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Humour driving change in dangerous behaviour

In 2013, Victoria State Emergency Service asked Loud&Clear to help them dissuade young people aged 15-­25 from swimming, riding, jumping or playing in floodwater.

Client / Victoria State Emergency Service

The goal was to reduce the impacts on Victorian communities of illness, injuries or fatalities due to children and young people entering floodwater. In turn, this would also help reduce the risks faced by the predominantly volunteer­-based personnel of the Victorian State Emergency Services by lowering the number of flood rescues required during periods of heavy flooding.

After conducting a series of market research sessions, we discovered that we needed to develop a message that resonated with a stubborn, male demographic who each year, put themselves and others in danger by surfing and playing in floodwater. The challenge was creating a campaign that would have maximum cut-­through to a demographic that perceived floodwater having low or no risk to health and safety, mixed with feelings of invincibility. Public ridicule, however impacted the target audience which led Loud&Clear to propose an online TV and radio campaign that focused on the candid, uncomfortable fact that floodwater is full of faeces ­ both animal and otherwise. In a unique shift of tone from traditional educational media, we scripted the word “poo” into the content to help in recall, and shaming mates without losing face.

We achieved 780,000 YouTube views.