The Sound of Drowning is a PR driven initiative aiming to counter Swedes dangerous misconception that drownings involves major splashing and cries for help, by creating a sound simulation of a drowning in ASMR. The sound became the communication product needed to attract attention in earned traditional and social media. The key to the campaign success was its PR strategy and massive earned coverage.
Last year more people than ever died in drowning accidents in Sweden. Insurance company Trygg-Hansa, who have been working with water safety for 65 years, wanted to prevent future deaths through an educational initiative. Trygg-Hansa sought to educate the general public about water safety and raise knowledge of how drownings happen and thereby save more lives.
• 3 million reach in earned media
• 25 articles
• 7,000 campaign page visits
• 30,000 plays of the soundtrack
• 1,000,000 reach on social media.
Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)
ASMR soundtracks are a relatively new and globally trending skill, describing a calm, pleasurable feeling, often accompanied by a tingling sensation. ASMR soundtracks often include whispers, white noise, scratching, rustling and crinkling, which are then amplified to create an audio stimulus. Contrary to popular belief drowning usually happens fast and quietly. By simulating a drowning in ASMR we were able to show the huge contrast between the calm, relaxing sound and the horrible incident taking place. The sound and the contrast were enough to get media and the general public to listen. By getting people to listen and learn how an actual drowning sounds, more lives can be saved.
Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)
To save a person who’s drowning, you need to understand that the person is in danger. A survey found that 4 out of 10 Swedes thought drowning involved major splashing and cries for help, while an actual drowning happens in silence. Trygg-Hansa wanted to call attention to this silence. We used ASMR, a global trend that involves listening to sounds that are amplified to create an audio stimulus. By simulating a drowning in ASMR, we were able to educate that drowning happens quickly and silently, in order to save lives. The sound became the communication product needed to attract attention in earned traditional and social media. We used the sound to capture the Swedish public in order to teach them what to keep an eye out for when someone is drowning, and by extension save more lives.
Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)
Survey on Swedes’ knowledge of drowning.
A survey was conducted by Novus on behalf of Trygg-Hansa. Its purpose was to investigate what the public believed are common signs of drowning. 1009 interviews were conducted.
Collaboration with drowning expert
To provide a correct description of how drowning occurs and increase media publicity.
A simulated drowning sound was recorded using ASMR technique.
• Drowning sound in ASMR
• Information video
• Information website
• Press photos
• Press materials
• Posts in social channels
Launch in traditional media
Publicity was sought for the press materials including the soundtrack. Spokespeople for Trygg-Hansa were quoted along with Post Doc Andreas Claesson. The soundtrack and video files were adapted for earned media usage. Trygg-Hansa spokespeople and Post Doc Andreas Claesson were available for interviews.
Launch in social channels
The soundtrack was made into a video and launched in Trygg-Hansa’s channels.
List the results (30% of vote)
• 45,000,000 reach in earned media. Target: 3,000,000 (Swedish population = 10 million). Exceeding target by 1400%
• 106 articles/press clippings in both Swedish and international media. Target: 25 articles/press clippings in Swedish media. Exceeding target by 324%
• 8,000,000 reach on social media. Target: 1,000,000. Exceeding target by 700%
• 266,209 plays of the soundtrack. Target: 30,000. Exceeding target by 787%
• 52,871 campaign site visits. Target: 7,000. Exceeding target by 655%
• To teach the Swedish public how a drowning happens. Now, 7 out of 10 Swedes know the signs of drowning they should keep an eye out for.
• Summer drownings 2018: 53.
• Summer drownings 2019: 21.