A campaign by Alpaca
With knife crime at its highest ever recorded level, Alpaca has created a youth led campaign that uses a maligned medium to convey a mindful message. The campaign’s launch track was produced in partnership with an inner-city youth charity (Snow-Camp), Link Up TV and leading drill artist, Nito NB.
Mindfulness has never been used to help tackle knife crime in a format that truly connects to young people. To reimagine how mindfulness techniques can help young people manage their emotions, Alpaca sought to create the first ever drill track to combat knife crime with mindfulness. It’s precisely because drill music has been accused of inciting knife crime that it was the right medium to communicate an anti-knife crime message.
The track, titled Breathe, uses a traditional, drill temp. Its difference can be found in the lyrics written in partnership with a mindfulness counsellor and Nito NB. Nito NB leads listeners introspectively through a series of issues that plague him, many of which are familiar to young, drill listeners (the campaigns target audience). Hidden in his storytelling are subtle mindfulness techniques.
Breathe was amplified by securing a premiere slot on Link Up TV’s YouTube channel, views topped 100,000 in the first hour. The campaign has received national print and broadcast media attention and has driven sign ups from young people to Snow-Camp’s mental health support programme.
Alpaca’s campaign was supported by OOH and digital advertising across key inner-city locations in partnership with London’s original grime illustrator, Elena Gumeniuk. The imagery focused on releasing brooding and intense emotions and inner turmoil and troubles were depicted as scribbles and fragments that relate to the dark and grim realities of knife crime. The gradient colouring of the images presents a duality of dark and light and was used to help reflect the idea of releasing tension that can be achieved through mindfulness.
Peter Elms, director at Alpaca Communications said: “Mindfulness is not going to solve the knife crime pandemic. No campaign can. But if the campaign encourages just one young person to look in the right places for the right support, then it’s worth doing. By taking the time to listen to young people affected by knife crime we learned that drill was the right medium, and that learning to have better control of your emotions was a life-saving message. By combing those two elements we created the type of campaign the agency was made to make”
Artist: Nito NB
Illustrator: Elena Gumeniuk