The Royal Borough of Greenwich: Children's faces on shop shutters

OgilvyOne London

The team

Emma De La Fosse, Charlie Wilson, Tara Austin, Nicole Yershon, Jon Morgan, Mike Watson, Joseph Grigg, Daniel Bennett, Janet Hodgson.

Other contributors:

Aphra Kiely & Katz Kiely – Project Directors, Ogilvy Lab Partners, The Paintsmiths – Graffiti Artists.

How did the campaign make a difference?

Using the very shop shutters that had been torn up during the riots to carry a message of social cohesion inverted their meaning. A year on, antisocial behaviour has fallen by 18% in the surrounding area. The shutters remain untouched and residents say their community feels safer.

What details of the strategy make this a winning entry?

In the week following the riots normality resumed, but there were questions. What possessed people to destroy their own neighbourhoods? What would stop it from happening again? An FMCG mag called The Grocer provided inspiration. The editor asked the Government to relax the planning laws on shop security shutters. The 'broken windows theory' made famous in 1990s by Bill Bratt suggests that small environmental cues have a catalytic effect on crime and anti-social behaviour. One broken window leads to two, through the unconscious assumption that if nobody repairs the window, then the area's effectively lawless. Shutters are a similar cue; they subconsciously bring down our collective psyche. By treating us all like anonymous criminals, they alienate and provoke us. But this campaign used shutters as a media space, carrying a message so positive that it inverted the negativity they stood for. Instead of providing a bare physical barrier to entry, the shutters held a message that made them a more powerful, moral barrier.

How did creativity bring the strategy to life?