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National Walk Away campaign is helping to make nights out safer for everyone.

Written by: Isla Pearce | 11th March 2024
3 min read

Whilst drunken brawls on a night out may be familiar, this kind of violence can have a devastating impact. Crime data shows that in 2022 Leicester City Centre saw 40 near-miss homicides. These violent assaults, sometimes known as ‘One punch’ incidents can lead to severe injuries or even fatalities. 

In August 2023, Magpie was commissioned by Leicestershire police to create a campaign with the goal of reducing night time economy related homicides and near-miss homicides, targeted at young men aged 18-30. The campaign launched across Leicester between October and December 2023 and has now been rolled out nationally. 

The team’s behavioural analysis of research in this area identified key risk factors, potential trigger points and opportunities to promote bystander intervention. The research showed that intervening in these types of situations is common and safer than some people might think. 

As a result, Magpie recommended a communications campaign emphasising the difference individuals can make and the simple steps involved. The campaign empowers men to take positive action to de-escalate situations that have the potential to become violent. Spilled drinks, funny looks or unwanted attention were key trigger points. However, by normalising the conversation around these potential triggers, the campaign could encourage peer groups to look out for these situations and support each other in making different choices. 

Intoxication, low light and busy environments were all challenges the campaign needed to overcome. In response, the team developed a range of ‘tips’ giving clear and actionable advice, in a tone of voice that is both assertive and upbeat. ‘Walk Away’ became both an action-oriented campaign name and a call to action. The look and feel was heavily inspired by night time economy settings and featured photography aiming to highlight positive role models and reflect group dynamics. 

The ultimate goal was to create a joined-up consistent experience for the target audience, with an ongoing presence to drip feed messaging multiple times, across various touch points, in the run-up to and throughout a night out. This included a digital strategy that used Spotify ads to reach the audience listening to playlists at pre-drinks and Google Search ads to reach people searching for taxis, drinking games or clubs nearby, as well as general awareness ads across YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram. That way if something does start to get out of hand they feel confident, capable and motivated to take action. 

The campaign was met with positive feedback from key partners, working within the night time economy.

For me, this was a fantastic marketing campaign… You’ve done the right thing by having a mix of different strategies to get the message across. They’re all playing a role in making the point.

Josh, bar manager at Mosh nightclub. 

In December, that campaign was adopted nationally by police forces across the UK. Magpie developed a comprehensive ‘toolbox’ of assets to support campaign rollout. This included a broad range of materials designed to work in a variety of settings including printed materials, out-of-home ads, digital ads, and social media assets. Making campaign materials easily accessible made the uptake of the campaign seamless and as a result it has been successfully launched in eleven locations across the country. 

If you’d like to know more about this campaign or how we can support you please check out the case study or contact

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