Dentsu Thailand turned a recent fight event in Thailand into a live PSA about domestic violence. Watch the video above to see how fans—who had paid to watch several pro boxing matches—reacted when one bout turned out to be a husband savagely attacking his wife.
"The audience came to watch the usual fights," Ted Lim, chief creative officer of Dentsu Brand Agencies APAC, told Campaign Asia-Pacific. "They were not expecting this."
In reality, the 'husband' and 'wife' were performers, and the stomach-turning violence was staged on behalf of the Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation (WMP). The message: that domestic violence is unacceptable in public and at home.
"It was a real Friday night fight event," Jon Chalermwong, Dentsu Thailand chief creative officer, told Campaign. "There were six fights in total and 'The Daily Fight' was the third. When we presented the idea to the promoter, he was eager to participate in every way he could. So this event was a 100% real event with real audience members who bought tickets."
The WMP released the film on International Women’s Day through its Facebook and YouTube channels. The organisation has actually used boxing as a medium for its message before, in a stunt it did with JWT in 2017.
Campaign's view: We like the choice to stage the fake fight within a real event. The idea wouldn't have worked had the crowd members been actors. The two 'fighters' clearly deserve much of the credit because they apparently convinced many of the fans—no strangers to watching violence in the ring—that what they were seeing was real. We're just surprised no one vaulted over the ropes to put a stop to it.
Of course, some people might object to the evening's man-versus-man boxing matches as well, but that's another story (see "'You can't guarantee a win', but brain damage is a near certainty").
Finally, to be fair, we have to note that because of the timing, this campaign may be an example of award bait. But if so it's the benign kind—the kind where an agency is delivering a well-considered message in a way that serves the client and the cause, even though it might have some thought of winning awards. This is as opposed to the rotten kind of award bait—the kind with an attention-getting but ultimately nonsensical ploy which was clearly created mainly with awards in mind and which actually does a disservice to the client and the cause. Like the one we saw yesterday: see "Sure, women should wear panties that call the police in case of rape".
Chief Creative Officer: Jon Chalermwong
Creative Director: Pisut Nirodsil
Associate Creative Director: Tanong Thaponsawat
Senior Copywriter: Bhuvadol Thykahm
Associate Director: Tanit Toemsukkasem
Assistant Planning Manager: Pattiya Tanaphol
Media Buying Execusive: Taweeporn Keawkomtai
Film Producer : Pornrupak Pirapatanakul
Senior Traffic Controllor Supervisor: Vimonrat Udompornvararak
Production House: Sampeng House
Director: Naradon Leopairote
Producer: Arporn Pinijkhar
Sound: Tem Siang Sound Studio
Color Grading: Renegade Group