This work demonstrates how a holistic approach to channels and integration within elements can drive engagement and change behaviour within a low interest topic. Media platforms spreading from price tags to bike racks over mirrors in museums. Suffice to say, with an unusually high campaign-liking of 87%, one in five having talked to others about the campaign and one-third of non-users seriously considering purchasing a helmet after having seen the campaign - and 4% of non-users went ahead and did so, humor and Vikings proved to be the perfect combination to promote good bike-helmet habits amongst the Danes.
Danes love their bikes. Copenhagen is the world’s most cycle-friendly city (World Economic Forum). The city has over 675,000 bicycles and just 120,000 cars, meaning bikes outnumber cars by more than five-to-one, almost one third (29%) of all journeys across Copenhagen made by bike.
One problem; helmets have never become as popular as cycling itself. Around 45% of casualties in Copenhagen met their end on a bike and only 47% of cyclists wears a helmet. The task is to get cyclists in cities age 25-55, primarily men, to wear a helmet.
The Danish Road Safety Council works with both short- and long-term objectives. The campaign is part of a yearlong effort of behavioural change lifting helmet use from 47% - 52% in 2023. Short-term objective is to increase awareness, messaging and liking, and whether the target group has done any reflections of or have been motivated towards wearing a helmet.
Describe the creative idea
The campaign poked gentle fun at those too vain to wear a helmet, by hanging all their poor excuses out to dry. And what better group to do this with, than someone who wore their helmets with pride? The Vikings.
The film takes place in a Viking village - year 893, at party that is due to set sail to England. Before setting off, the Viking leader; Svend, announces to his co-Viking Hjalmar and the rest of his Viking army, that he won’t be needing his helmet because it is too itchy, wrecks his hair and that he is a safe rider of horses, never falls off. Thus, exposing all the common justifications cyclists use as excuses to not wear a helmet. Even though the setting is different, the excuses remain the same today – and with this film, it becomes evident for viewers just how bizarre these excuses really
Describe the strategy
From various consumer workshops and detailed data collection, we explored the reasoning for not wearing a helmet. All pointed towards vanity and exposed to us the number of excuses for not wearing a helmet. Diving into these excuses we found that none of these measured the consequences of not wearing a helmet, making them all pretty poor actually listening too each and one of them.
The breakthrough moment arose when we researched the history of helmets. Denmark is a nation quite proud of our history, and the Viking age has very much become the symbol of our heritage. As representation of Denmark and to demonstrate our strength, we proudly wear Viking helmets at international events like football and Tour de France. Yet, entering the busy Danish bicycle lanes, we seem to have forgotten this, so we needed to remind the Danes that the helmet has always been a good idea.
Describe the execution
We approach execution from four angles:1.An idea that can travel between people - calling for social media (Facebook + YouTube), PR, collaborations (National Museum of Denmark) and stakeholders (Danish Minister of Traffic). 2.A broad target group, broad reach with combination of TV streaming and digital TV. 3.In situation/the importance of catching the target group on their bike, adding OOH in cities (billboards and busses) to the mix. 4.Buying situation – collaboration with ABUS bike-shops.
Campaign went live June7th 2021 with a frontload of the hero film (full version) on social media, giving people a chance to know the universe, then expanded the campaign with a four-week period of TV (cutdown of hero), digital TV and OOH (billboards+busses). A broad Danish PR effort was done to facilitate the conversation around the campaign and the helmet, and to deliver insights and data behind the campaign film to impact the challenge and consequences.
List the results
Turns out Svend, Hjalmar, and the rest of our Vikings were an effective means to get helmet-usage on the radar amongst the bike-loving Danes: Campaign reached 41 % of Danes. Nine out of ten who had seen the film agreed with the main message: wearing a helmet when biking is a good idea to protect your head. 86% had even reflected on the fact that wearing a helmet was more important than vanity. In fact, one-third of non-users were seriously considering purchasing a helmet after having seen the film - and 4% of non-users went ahead and did so after having seen the film. How amazing is that!
Suffice to say, with an unusually high campaign-liking of 87%, 84 % organic reach and one in five having talked to others about the campaign, humour and Vikings proved to be the perfect combination to promote good bike-helmet habits amongst the Danes.