LONDON – Grey London has teamed up with Police Now to bring together businesses and charities including CALM, London First, the National Literacy Trust, the British Transport Police, Westfield, Facebook, Next, VICE, UNILAD, Mulberry Schools Trust and CBI to launch Take:90 (http://www.take90.co.uk). The campaign aims to help reduce acts of aggression and impulsive violence caused by anger in everyday situations such as evenings out, in the workplace, on the commute or online.

Grey London’s strategy is based on scientific evidence showing that it takes just 90 seconds for the neurotransmitters that cause anger to flush out of our systems. Through 90-second content including films, a meditation, long copy ads and 90 new angry-to-calm emoticons, the aim of Take:90 is to make ‘taking 90’ part of our everyday vocabulary just as the term ‘designated driver’ helped to prevent drink driving.

The project is the result of a WPP collective including Cohn & Wolfe, Hill+Knowlton, Group M and PSB Research with Grey London leading the creative for the campaign.  Assets for the campaign include short form posters displaying copy such as “Give Anger a Little Time’, ‘Gone in 90 Seconds’ and ‘Count to Zen’, all displaying a graphic line gradually shifting from red to blue.  There’s also a long copy press ad that takes 90 seconds to read and describes what happens to someone’s body as anger takes hold.

Take:90 launch film from Take:90 on Vimeo.

The campaign has been launched with a film that shows a character looking and acting in an extremely angry way – however the words being spoken are actually a calm expression of how taking 90 seconds can help you stay in control, despite these strong emotions.

These assets are being supported by a series of original meditations created by the mindfulness app Calm, specifically created ‘angry-mojis’ and influencer content across social media.

As the largest initiative of its kind reaching organisations and individuals across the UK, the campaign encourages people to think again about seemingly socially acceptable acts of anger as society faces a recent increase in violent crime. After five years of violent crime falling, decreasing from 1.9 million incidences of violence in the year ending March 2011 to 1.2 million in the same period of 2017, it is notable that 2017 saw a 20% increase on the number of police recorded offences in 2016 *. 

Some violence has complex and entrenched causes. However, anger in many everyday situations is something that can be de-escalated using a very simple tool.

Dr Jill Bolte Taylor, the Neuroanatomist who originally proved that it takes just 90 seconds for anger to pass and is backing Take: 90, said: “We experience anger when the ‘anger circuit’ in our brain is stimulated. Anger is just a group of cells in our brain that have been triggered and we have the power to choose to act out or not. It only takes 90 seconds for that circuit to settle down.”

Content released especially for Take:90 includes a 90-second rap from MOBO award-winning Guvna B and a 90 second free-to download meditation from the CALM app. For more information on all of the Take:90 content, visit www.take90.co.uk

Joseph Ernst from Grey London, said: “Take 90” is such a simple concept, one that absolutely anyone can use – once they know about it. For it to make a difference to society, we needed to get the message out as far and as wide as possible. The fact that so many organisations are supporting this initiative is really heartening and we hope that the idea of giving ourselves 90 seconds to calm down becomes truly mainstream.”

Tor Garnett, Co-founder of Police Now and Take:90 initiator said: “Some violence has complex causes, but often violence is caused by people feeling angry and reacting in that first 90 seconds. If we let those moments of anger lead to aggression, whether it’s during an argument with a friend or stranger or getting squashed on the commute, it makes people feel unsafe, unhappy and cross and can use up people’s time and attention in a very negative way. Take:90 is an effective practical tool that we can all use and share with others to help keep our cool – it’s not always easy but it is essential if we are to live happily in a diverse and busy world. “

Almost 90 organisations – from orthodontist Angle House to huge retailers like Next – are coming together to back this campaign – because of the impact aggression can have on their employees, customers, communities, and young people. There is still the chance for more businesses to get on board with Take:90 by signing up as partners online.