Public safety messaging can be engaging, but simplicity reigns supreme

The context

In this recent study, our client had a trial campaign focused on raising awareness about a public safety issue.

The campaign took a three-pronged approach – video and website, with a great augmented reality app, launched by QR code.


With messaging delivered in an engaging and memorable way, participants said they had learned something new, realised past behavior had been risky, and identified a need to behave differently in future.

What was particularly powerful was that the campaign was so engaging, some even took the time to actively seek out and engage with campaign material outside of the research requirement!


What we did learn, however, was the need for campaigns to be clear and single-minded.

The campaign centred around a memorable catchcry, making use of alliteration and a surprising statistic to drive this impact. Once engaging a bit further, the catchcry needed a few extra disclaimers to make it relevant to different audience's situation. Unfortunately this meant that the simplicity of the messaging became clouded, the alliteration fell away, and in fact some took the message in the direct opposite spirit - they felt it gave them permissibility to behave in the very manner the campaign set out to discourage!


The vibe

Behaviour change campaigns focused on safety messaging can be engaging, but it is critical the messaging is kept simple.

Tailoring to the audience should really take place in a more nuanced, targeted way, rather than en-masse, and risk clouding one’s message and encouraging the very behaviour one is trying to limit.


This study demonstrates that one can invite consumers to engage with campaign messaging in a very deep and detailed way.


It also helps show the immense value that research, at the right moment, can help tune a campaign before its next big push. For a relatively small investment into research, one can receive enormous uplifts in ROI.


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