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New web campaign with Laura Luke shocks and sheds light on domestic abuse July 28, 2012

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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Laura Luke shocked her hundreds of thousands of YouTube subscribers when she, a self-taught makeup artist with a huge following, instructed viewers how to cover up bruising and other injuries sustained after being physically abused. In “How to Look Your Best the Morning After,” Luke demonstrates how to cover up fresh bruises with foundation, and how to hide injuries after “getting pushed against a coffee table.” The video PSA was generally praised for depicting the reality of domestic violence.

As Luke told Ad Week, the video was very personal for her, as she was a victim in an abusive relationship. Although it wasn’t physically violent, she stated, “I had a bad experience in the past with a previous boyfriend. He never physically hurt me but I did sometimes fear what would happen next if I said the wrong thing. He could be overprotective and embarrass me in front of my work colleagues or friends because of his aggressive behavior. Sometimes it was like living with a volcano which could erupt at any second—I felt I was walking on egg shells just to keep him from exploding and smashing something across the room.”

Explaining the purpose of the video, Luke stated, “To open up and be honest about something like this makes us feel weak among our friends and family, but in actual fact there is nothing weak about it. Those who are abusive behind closed doors are the ones who are weak. Back then I knew the whole situation wasn’t normal, but I didn’t know about the help that is out there. And that is why I wanted to work with Refuge—to get the message out to anyone who may need help and support that it’s time to stop covering it up.”

To see Luke’s controversial PSA yourself, watch the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Was Laura Luke’s video shocking and offensive? If so, why does that strategy simultaneously work to raise awareness?

2.  Why was Luke’s video on her own YouTube channel so effective in reaching a target audience for a domestic-abuse PSA?

3.  How does Luke’s PSA demonstrate the benefits of YouTube over television as a medium for public service announcements and advertisements?

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