Preventable injuries are a serious problem in BC, causing over 500,000 hospital visits a year and a $3.7-billion hole in the provincial healthcare budget. They’re also the number one cause of death for British Columbians aged 1-44. Problem is, many people think that these injuries are “accidents,” beyond their control and only happen to other people. Preventable’s primary goal is to shift that attitude.
We developed a series of TV spots that pointed out unsafe behaviour at the exact moment of risk. But instead of lecturing viewers, we used characters within each scene to call out the risky behaviour in a tongue-in-cheek way. By taking a more light-hearted approach, we allowed viewers to draw their own conclusions, respecting their intelligence and ability to make good choices.
We shifted attitudes—and saved lives. TV ad recall and diagnostics remain at or above norms. Ongoing research tracking shows a significant increase in concern about injury impact and a noticeable decrease in the misperception that serious injuries are “inevitable” and “only happen to other people.” The really good news: research suggests the ongoing campaign has resulted in five fewer injury deaths per year. Bonus marks: the campaign’s success has given us the ability to negotiate an additional 15 million bonus impressions for the annual TV campaign, as well as six on-air morning news interviews that discussed preventable injuries in-depth.