About the Campaign

A Colorado state legislative mandate required the Colorado Human Trafficking Council (the Council) to develop an awareness campaign designed to educate the general public about human trafficking and position resource information where potential victims could see it.

Through a competitive bidding process in 2017, the Council contracted with Orange Circle Consulting (Orange Circle) to research, develop and launch the campaign.

A campaign with purpose

The campaign purpose is to increase knowledge about all types of human trafficking in the state of Colorado. The goals are to shift preconceived ideas about human trafficking, elevate the belief that human trafficking can exist in any Colorado community, direct victims to resources, and create a statewide culture that does not tolerate human trafficking.

This statewide initiative was designed to start by first raising awareness of key messages with the intent to promote more specific calls-to-action over time. The Campaign Plan outlines the theoretical and tactical approach for development and implementation.


Background information was gathered from a variety of audiences and sources to ensure the campaign was informed by Lived Experience Experts, and included other important stakeholders and members of the general public. Orange Circle employed a variety of research techniques and activities to inform the development of all phases of the campaign. The Council’s Public Awareness and Outreach Campaign was developed to be factual, authentic, and actionable, with details relevant to Colorado. To learn more about the formative research, review the Comprehensive Summary of the research conducted since the inception of campaign development.

Strategic Creative Development

Applying the foundational information provided by survivors, the concept shows the coercive statements a victim/survivor may hear that exploits their vulnerabilities. The audience should see/hear the gradual escalation of kind and flattering words, into manipulative and threatening language, demonstrating how this could trap anyone who is vulnerable—calling this out as wrong and criminal.

Establishing a series of lived experiences based on factual, authentic circumstances maintains the anonymity of a survivor yet provides the opportunity for unique messaging to better understand different types of human trafficking and some underpinning vulnerabilities.

Statewide Outreach

The campaign launched in late 2020 using a strategic media mix to reach audiences in a variety of ways. Broad reach media included tactics such as television commercials, airport signage, light rail train wraps, exterior and interior bus posters, and billboards. Digital outreach included social media and geo-targeted mobile advertising. The campaign employed on-the-ground tactics including paid placement of bathroom posters in restaurants and convenience stores in rural and resort locations. The Council relied on partnerships with organizations across the state including Planned Parenthood and the Colorado Department of Transportation to distribute and position materials in hallways, waiting rooms, bathrooms, and checkout counters. All campaign materials included QR codes for tracking.


During the first phase of the campaign, there was a 47 percent increase in calls to the hotline. Campaign impact has been evaluated over time using a variety of different measures including campaign public awareness surveys, media metrics and engagement, as well as the ongoing tracking of calls and tips to Colorado’s Human Trafficking Hotline. Evaluation results will be reported at the end of 2022.

Preliminary Hotline Data

  • There have been 51% more average monthly calls since the campaign launch (average of 51 calls per month before Nov 2020, average of 78 calls per month after through June 2022)
  • There has been an average of 30% more calls per month from survivors since the launch of campaign.
  • There have been an average of 58% more tips and referrals per month since the campaign launch (before campaign: 29 monthly average tips/referrals, after campaign: 46 monthly average tips/referrals.)