Tribal Worldwide Toronto Raises Awareness of Human Trafficking With New PSA

August 1st, 2017


Tribal Worldwide Toronto has created a powerful new PSA that educates the public on how to recognize the signs of Human trafficking. Launched in partnership with Toronto Crime Stoppers, the work is intended to educate the public on how to recognize the signs of someone being victimized and drive them to report suspicious behavior by calling 1-800-222-TIPS.

“Human trafficking occurs closer to home than most Canadians realize, and the signs can be hard to identify or are easy to dismiss,” says Sean Sportun, vice chair, Toronto Crime Stoppers.  “Moreover, with the legalization of prostitution comes ambiguity over what is and isn’t a legal sexual service, making it difficult for everyday citizens to discern between a consenting sex worker and an exploited, abused and powerless victim.”

Knowing that hotels are one of the top hot spots where sex trafficking occurs, the campaign by Tribal Worldwide Toronto uses search engine marketing to target people searching for hotel accommodation in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to serve them digital banner ads for Hotel De Jeunesse, a fake hotel found online.  At first glance, the site appears like an innocuous hotel site, with nothing out of the ordinary; but upon further inspection it becomes clear to users that it’s not a real hotel; but rather a powerful tool to educate the public on the disturbing displays of human trafficking.

“We wanted to reach people right before they entered into a known human trafficking hotspot so they could help us fight this problem. By creating a presence on travel-related platforms and in those micro-moments, we are able to unpack what signs to look for,” says Marketa Krivy, executive creative director, Tribal Worldwide Toronto.  “The signs of human trafficking hide in plain sight and can be easily dismissed if you don’t know what to look for. But once you do, it becomes much harder to ignore.”

The campaign also includes out-of-home placements across the GTA including, transit shelter ads, elevator advertising, TTC digital screens, advertising at gas stations and Mac’s convenience stores, and carousel ads on Facebook and Instagram targeting people with travel interests.  The creative discreetly places the scenes and signs of human trafficking within the patterns of hotel room fabrics, including the wallpaper, bedding and drapes.

This is the first time Toronto Crime Stoppers has launched a campaign that focuses on human trafficking. It will run across the GTA for five weeks with OMD responsible for the media strategy and placement.

Indicators that can point to sex trafficking include:

  • High-end vehicles driven by a young male and occupied by young females
  • Large age discrepancy between male and female in company of each other with no reasonable explanation for the relationship
  • Young girls with inappropriate beauty maintenance for their age range and or destination
  • Young girls in possession of expensive clothing, phones, jewelry with no reasonable means to afford the possessions
  • Young girls who are underweight and appear malnourished
  • Excessive activity on social media

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