SDG3 target 3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination.
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The United Nations describes indoor and ambient air pollution as “the greatest environmental health risk.” Londoners face this unseen threat daily – for instance, the city has the highest Nitrogen Dioxide levels of any city in Western Europe - and there was an urgent need to educate people on how to keep their lungs healthy outside, in the workplace and at home.
We needed to raise awareness of how lifestyle can impact lung health, and encourage the public to have their lungs tested, as well as find out what steps they need to take in the future to stay healthy. The challenge was how to engage busy Londoners who are always on the go and get them to pause, take a breath and consider these issues.
Experiential marketing agency MKTG created an experience-led event, which coincided with the European Respiratory Society's annual congress in London.
To grab the attention of passers-by, three giant clean air bubbles were set up in Trafalgar Square to contain an immersive educational experience about air quality and lung function. Within the domes, trained healthcare professionals provided advice on respiratory disease and prevention and visitors could test their own lung capacity.
To engage younger audiences, we devised an air pollution ‘edutainment’ mobile game/app, as research shows great engagement with this demographic through gaming.
After tests, those with any underlying conditions were directed to a consultation to discuss their results with a doctor and provided with a GP referral letter.
We leveraged connections with the NHS, Greater London Authority and local councils for support and secured endorsement from the Mayor of London. The Mayor’s office officially supported the campaign and campaign creative with its logo. Relationships with local councils allowed the unlocking of some further funding, so a more compact version of the healthcare roadshow could be rolled out to six pollution hotspots in the capital.
Our OOH specialist, Posterscope, targeted Londoners and attendees of the European Respiratory Society’s congress across the underground, overground rail and airports to create an integrated campaign.
The experience-based campaign delivered on all its key objectives. The healthcare specialists at Trafalgar Square carried out 3,000 lung function tests over two days.
There was huge media amplification of the event and the issues around clean air with international coverage across 5 radio stations including BBC World service, TV segments on London Live and BBC World, and national coverage in print including The Times, The Sun, Daily Mail, Evening Standard, The Daily Express and The Daily Mirror. The broadcast reach of the message was 25.2m, print reach 10.8m, online reach 1bn and outdoor national reach of 26m impacts.
The initiative succeeded in introducing this important health issue via a fresh, novel approach to a wide audience who are affected daily by air pollution, but spare it little thought.
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