Video Stairs

The Young & Rubicam agency in Frankfurt sent a strong signal in the fight against domestic violence with a new charity TV spot for the Federal Association of Women’s Counselling Centres and Rape Crisis Centres (bff).

“I fell down the stairs.” This frequent excuse, used as an explanation by people affected by violence perpetrated by their partners when they explain their injuries to outsiders, was the underlying idea for the film.

The video clearly illustrates the absurdity of how often this explanation is used to the viewers. In a visually stunning way, numerous women are shown falling down the stairs in every possible way. The text superimposed on the video encourages viewers to question the excuse – and contact the bff in case of doubt.

The Young & Rubicam agency from Frankfurt produced the spot for the bff at no charge and in cooperation with the rape crisis centre Frankfurt, and provided it to the bff for further dissemination. The video has already been broadcast on German television several times, amongst others in the German TV channels VOX and RTL2, which provided airtime without charging for it.


The “Stairs” spot received the renowned Red Dot Design Award twice. The short film got an award in the supreme discipline “TV & Cinema” and the Best-of-the-Best-Award in the category “sound design”.

Moreover, Young & Rubicam Frankfurt, as the only German agency, received the coveted “Global” award on the occasion of the renowned international “Global Awards” in 2010. The short film also made an impact in Cannes, where it was put on the shortlist. In December 2011, the film received the bronze prize from the German Design Club.

The work of the creative team of Helge Kniess (Art Director) and Manuel Rentz (texts) has also been hugely popular on the Internet. The German and English versions of the spot have been viewed more than 95,000 times on YouTube.