Swedish Candle Ads Draw Attention To Domestic Violence Murders

Lighting an advent candle on the 24 days of December until Christmas is a pretty popular pastime in Sweden. This year, though, one unusual candle -- called “All Women’s Light” -- has been appearing on outdoor digital screens and a specially built billboard in Stockholm, as well as in print and social media ads. The candle in question contains the first names of 24 Swedish women murdered in domestic violence incidents last year.

The campaign, from Alla Kvinnors Hus (All Woman’s House), Sweden’s largest women’s shelter, includes ads in Swedish and English from the Familjen agency. In addition to the out-of-home elements, the campaign also includes podcast collaborations and audio ads.

“Shine a Light on What Happens in the Dark” and “24 Murdered Women. A Burning Topic” say English-language taglines.



“This year we view the countdown to Christmas in a different light, to draw attention to the deadly violence against women,” said Ann Isaksson, director of operations at the shelter in a press release.

On its website, Alla Kvinnors Hus noted that the murdered women were “mothers, sisters and daughters. The majority were killed by a man they were or had been in a relationship with. We have produced All Women's Light to bring attention to the statistics and at the same time spread light in the darkness….Together we ensure that the fight never ends.”

“We highlight a classic Swedish Christmas phenomenon…but the cozy feeling is quickly replaced when you see the following names and understand the context,” said Familjen lead creatives Oskar Ferm and Lia Merkel in another statement. “Alla Kvinnors Hus plays an important role in helping adults and children who have been victims of domestic violence. Their tireless commitment has inspired and touched us deeply.”

This year’s special candle isn’t just an ad campaign creation, but an actual candle handcrafted by Brynge Candle Foundry and sold by All Woman’s House via the nonprofit’s website.

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