More than one in three young people have experienced cyber threats online, while over 25% of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their mobile phones or the internet, according to the i-SAFE foundation.
With a smart phone in every young person’s hand, bullying is no longer just confined to the classroom or playground. There is no escaping the onslaught of abuse, even within the walls of the home. This makes the bullying relentless, exhausting and can often leave children feeling like they have nowhere left to turn to.
The latest campaign from Barnardo’s and FCB Inferno, ‘Hyena’, aims to capture the terror and pain of what being bullied as a child feels like, all the while directing the viewer to the life-changing work the charity offers.
The distress of being bullied is depicted through the eyes of a 12-year-old girl at school, as she is stalked by a pack of hyenas when she’s walking home and even at night as her phone pings with messages. The hyenas not only look ominous but the soundscape of the film also heightens the emotional response of the audience as we hear the animals laughing and snarling, and the girl’s running steps as she’s chased home.
‘Hyena’ alongside two other films that will be launching over the course of the next year. The films have been created to highlight the charity’s mental health support services. While the first half of the ad is dark and frightening, the darkness soon lifts as we see the girl seeking and finding help, as well as a safe space to talk, through Barnardo’s.
The child in the film is an actor but depicts one of many real-life experiences of the children who the charity supports. The team ensured that a mental health practitioner was on hand during filming and Barnardo’s staff were consulted prior to the shoot to ensure that all emotions were depicted accurately.
Last year around 300,000 children, young people, parents and carers were supported by Barnardo’s through more than 1,000 services across the UK, such as young carers, care leavers, foster carers and adoptive parents, training and skills or parenting classes. It is these services that this ad aims to highlight by viscerally and powerfully capturing the fear and isolation of being bullied. That there are services on hand to bring children from a place of darkness into one of support and safety.