Vancouver Crime Stoppers introduces the region’s latest fashion must-have: Kevlar

Who: Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, with PS DDB for creative.

What: “We Need Tips,” a campaign addressing the wave of gun violence and gang activity that has plagued the Lower Mainland this year. It’s being supported through a $200,000 grant provided by the federal government’s Gun and Gang Violence Action fund.

When & Where: The integrated campaign launched this week and includes online video, radio, print, out-of-home and social. It is running into 2022 with donated out-of-home inventory from Pattison Outdoor Advertising and Outfront Media. 

Why: The campaign arrives amidst a wave of gun-related violence in the Lower Mainland, with shootings in public places including the Vancouver International Airport, as well as restaurants, recreation centres and shopping districts.

Campaigns such as this have proven to have a tangible impact. The organization’s “World Without Crime” campaign resulted in a 13% increase in anonymous gang and gun crime tips received by the organization, with 145 people ultimately arrested for gang violence and illegal weapons offences, and the seizure of 219 guns.

How: The campaign is built around a creative concept in which gun protection has become a necessary part of everyday life.

The 30-second anchor spot shows a woman and her young son buying drinks at a coffee shop, where the clerk asks if they’ll be sitting outside. When they say yes, he pulls out bulletproof vests. “You’re a little exposed out there,” he says to the bewildered mom.

A series of social ads feature images of mannequins wearing the latest in protective wear, including Kevlar Brollies (“block rain and bullets”) and vests, while a radio spot features a young fashionista extolling the season’s hottest trend: Body armour. “This one is quite light given that, you know, it stops bullets,” she says.

And we quote: “As we’ve seen, no neighbourhood is immune from gang violence and the ads featuring bullet-proof vests say it all, ‘We need tips, so we don’t need these.'”  — Linda Annis, executive director, Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers


Chris Powell