Hard Time for Texas Gun Crime

Attorney General Adopts Regian’s Campaign for Statewide Play
DALLAS–“Gun crime means hard time” is the blunt message of Texas’ first statewide crime prevention campaign, developed by Regian & Wilson/Grey Advertising.
The Texas attorney general’s office last week said it would take the Fort Worth shop’s advertising, developed for the privately funded Crime Prevention Re-source Center, and extend it statewide in a $1 million effort.
Regian & Wilson began working on the ad series with focus group studies, which involved prison inmates and parole officers.
“This is a campaign that had to work on a couple of levels,” said Kevin Mote, vice president and creative director at Regian & Wilson. “It’s targeting potential criminals, most of whom are not Yale graduates, so it has to be pretty straightforward and memorable. Yet it also has to work with the public at large.”
Added Mote: “Creative teams tend to want to make something really clever out of everything. We had to have a very basic message and went with the stern ‘here is what it is’ kind of approach.”
The “Gun crime means hard time” tagline is combined with dark graphics and, in the case of a television commercial, a claustrophobic look at a modern prison cell.
The bilingual campaign will launch Dec. 6 in Dallas. It will include television, radio and outdoor, as well as media relations and collateral materials that will be distributed by police officers on the street. The effort will be expanded to include the Texas cities of Austin, Beaumont, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Fort Worth, El Paso, Houston, San Antonio and Tyler.
Heather Browne, a spokesperson for the attorney general’s office, said while crime prevention initiatives are usually handled through an internal public information unit, “for this we wanted to go further and do a full-out media blitz.”
The purpose of the campaign is to draw attention to the fact that individuals who commit crimes with a gun in Texas in the future will automatically receive the maximum penalty, which includes no pardon and no parole.
The “gun crime” program is included as part of a $1.6 million federal grant. The rest of the monies will go to funding prosecutors. K