NAPCAN Children See Children Do

NAPCAN, Australia’s National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, launched a thought-provoking television/cinema campaign this year with “Children See, Children Do”. The 90 second spot features children following adults, mimicking their habits. At first the pattern appears to be innocuous, talking on a mobile phone while walking through a city square, making a call on a public telephone, waiting behind the yellow line in a railway station. The behaviour becomes more insidious with a girl copying a woman’s smoking habits on an escalator. A boy follows as a grown man carelessly knocks a struggling mother’s bag off her shoulder. We see examples of litter, drunken behaviour, road rage, racism and cruelty to animals. A woman yells at her baby, accompanied by her older daughter. A man is joined by his son as he verbally and physically abuses his wife.

Domestic violence involving father and son

The super: “Children See. Children Do”. The clip finishes with a scene from a public carpark in which a man assists a woman whose groceries have been spilled. The children join in. The tagline for Child Friendly Parenting: “Make your influence positive”. The TV/cinema campaign links with a website,, in which NAPCAN provides resources for positive parenting.

Click on the image below to play the NAPCAN Children See Children Do video.

Children See Children Do Credits

The Children See Children Do campaign was developed pro bono at DDB, Sydney, by creative director Matt Eastwood with creatives Charlie Cook and Simon Johnson, and agency producer Sean Ascroft.

Filming was directed by Sean Meehan at Soma Films with producer Sam McGarry.

Editor was Peter Whitmore at Winning Post.

Music was composed for the ad by Hylton Mowday at JAM. Hylton Mowday won the APRA AGSC award for best music for a TV commercial in 2007.

NAPCAN worked with DDB to raise awareness of all adult Australians that responsibility for children’s wellbeing goes beyond parents and child care professionals.

Children’s Guardian were involved in filming to ensure that children were not exposed to harm in any way. The domestic violence had adults and children filmed separately then placed together in post production. The girl with the cigarette had her cigarette and smoke added to her shot in post production.


There are two songs used in the NAPCAN ad. The Soma Films online version has “Rabbit in your headlights”, sung by Thom Yorke for Unkle. The NAPCAN online version has a song, written and performed for the campaign, with the lyrics, “It looks like rain again today, dark clouds gather, fill the sky. Don’t know how to talk to you, just know how to say goodbye.”