Paul Hulsbos; Maverick's The Recruit 2014 proposal
Modern Day Bullying
Although there is no single universal definition of bullying, the
main requirement for bullying is a perceived imbalance of power
between the bully and the victim. This can then lead to the
various main forms of bullying, which are grouped as physical,
verbal, emotional and cyber bullying.
The primary reasons for bullying generally include, but are not
Cyber-bullying is defined by bullyingstatistics.org (2013) as “using
technology, such as cell phones and the internet, to bully or harass
another person”. Although it largely affects teens and adolescents, the
increased reliance on technology in today's society ensures that this
form of bullying is more prevalent and pervasive than ever before.
Examples of cyber-bullying can include
• Sending adverse, hurtful or threatening messages. This is the most
common form of bullying according to bullyingstatistics.org (2013).
• Spreading false rumours about an individual.
• Stealing personal details or assuming an individual’s online identity
without their consent.
• Sexting or spreading explicit or compromising images of an
individual without their consent.
Cyber-bullying was chosen as the predominant form of
bullying to focus on as it encompasses the majority of the
bullying spectrum. This can be seen in the way that technology
is used to conduct adverse and antagonistic behaviour, which in
turn leads to emotional bullying and its detrimental effects.
The increasing access that a majority of the world’s
population has to technological advances such as smartphones,
laptops and social media has allowed for unprecedented ease of
cyber-bullying, whether it takes the written form of a Facebook
message or the verbal articulation of a Youtube video.
Approximately over 80% of teenagers use a cell phone
regularly, making it the most common medium for cyber-bullying
Theme Throughout the Campaign
• The main theme throughout this campaign is personal and community interactivity. We
believe that bullying is a topic that is very personal for those who suffer through it. As such,
the “Disconnect Bullying” campaign aims to bring a more personal touch to the generally
fictitious or generic anti-bullying campaigns that usually adorn light posts along streets or
the walls of buildings.
• This means that, for local communities, the communications being observed by our target
audience will include details and information of bullying victims who are also living within
• This is due to the belief that, as the victim is no longer a nameless, unknown or even made
up stranger, but rather potentially your neighbour, child or friend, the incentive and drive to
act is greater as the issue of bullying becomes a more intimate, community-oriented issue
that may in fact affect our target audiences personally. You are far more likely to act and
help if the person in need is someone you know or can relate to.
• Secondly, as cyber-bullying relies on the increased availability and range of technology, the
campaign aims to use these same characteristics against bullying. In other words, we aim
to use the attributes of modern technology that allow cyber-bullying to be so widespread
and effective, and use them to solve the root of the problem.
Purpose and objectives
• As can be seen in the previous sections, the prevalence of cyber-bullying in today‘s society
makes it increasingly important to raise awareness and engagement against bullying.
1. Raise awareness of cyber-bullying within local communities and provide access to
support both locally and globally.
- Through smartphone application/QR codes.
- Youtube/Social media advertisements (Clippy Campaign).
2. Inspire engagement and action against cyber-bullying.
- By making it personal for our target audiences.
- Using shock tactics and not sugar-coating bullying.
3. Create a globally accessible online community website and forum that provides in-depth
support and suggestions against bullying for victims throughout the world.
The “Disconnect Bullying” campaign will have two distinct but
• Shock tactics will be incorporated with the theme of personal
interactivity to ensure maximum exposure via word of mouth
• Guerrilla marketing
• Smartphone application and QR
• Application contains link to online
support community and website
1. How it
• Viral marketing
• Social media advertisements
• “Clippy” advertisement campaign
• Global online support community
2. How it
be a bully
Strategy 1. How it feels to be bullied
The first component will rely on guerrilla marketing, where unconventional means are “generally
used in a localised fashion to draw attention to an idea, product or service”.
It aims to provide our target audiences with a realistic sense of what it feels like to be a victim of
bullying through the creation of a simple smartphone app in conjunction with QR codes that are
targeted and specific for each local community. These QR codes will then be physically distributed
amongst easy-to-find locations throughout that particular community, such as street signs, walls along
a main pedestrian walkway or in shop fronts.
The way the app functions is that, by scanning the QR code, a video, animation or biography will
appear on your smartphone, providing detailed information about a bullying victim that currently
resides within that local community. By providing explicit consent, or providing a parent’s or guardian’s
permission if under age, that particular bullying victim’s personal struggle with bullying will be unveiled.
The information provided can include personal information about the victim, what type of cyber-
bullying they are victims of and finally, to tie in with the theme of shock-tactics and presenting bullying
as realistic and personal as possible, the detrimental effects of bullying, such as self-harm or
The app will then provide direct links and access to the online support community that makes up
the second component of the campaign. This tactic again ties in with the theme of personal and
community interactivity as described earlier, whilst ensuring a larger chance for action and
engagement by using real-life and potentially well-known members of a specific community.
Strategy 2. How it feels to be a bully
The second component focuses on viral marketing, and capitalises on the same technology and
social media that cyber-bullies use to terrorise their victims. This allows for far greater reach,
consisting of essentially a global audience for greater spread of awareness and engagement against
The main campaigns for the second component are the advertisements that capitalises on old
Microsoft Word Office Assistant user interfaces such as the “Clippy Campaign”. They aim to show
users of technology such as smartphones or laptops just how easy it is to cyber-bully an innocent
victim or how convenient it is to ignore and not provide help.
An online, globally accessible community support website and forum will also be established,
with the intention of allowing bullying victims to seek help as well as enabling other members of
society to provide suggestions and support for those very same victims. This online support
community will provide official bullying helplines and information for different countries, as well as
allowing users to choose a specific continent, country and even city or town that they reside in. The
support provided will then be specifically tailored for that particular environment and community and
again ties in with the theme of interactivity.
No. Task Jan Feb Apr May Jun Jul
2 Online; Website
3 Offline; Community building
Obtain volunteers for QR codes
Physical distribution and placement of QR
• 1. Bullyingstatistics.org. (2013). Cyber Bullying
statistics.html. Last accessed 1st July 2013.
• 2. Ditchthelabel.org. (2014). Annual bullying survey.
statistics-2014/. Last accessed 1st July 2014.
• 3. NSPCC. (2013). Statistics on bullying. Available:
accessed 29th June 2014.