Home Office: #KnifeFree

To best reach the teenage male demographic in the fight against knife crime, the Home Office sought Venatus to reach male gamers with an engaging and informative campaign.

The Home Office

Home Office: #KnifeFree

The Home Office’s #knifefree campaign was created to help tackle one of the Home Office’s key priorities, reducing knife crime in the UK. The campaign was designed to take audiences on a behaviour change journey – initially raising awareness and knowledge, then over time shifting ingrained attitudes and ultimately changing negative behaviours.

Target Audience

Inventory / Network

The target audience here was people most at risk of carrying or considering carrying a knife; identified as young males aged between 15 and 16. Research found this audience was likely to have a passion for gaming, spending more than eight hours playing games each week.

15-16 Years


The Home Office aimed to reach young male gamers in trusted environments, encouraging them to go #knifefree. Therefore, young gamers were targeted both at home on their Playstation consoles and on the move while playing EA gaming apps. Within mobile apps, the reward video format was selected due to its high user engagement, as players opt in to watch the advert in exchange for an in-game reward.

Home Office: #KnifeFree


Ad Formats

The campaign used three different video creatives, each telling the stories of real people who had turned their lives around since going #knifefree. The videos linked to the #knifefree website, providing access to information about the consequences of knife crime and inspiration on how to move away from it.

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The Venatus campaign ran alongside targeted out-of-home, paid search and digital audio ads, as well as a shorter teaser format of the video creativeon Snapchat and Instagram, with a ‘swipe up’ message encouraging people to engage with longer form assets.


Winner: 'Most Effective Cross-screen Campaign' & 'Most Effective Use of Data' at the Effective Mobile Marketing Awards 2019

Across mobile inventory, the campaign smashed benchmarks with a view-through rate (VTR) of 95.9% and a click-through rate of 2.2%, whilst the PlayStation video placement achieved a 62% VTR.


VTR (Reward Video)


VTR (PlayStation Video)



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