Danny Green

Coward's Punch

The Danny Green 'Cowards Punch' campaign started off as a local social change initiative which transformed into a national multi-media and PR phenomenon. Sickened by a string of fatal One Punch attacks in Perth, Danny Green decided enough was enough. With local production company Soul Films, SHEDcsc developed a campaign and an initial TVC script for Danny. The aim was to gain public and media support to put pressure on the Government to run the message and develop the campaign.

There was literally no budget on the table to do this. Just passion and a worthy cause. So we had to be incredibly effective and efficient to achieve our objectives. And call in every favour possible to help our client.

A key part of the execution was, of course, to use Danny in the campaign communications as the spokesperson. Who better to reach out to young men about violence than one of Australia’s most respected professional boxers, a man who made a living by boxing by the rules and respecting his opponents in the ring. We also knew the irony of having a professional fighter delivering such a strong anti-violence message would generate significant interest among the media.

With involvement of a high profile celebrity, our channel strategy focused primarily on PR and social media. With the help of suppliers and colleagues working pro bono, we created a 30 second ‘TV ready’ film featuring Danny. Our aim was to fully leverage potential mainstream media interest at minimal cost.

News of the film and Danny’s involvement was distributed to the major networks and publishers, creating an immediate frenzy of interest. Once the story had featured on the news, the film was released online and across social media channels.

The timing of the release was crucial. A young Sydney man, Daniel Christie, had recently died after a vicious ‘Coward’s Punch’ attack in King’s Cross on new years Eve, 2013. So it made sense to release the ad as soon as possible on Youtube (Jan 14, 2014). As part of a carefully orchestrated PR campaign, Danny then appeared on Channel 10’s The Project, 7’s Sunrise and 9‘s Today show, where the ad was screened to millions.

Considering the primary objective of this campaign was to raise awareness and garner political and public support, the results are outstanding. Immediately, the news of the ad exploded across social media channels such as facebook and twitter.

Within hours of its launch and Danny’s string of interviews, the campaign had made headlines in all of the country’s major dailies. It harnessed national radio and online news channel attention and even attracted significant international interest as well.

Danny was interviewed on every major news programme in the country and the film was watched by millions of viewers across Australia and abroad. Every major newspaper in the country featured the story along with every major radio network. The Green Machine facebook page received over 68,000 likes and more than 3,400 positive comments and the film was shared over 26,000 times. An open letter of support from Green’s long time nemesis Anthony Mundine received a further 40,000 facebook likes.

Public support for the ad and Danny Green’s involvement was overwhelming. Then Premier Barry O’Farrell announced on Wednesday Jan 29 2014 that the NSW State Government would run the TV spot on free to air and subscription television.

And then the Federal Government, impressed with the community need, impact and effectiveness of this approach, made a decision to fund a second phase of the campaign.

It was a huge victory for all involved in helping see this incredibly important message see the light of day.

The term ‘Coward’s Punch’ has become part of the vernacular and is widely used by the media. As well as being used on the tv Drama series Wonderland and Home and Away. In the wake of the enormous awareness and PR that the campaign generated, the laws and penalties relating to ‘Coward Punch attacks have changed in several states.