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Gun Crime is Jail Time

Blue C.R.U.S.H.

Chill Don’t Kill



An increase of violent crimes in Memphis motivated the District Attorney General to implement tougher laws and sentencing for perpetrators of violent crime.  This began with a “no plea bargain” policy forcing perpetrators of violent crimes to serve all the prison time associated with their crimes with 10 years more federal time tacked on if the perpetrator had a record and used a deadly weapon.  The DA wanted criminals and law-abiding citizens alike to know about the strict enforcement and zero tolerance for violent crimes.  He engaged Trust and Dan Conaway.


Trust created the themes and developed unique, hard hitting creative (using street vernacular) that spoke directly to perpetrators and potential perpetrators.  We engaged broadcast, print and out-of-home media companies as partners and made their added investment and involvement a condition of the buy.  The Memphis market was inundated with publicity, compelling messages, ads and collateral.


The themes and campaigns became totally saturated into the culture and psyche of the Memphis community from top to bottom.  In over a decade with combined paid and in-kind media of about $5 million there were substantial reductions in violent crimes in Memphis, including a year that represented a 25 year low in homicides.  A study by the University of Memphis Center for Community Criminology and Research concluded: Analysis performed to date demonstrates that the media campaign had a statistically significant effect on reducing firearms offenses.  However, once the media campaign was ended, the message effect faded resulting in the loss of a deterrent effect.

Total Month’s Crimes Involving Firearms

Percent Change October 2003-January 2005