Go Gentle

Go Gentle
Stop the horror

There have been over 30 attempts in the last 20 years to pass a voluntary assisted dying law in Australia. None have succeeded. The result is that many terminally ill patients have to endure horrific pain and suffering in their last days because even the best palliative care cannot help them. When Victorian politicians announced another parliamentary vote on a Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill, Go Gentle Australia, an advocacy group, wanted to get the public actively engaging with politicians to vote in support of this new law. The challenge was most people switch off when they hear ‘voluntary assisted dying’.

So we released a horror film by the famous Australian director Justin Kurzel (Snowtown, Assasin’s Creed). The film was called “Stop The Horror”. Trailers, director interviews and an official Facebook movie page were used to draw people into the “new movie”. The 6-minute online film was based on the true story of a terminally ill patient, Greg Sims, in his brutal last days.

It was so distressing a ‘STOP THE HORROR’ button was included on-screen. When clicked, we revealed how the viewer could really stop the horror. The campaign garnered $4.3m in earned media, with a reach of 280 million. The most important result: for the first time in state history voluntary assisted dying is legal.