News / Advertising

Anti-knife crime campaign sees affected kids involved in the creative process


A new anti-knife crime campaign for The Mayor of London by AMV BBDO involves young people affected by knife crime in its creative output. Aiming to imbue its content with the ideals it’s promoting, London Needs You Alive features a film by directing duo Novemba starring real kids from across London, and a photo campaign which saw photographer Tom Sloan mentoring two young people to help create the stills.

Tom worked with the two fledgling photographers from boroughs deeply affected by knife crime, who were sourced by Brixton charity Photofusion and given access to professional post production. The stills are going out on Instagram and poster sites across London, and plans are in motion to have them exhibited in City Hall.

The campaign aimed at 13-16-year-old Londoners saw AMV BBDO speak to young people coping with issues surrounding knife crime, who it says “have a resilience that is truly inspiring,” adding: “What was shocking to the agency was the little content out in the world that puts real value on these kids’ lives.”

Therefore the campaign focuses on a positive message, with the young people talking about their values, their importance and their own potential, hence why they choose not to carry a knife.

“Tackling knife crime is one of the toughest briefs in London,” says Alex Grieve and Adrian Rossi, ECDs at the ad agency. “Our best chance of success is to do something radical. We got rid of the guts and gore you’d expect from a knife crime campaign, along with most of the usual advertising media channels and gave kids something that would really resonate. London Needs You Alive is a movement designed to be owned by Londoners. It can be shared just as easily by influencers like grime artist Bossman Birdie and poets like Hussain Manawer or The Mayor of London as it is by the thousands of young Londoners affected by knife crime in their daily lives.”

'He needs me alive.' #LondonNeedsYouAlive #LNYA

A post shared by #LondonNeedsYouAlive (@londonneedsyoualive) on