“Stärker als Gewalt” (meaning “Stronger Than Violence”) was established in 2019 on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth to provide information and support against domestic violence.
When Covid-19 hit, Germany was forced into lockdown to protect its citizens, but it saw a disturbing unintended consequence—a worrying rise in domestic violence. To make things worse, not only was the violence increasing, but being in close quarters with a violent partner 24/7 meant that an affected person is much less able to call the helplines or emergency services.
“Stärker als Gewalt” urgently needed to help victims, by giving them support. But how could they help victims when they couldn’t even talk to them?
To ensure the initiative could reach sufferers and promote the vital “Stärker als Gewalt" website, we launched a campaign in the one place that victims would still be able to go to—and may even go alone—the supermarkets.
Reaching out to the biggest German supermarkets we gained permission to post our message in thousands of retails stores across the country.
We then placed our posters in-stores, directly in the line of sight for shoppers. Posters sported the arresting slogan "Not safe at home?" and contained key service information for sufferers and observers of domestic violence. These were designed to catch the attention of victims and the general public, who could have neighbors, friends or family members in danger.
But it didn’t stop there… we also convinced supermarkets to let us include the key campaign information and contact details on their till receipts, ensuring that the "Stärker als Gewalt" mission and message was printed and delivered directly into the hands of thousands of German people every day.
STRATEGY & EXECUTION
We complemented the real-world supermarket outreach with a smart Search Engine Advertising/Social Ad campaign, which would ensure that our message spread wider still so that anyone looking for help during lockdown would be able to find it.
We assisted the Ministry in establishing cooperation with supermarkets, to ultimately place our literature in 26,000 stores, including those operated by REWE, Penny, real, Edeka, Netto Marken-Discount, Lidl, ALDI Nord and Süd.
We also provided essential background information, empowering the partner company's employees and enabling media relations.
To drive media coverage, we launched with a press conference featuring Federal Minister, Dr. Franziska Giffey on location in a supermarket (while carefully following all Covid-related precautionary measures).
Bringing the campaign to a local level, we sent out toolkits to mayors, equal opportunity commissioners and help-organizations to engage their support.
Native advertising and Search Engine Advertising answered people's questions online, bringing them to our website where we pushed customized Covid-related content focusing on help and ways to intervene to end violence—despite the lockdown.
The information was placed on posters, products and receipts in around 26,000 stores across Germany, as well as online on websites and social media channels.
Media coverage was massive with most major TV outlets such as Tagesschau, n-tv, ZDF heute, RTL Nachtjournal, and SAT1 Morgennachrichten covering the story on a national level, as well as news agencies, newspapers, and online media all featuring the press conference.
Local media outlets turned to the action and activities in local stores and gave the story a local spin. This inspired local authorities, politicians and NGOs to jump on board, using the campaign as a platform to raise the awareness for local help offers in their communities, and the knock-on effect has been extraordinary.
A civil society organization against domestic violence supported our campaign by distributing our posters in Rosenheim, Bavaria. Also, municipalities such as Ulm as well as representatives of state governments such as the Minister for Women's Affairs of Rhineland-Palatinate, Anne Spiegel, or the Minister for Social Affairs of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Stefanie Drese, called on the general public to pay attention and look for help on the "Stärker als Gewalt" website—displaying our poster at supermarkets and on their social media channels. Numerous local women's shelters added their logo and local contact details on to our posters, displaying them in their neighborhoods.