Ad of the Day: This Magazine Cleverly Hid a Dark Message in a Tour of a Luxury Home

Trouble in paradise

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Home magazine is one of New Zealand's premier architecture, design and interiors titles, publishing, in its own words, "lavish spreads of inspiring homes, as well as the latest restaurants, art, furniture and homeware."

But a recent issue featured a home that held a few secrets.

It opened like any other editorial feature, with a normal shot of the home's exterior and the beginnings of an anodyne essay about the Ashworth family and the modern Auckland home they'd built over four years (click the images to enlarge):


But on the second spread of the feature, there appeared to be what looked like a smear of blood on a wall near the stairs:


The third spread was even more unsettling, with an overturned chair and a shattered bowl lying amid the otherwise luxurious surroundings:


And then the fourth and final spread, showing a broken table:


The essay itself ended without any explanation, but then, in the lower-right corner of the final page, there was a paragraph explaining that the whole thing was an elaborate domestic violence PSA—designed to raise awareness that such violence happens in high socioeconomic households in New Zealand, too.

The blurb reads: "Family violence can happen in any home. Last year alone, police made more than 100,000 family violence investigations across the country in every kind of neighborhood. And these are just the incidents we know about. If you suspect someone in your community is experiencing violence, please don't ignore it. No matter what street you live on, family violence is not OK. For more information on how to help, visit"

FCB New Zealand created the campaign in partnership with Home and anti-domestic violence group It's Not OK. Several pieces of New Zealand data informed the campaign: that 26 percent of women who live in a home with a household income over $100,000 a year have experienced physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner, as have one in four women who have completed a university degree or higher.

"Everyone knows that family violence is a serious issue, but most people presume it's something that affects certain families," says Jeremy Hansen, editor of Home magazine. "But in reality, family violence happens in any New Zealand home, regardless of socioeconomic background. That's why, in our new issue, Home is working with It's Not OK to remind our readers that family violence can affect any household—and if it does, there's something all of us can do about it."

Check out the case study here:


Client: It's Not OK

Media Partner: Home magazine

Agency: FCB, Auckland, New Zealand

Regional Executive Creative Director: James Mok

Executive Creative Directors: Tony Clewett, Regan Grafton

Copywriter: Matt Williams

Art Director: Freddie Coltart

Head of Craft: Nick Smith

Designer / Retoucher: Mike Braid

Group Account Director: Jane Wardlaw

Account Manager: Chanelle McDonald

Head of Content, Art Buyer: Pip Mayne

Editors: Jared Yearsley, Grant Nicholson

Photography (Magazine): Simon Wilson

Photography (Film): Mike Braid

Head of Media (Strategy): Rufus Chuter

Media Manager: Nicole Earnshaw

Media Director: Rachel Leyland

Head of Media (PR, Activation, Social): Angela Spain

PR Account Manager: Alice Eade

Brand Experience Director: Ele Quigan

Digital Media Director: Kate Grigg

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.
Publish date: September 25, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT