Bar uses coasters to raise awareness about domestic violence and drinking

May 15, 2015 at 12:15 p.m. ET
Image: Yaocho Bar Group/YouTube

A Tokyo bar group has gone to pretty extreme measures to tackle the rising rates of domestic violence in the city.

Tokyo was deemed the safest city in the world by The Economist earlier this year but the increasing number of women reporting incidents of domestic violence makes me wonder about that. The growing culture of violence against women is apparently due to excessive drinking.

To raise awareness and force heavy drinkers to consider the consequences of abusive behaviour, the Yaocho Bar Group nightspot chain have collaborated with creative agency Ogilvy and Mather to create a marketing campaign around a range of coasters printed with head-and-shoulder pictures of Japanese women.

Each woman has shocking facial injuries that appear when cold drinks are placed on them. Initially the faces are unblemished but cuts and bruises appear as the temperature of the coaster falls, due to the thermochemical ink used in the printing process. When the temperature drops to a certain point the message, "Don't let excessive drinking end in domestic violence" appears.

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Video credit: Yaocho Bar Group/YouTube

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Domestic violence rates have risen steadily in Japan in recent years, which is widely attributed to the fact that Japanese women are feeling increasingly empowered to report cases to the authorities. Traditionally this was considered to be a real social taboo. In fact domestic violence legislation only came into force in 2001.

Yaocho claims that the campaign has become "a talking point across bars in Tokyo and is proving to be a real deterrent."

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