Hurley Chandler & Chaffer Tackles Teen Violence

Hurley Chandler & Chaf fer has crafted a public-service campaign for the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence that attempts to draw attention to the often overlooked issue of teen dating violence.

A 30-second spot shows a teenage couple in a park. As the young woman chats on her cell phone, her date becomes in creasingly impatient and angry, grabs her arm and forces her to look at him. A short time later, the young couple cuddle as if nothing happened. The voiceover is the reading of the girl’s obituary: “A memorial service will be held today. She died as the result of injuries allegedly suffered at the hands of her boyfriend. Suspect is being held without bail. He will be charged with murder. An autopsy showed the woman died from a skull fracture. Burial will be private.”

The spot is tagged, “It is your,” which is the same line that has been used in previous ads for the past four years by Providence, R.I.-based Hurley Chandler. The campaign also includes radio spots, posters and outdoor executions. One pos ter shows an empty row of school lockers with one wide open; it overflows with flowers, candles and stuffed animals as a memorial to a teen age girl who died as a result of dating violence.

“Teens don’t identify with the term ‘domestic violence,’ ” said Deborah DeBare, executive director at the RICADV, Providence. “But we found they could identify with the term ‘dating violence.’ “

“For the last couple of years, we’ve worked on creating awareness of broader issues [relating to domestic violence] and on getting people to participate [in solving the problem],” said Kerry Chaffer, a partner at Hurley Chandler. “This year we decided to focus on teens because of the growing problem of teen domestic violence.”

Hurley Chandler works for the client on a pro-bono basis. The commercial is running on local network affiliates, as well as cable stations such as MTV.

The spot was produced by Element Productions, Boston. The campaign’s creative team includes copywriter Mike Sylvia and creative director Tom Chandler.