Give Them Refuge Christ­mas Campaign

Exhibited by
June 15, 2017
Medium of Communication
Video, social media
Target Audience
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance

SOFII’s view

Through a hard-hitting and powerful video ad and social media campaign, Refuge exponentially increased traffic to their website and the number of donations they receive, making great use of Facebook’s audience targeting algorithm. The video will make you cry but the results will make you jump for joy.

Summary / objectives

The campaign aimed to raise awareness of the fact that 750,000 children witness domestic abuse every year. With their services under-funded and under threat, Refuge made this powerful video to raise money for what victims of domestic abuse and their families really need: refuge.


In the organisation’s words, ‘domestic violence is at epidemic levels in the UK – one in four women in the UK will experience domestic violence at some point in their lives and two women per week will be killed by a partner or ex-partner in England and Wales ’. These figures are horrifying, yet the state does not protect funding for the vital services that Refuge runs. 

Creator / originator


Special characteristics

The video is simple yet incredibly effective. Seen through a camera lens as one daughter films her sister opening her Christmas presents, the domestic abuse suffered by the children’s mother is almost unseen, but certainly not unheard. As the children try to distract themselves from the horrors they are witnessing, the father’s voice rises and then we clearly hear a slap and the mother sobbing before the camera is dropped as the sisters flee. With this naturalistic, stark filming technique, the viewer is immediately transported into the reality of the family’s life.

The campaign was created by BBH and supported by Facebook, who gifted all media space.

Influence / impact

The video was tightly targeted to the Facebook feeds of 2.1 million parents of children under 12 in the UK and was released on Christmas Eve to launch the campaign. Viewers were encouraged to share the video on their own Facebook pages with #givethemrefuge and to donate to Refuge.


Two weeks on from the launch, traffic to Refuge’s website had increased over 1000 per cent, which in turn translated into an 89 per cent increase in charitable donations. The number of individuals contributing donations doubled. The film has been viewed more than 1.5M times and shared over 200,000 times.