Ultraviolet’s Super Bowl ad. ‘Credit to Fortune.com for the image.

In what seems like a tirade of response, big brands are rising to call attention to a long-stifled problem in human rights; domestic violence.

Domestic violence is estimated to affect 30% of women globally, with 2 women killed every week in the UK by an intimate partner. In Australia, it’s 1 woman every week – a statistic that has led domestic violence campaigner Rosie Beatty (2015’s Australian of the Year) – to draw attention to this urgent and disturbing issue.

In Turkey, it’s estimated a shocking 50% of women experience domestic abuse. So in response, Vodafone Turkey, with their local agency Y&R Team Red, developed an innovative way to reach at-risk female domestic violence victims. At times of threat, women can shake the Vodafone “Red Light” app alerting three contacts for help, and hopefully saving their lives. The most creative part was to reveal this aid to women only via heated Veet wax strips and YouTube female targeted ads to ensure usage quickly spread to the most at-risk groups.

And then last week, at the annual ad-binge that is the US Super Bowl, audiences weren’t talking about the plays, but instead about the team’s recent issues with domestic violence. In a hefty statement equal rights group Ultraviolet and Sports Illustrated launched the #GoodellMustGo campaign showing a violently crash-tackled woman. Not bad for an ad that was originally rejected.

But nothing could prepare the tuned-in crowds for the NFL’s own ‘No More’ official Super Bowl ad which aired during the game on YouTube. It’s been picked up globally by titles like The Economist, the Guardian, CNN, Fortune, Rolling Stone and many more, highlighting the disturbing content, which more shockingly is based on a real life story. Watch it here.

All this media attention makes us more aware. More awareness leads to more conversation. And talking about issues like domestic violence helps to break the awful silence for victims that allows it to continue.

To the credit of brands like Vodafone, Sports Illustrated and NFL, it shows that brands have a powerful opportunity to make a long-lasting impression on millions of people who care about things that last longer than the final play of the ball.

Who will be the next brand to be brave enough to step up to the plate?

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