Red Cross Campaigns for Earthquake Readiness
The American Red Cross Bay Area chapter (ARCBA), launched the first phase of a comprehensive, integrated advertising campaign. The program is part of the organization’s “Prepare Bay Area” project and launched. in San Francisco’s Justin Herman Plaza with a press conference and the official unveiling of its mobile billboards. The local chapter’s most aggressive to date, the campaign was designed to drive Bay Area residents to immediate action by leveraging a gamut of traditional and nontraditional media, including print, television, radio, out-of-home and online, as well as viral and guerilla marketing tactics.
“We hope the provocative billboard images, attention-grabbing TV and radio spots, and innovative street marketing will motivate people to respond now — not tomorrow — to get prepared, and we believe this will be our most effective campaign yet,” said ARCBA Chief Executive Officer, Harold W. Brooks.
The mobile billboards depict what busy downtown areas might look like after being ravaged by an earthquake. The campaign, created by Publicis & Hal Riney, in partnership with ARCBA, was built around the tagline “What do we have to do to get your attention?” and takes an aggressive approach to inciting Bay Area residents of all ages to get prepared for the next catastrophic event. Online, guerilla and viral tactics will be launched in the coming weeks, and production on the next phase, including print, television and radio ads, will begin next month. The agency also reached out to contacts across the industry to secure donations of talent and production costs that will make execution of the full campaign possible.
“When we started working on this project, it was unbelievable that all but 6% of those of us living in the Bay Area have managed to stay in a state of denial about the likelihood of a disaster,” said Mark Sweeney, Group Creative Director at Riney. “Even more amazing was the fact that the Red Cross had already invested significant time and money, leveraging celebrity support and a ton of free media, to increase preparedness. The idea for this campaign really came out of the disbelief and exasperation resulting from continued denial despite all those efforts.”
“Having relocated to the Bay Area from the UK just two years ago, it was clear that my earthquake paranoia was in contrast to my colleagues, who have lived here for years and didn’t seem too worried about it,” said Dominic Goldman, Creative Director at Riney. “That contrast in attitudes made us realize that we really needed to disrupt all the people who had become indifferent to impending disaster. The client sort of needed to take the gloves off with an idea that would stop people in their tracks and not allow them to take another step without deciding to get prepared.”