: victims feel ashamed, too much paper work, etc.), the official figures were so low they could not force politicians to take action against this crime.

Outrage! wanted to raise awareness for this senseless homophobic violence, to stress the importance of filing in an official police report after an incident and to force politicians to take action against gaybashing.

The Goal
For the first target group, the gay community, we wanted to encourage victims to report homophobic incidents to the police, so more official numbers would be available.

For the second target group, the general public, we wanted to make people realise gaybashing is a very serious problem a lot of people are not aware of.

And for the last target group, the politicians, we wanted to put the pressure on and make it obvious something had to be done.

The Strategy
We allowed the gay community to show the public just how many physical and verbal attacks they have to live with every day, with a smartphone app. The Gay Bashing app allowed Gay people to pinpoint on a map where they had been attacked, and to add a short description.

Everybody could see this on the app, and on a website. This gave the public a true sense of the problem. And urged politicians to take action.

We launched the app, without an advertising campaign. The whole campaign was based on PR only.

We organised a round table to present the Bashing-app, but more importantly, to re-open the debate of homophobic violence. We challenged politicians and gay movements to find solutions for the gaybashing problem. National press was invited to follow the debate.

As from this moment, the only thing the people from Outrage! had to do to keep the campaign/the debate alive, was giving interviews, interviews and more interviews. In a few days, ‘gaybashing’ became a hot topic: not only for press, but also on the political agenda. And now, after 3 months, we still get journalist requests every week.

Documented Results
The app immediately got picked up in the media. Outrage! was invited to almost every talkshow in the country, to discuss the topic. All newspapers covered the story. We reached 100% of the Belgian population and got a PR-value of more than €1,000,000.

‘Gaybashing’ became a hot topic on social media.

In less than a week, 1,600 people downloaded the app and 122 homophobic attacks, physical or verbal were reported.

The public cried out for action. Politicians understood it was time to act:
-A gaybashing chapter was included in the national security plan.
-In Brussels, hate crimes are now punished with an administrative fine, even before the case comes to court.
-Ministers are looking into changing the law on intended physical violence, so violence with a discriminative nature will be sanctioned more severely.

The Dutch Gay community also launched the app in The Netherlands.