I believe that traditional brand communications driven by traditional processes such as creativity, placement, repetition, positioning are being dragged, kicking and screaming, to the branding graveyard. Brand communications, as a numbers game of releases distributed, ads run, awards won and so on, that focussed on outputs, not outcomes, are finished.
But this doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for superbly executed advertising, as part of a integrated, organisational driven, consumer influenced brand strategy.
When the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership launched a strategic initiative that has at its centre, a campaign developed to remind individuals that wearing seat belts is important, the county realised that repeating well executed advertising on TV was going to be expensive and unlikely to reduce the number of road accidents in the county. However, the ads are good and were viewed over a million times in two weeks. My personal favourite is here
But the ads are only part of the story. The initiative also includes Operation Crackdown, a residents driven initiative developed with the residents of the area in mind. Essentially, the initiative calls on Sussex residents to contribute to the safety of their communities by reporting instances of anti-social/dangerous driving.
These initiatives are part of an integrated strategy that also includes educating businesses by offering companies a complete managers’ safety pack of handbook, driver information and posters to display in public areas. There are also opportunities for businesses to apply for specialist help to devise their own occupational road risk strategy, or to have existing safety initiatives examined by the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership.
There are also other campaigns that focus on children. Schools across the county participate in a quiz. Cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians are also targetted via multiple channels.
Operation Crackdown received 1,608 speed complaints from across Sussex, between March 2009 and March 2010. Extensive data will be collected and analysed on an ongoing basis and used to improve the strategy.