Hard-hitting anti-gang campaign launches in Vancouver

    Gritty, street-level PSAs fight to take glamour out of gang life: "You
    end up beaten, jailed or killed"

    TORONTO, March 1 /CNW/ - Used gun shell casings branded with
www.stayout.ca are being circulated among youths and dropped in places across
Vancouver where they hang out. The edgy, controversial tactic is part of the
large multi-media public service announcement (PSA) campaign called "Youth
Against Gang Violence" being launched this week to combat gang recruitment and
gang-related violence on Vancouver streets.
    The hard-hitting PSA campaign is part of an on-going effort by A
Community That Cares, a local grassroots advocacy group committed to fighting
social issues affecting all communities in the Lower Mainland, and in
particular the South Asian community.
    Targeting young people who are at risk of entering into a gang lifestyle,
the "Youth Against Gang Violence" PSA campaign takes aim with a creative
arsenal that includes a 30-second "Microcosm" TV spot, the new www.stayout.ca
website and impactful street-level elements including mock gang recruitment
posters, unique ambient audio recordings and guerrilla marketing.
    "Unfortunately, some kids get caught up in the perception of glamour,
money, drugs and easy success that comes with the gangster lifestyle. The
reality is that once you are in, it's nearly impossible to get out. You end up
beaten, jailed or killed," says Daljit "DJ" Parmar, co-founder and
spokesperson, A Community That Cares.
    "The purpose of this campaign is to deliver the message that despite the
perceived glamour surrounding gang life, in reality there are severe
consequences, and provide them with an easy web link and hotline to find
support," adds Kabir Shaukat Ali, co-founder and spokesperson, A Community
That Cares.
    Vancouver advertising agency DDB Canada and Tribal DDB, its online and
interactive division, developed the campaign pro bono for A Community That
    "The high-impact campaign is creative and it doesn't appear preachy and
overbearing. Using engaging language and imagery that speaks to the target on
their terms, it gives youth a new outlook on gang life that will empower them
not to join," says Brett Macfarlane, account supervisor, DDB Canada,
Vancouver. "We want young people to understand and appreciate that gang life
is not the glamourized version of money, cars and women perpetuated by popular
    In developing the campaign strategy, DDB Canada conducted extensive
research and interviewed past and present gang members, as well as experts
close to the gang issue in Vancouver. Key insights used in the "Youth Against
Gang Violence" campaign also came from Kim Bolan, crime reporter, Vancouver
Sun; Shinder Kirk, RCMP Integrated Gang Task Force; and Rob Rai, counselor,
Vancouver School Board.
    To reach youth where they hang out "Local Gang Now Hiring" posters,
simple phone numbers and the www.stayout.ca website are being put up or
stenciled around bus stops, recreation centres, skate parks and schools. Used
gun shell casings branded with the www.stayout.ca website are also being
dropped for added impact in select areas of Vancouver.
    When the numbers are called, either a powerful anti-gang message is
played or audio recordings are played of a gang-related event that happened at
that specific site. The same recordings are found on the website,
    All creative elements ultimately link back to the Youth Against Gang
Violence hotline. While the objective of the campaign is not to provide
support services, information and resources are available to the community and
police services through the B.C. government supported Youth Against Gang
Violence Line - a 24/7 multilingual helpline at 1-800-680-4264, where all
calls are confidential and anonymous.
    Through the lens of a microscope, the television PSA entitled "Microcosm"
eerily portrays street gangs as a type of deadly blood infection while
delivering the tag line: "Gang Life Kills." Global Television has volunteered
to be a media partner and will air the "Microcosm" spot throughout the year.
The spot is also posted on YouTube at: 
    Earlier this year, A Community That Cares embarked on a crusade to tackle
the gang issue affecting Lower Mainland British Columbia. Realizing the
campaign required a strong creative presence to be effective, A Community That
Cares looked for professional creative expertise and recruited DDB Canada,
Vancouver to develop and produce the campaign.

    About DDB Canada: Better Ideas. Better Results

    DDB Canada (www.ddbcanada.com) is the most creatively acclaimed,
internationally recognized marketing communications agency in Canada. Ranked
the No.1 creative agency in Canada by Strategy magazine for the past nine
years, and among the top 15 best agencies in the world in The 2006 Gunn
Report, DDB Canada is recognized for award-winning advertising that generates
significant results for clients. A "total communications company," DDB Canada
believes creativity is the strongest business tool. With offices in Vancouver,
Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal, DDB Canada was named one of the "Best Small
and Medium Employers in Canada" in 2007 by the Queen's University School of
    The agency's integrated divisions include: DDB Kid Think (youth
marketing), DDB Public Relations, Tribal DDB (online and interactive),
Karacters Design Group, and Rapp Collins (direct).

    All creative elements of the the new PSA, can be viewed and downloaded.
Enter the following ftp site address in your web browser (Internet Explorer is

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: images or to schedule an interview, please
contact: Paige Calvert, Robert MacLean, DDB Canada, (416) 972-5852, (416)
972-5831, paige.calvert@ddbcanada.com, robert.maclean@ddbcanada.com

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