In Michigan in 2016, one in three motorcyclists killed in single-vehicle crashes had been drinking. Concerned about this rising number of fatalities and injuries caused by impaired riding, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning wanted to launch a campaign to increase awareness of the problem and motivate bikers to ride sober, or not at all.
To understand the issue and more effectively communicate, we started with research—both primary and secondary. The research helped us understand several key insights that led to a solid creative strategy planner.
We found that our target audience was primarily male, over 45 years old, and regularly watched cable TV and sports programs. Further qualitative research gave us more insight into the biker community, their attitudes and behaviors. Brogan’s creative team then developed four campaigns, each including a TV script and an outdoor board. We tested the campaigns in focus groups in 2 major Michigan cities.
The idea that avid bikers are a family, a brotherhood, resonated with both our focus groups. We produced a TV spot based on this idea, titled “Fallen Brothers,” as well as a companion outdoor board that featured the slogan, “Ride Sober,” designed to look like a patch on a biker jacket. A media plan was developed to run during the season with the highest motorcycle accidents, and featured air time during Michigan sporting events (such as Detroit Tigers games).
After only two months of media, we conducted a follow-up survey of 400 Michigan motorcyclists, which revealed excellent results. A full 50% of participants were aware of the “Ride Sober” line. Of those surveyed,
The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP)'s mission is to save lives and reduce injuries on Michigan roads. Its nationally-recognized Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign has proven effective over the years at raising the awareness of drunk driving, but OHSP wanted to refresh the messaging and storytelling to better reach their target audience, young males of drinking age.
To better engage young men, Brogan used an interactive approach. We created a 360-degree video set in a Michigan bar, which encouraged viewers to guess which of the fictional bar patrons would be the one to make the deadly decision to drive drunk. Using the 360-degree virtual reality technology, viewers could see any location in the bar throughout the video. At the end of the interactive experience, a host revealed the truth about the drunk driver. Viewers were then encouraged to make a 360-degree plan for their own evenings out, considering all parts of their evening: how they would get to their destination, who would come along, and how they would get home.
The interactive, 360-degree approach allowed the audience to be a more active participant in the video and internalize how they might handle a situation they probably encounter on a regular basis. A traditional TV and radio spot were also created, giving viewers a preview of the 360-degree experience and providing a link to the complete video online.
The campaign was highly successful at reaching the intended audience:
Michigan's childhood immunization rate is among the nation's worst — ranking 43rd lowest in the United States for children ages 19 to 35 months, according to the 2015 National Immunization Survey. Misinformation about vaccines exacerbated the problem.
In partnership with PR firm Martin Waymire, Brogan & Partners created I Vaccinate, a public health education campaign to help Michigan parents protect their children from vaccine-preventable diseases. Designed with input from Michigan mothers, I Vaccinate provides the facts about vaccinations that parents need.
The campaign utilized a multi-media approach. Mass media, such as broadcast and cable television, radio and outdoor, provided broad awareness. Digital media was used for contextual targeting. The campaign also included an active presence on social media channels, specifically Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where we know Michigan parents go for information from friends and family. The campaign’s cost-efficient social media tactics allowed I Vaccinate to have a continuous statewide presence while driving engagement and providing a forum for discussion and questions.
In addition to these media choices, we also placed posters and take-one brochures in hundreds of doctors' offices and independent pharmacies throughout the state. We reached out to five popular Michigan bloggers with thousands of followers who helped us spread the message about vaccines, and directed readers to IVaccinate.org, a comprehensive website providing information on vaccination. I Vaccinate also recruited more than 70 Michigan individuals to join a private Facebook Group called "I Vaccinate Advocates" to help amplify campaign messages and create an organized pro-vaccine community.
After multiple statewide focus groups and phone surveys, the campaign launched on March 20, 2017. Post-campaign phone surveys helped us monitor the campaign's progress. The most significant results identified from pre to post were lifts in both awareness of safety and plans to vaccinate their children among African American mothers.
Michigan's infrastructure was recently given a grade of "D" in a national report. While Michigan's residents and elected leaders are aware of the poor state of Michigan's roads and bridges, they don't know the full scope of the state's other infrastructure issues, and the threat they pose to the health and safety of Michigan citizens.
The Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA) wanted Michigan voters to learn more about both the negative consequences of continued inaction, and the positive benefits of infrastructure improvement.
Brogan developed a website, FixMIState.org, as well as hard-hitting videos that featured real Michigan residents describing the full extent of Michigan’s infrastructure crisis. Native advertising, public relations and social media (with our partner, Martin Waymire) drove people to the website to learn more and sign up for a newsletter on the state's infrastructure issues.
The campaign, combined with direct lobbying from MITA, scored an important advocacy victory: On June 14, 2017, the legislature agreed to not only restore the originally proposed $20 million to the Michigan Infrastructure Fund, they appropriated an additional $15 million for the fund. Nearly 600 people contacted lawmakers to voice their opinions, and the campaign generated 3 million ad impressions, over 22,000 link clicks and 33,000 views of the video.
Focus groups revealed that teens did not see recreational drugs like marijuana as dangerous, and were unwilling to admit that marijuana use could lead to experimenting with other drugs. Nearly half of the respondents had used marijuana, and 94% knew someone who had tried it.
Brogan developed a creative campaign that focused not on health consequences of recreational drugs, but on the losses that could result: loss of a job, loss of college acceptance, loss of money and friends.
Media tactics included cross-screen video, cable, cinema advertising, Spotify, Pandora, Vevo, YouTube, and Mobile display. Brogan created a dramatic TV spot, “Hailey’s Story,” which dramatized the negative effects of recreational drugs on one young woman.
The campaign led to increased awareness among teens of how drugs could stand in the way of achieving their dreams. “Hailey’s Story” has been viewed over 1.9 million times on YouTube.
According to the CDC, Michigan is the fifth heaviest state in the nation, with 67% of its adult population overweight or obese. This costs the state billions in medical costs each year. The Michigan Department of Community Health asked us to create a comprehensive multimedia campaign to encourage Michigan residents to lose weight. Our research led us to recommend a weight loss goal of 10% of body weight—a goal that, though modest and unintimidating, would significantly improve risk factors for chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.
The overall campaign, called MI Healthier Tomorrow, focused on brand engagement and was integrated across multiple channels. Promoting through television, radio and more, we asked Michigan residents to sign a pledge to lose 10% on a specially designed microsite. We sent them a starter kit full of helpful tips, a shopping guide, coupons and free gifts. We engaged them with a dedicated Facebook page, inspirational and educational text messages and emails. In addition, we formed a wide-array of community partnerships to support their efforts. McDonald's, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, Compuware, Quicken Loans, Huntington Bank, William Beaumont Hospital, the YMCA, Meijer and others partnered with us to broaden the reach of this critical effort to improve the health of our state.
To date, more than 32,000 Michigan residents have taken the pledge, most receiving starter kits and regular emails. Many have connected on Facebook to offer each other additional support and encouragement. Most importantly, Michigan has dropped from the 5th fattest state to the 11th fattest state.
The state wanted to increase the number of North Carolinians getting vaccinated against the flu. With a limited budget and only two months to complete the project, Brogan & Partners got to work.
Since research shows that women make most of the health care decisions for their families, we targeted moms with a television spot that featured schoolchildren. The spot showed a group of kids singing to the tune of “Old Smoky,” with lyrics about their less-than-antiseptic habits (“I had to sneeze then, and somebody coughed… it was okay, though, ‘cause I wiped the germs off.”) The spot served as a reminder of how easily the flu virus can spread—and how critical the flu vaccination is to protect your family. A series of three print ads emphasized the message, showing more easy ways the flu virus could be passed on.
As gambling continued to become more available in the state, the Michigan Department of Community Health was looking for a way to reach people with potential gambling problems. MDCH wanted to offer confidential, 24-hour counseling support for those who gamble more than they can afford to lose.
We created a dramatic and emotional campaign that included television, print and interactive rich media. Our expandable rich media alone generated more than 1.2 million impressions in less than six months and an average expansion rate of 6.44%, considerably higher than the industry average of 1.6%.
Parents smoking around children is a deadly serious issue. Our target audience is parents of children, specifically mothers and pregnant women. With a small budget and a very specific audience, we wanted to motivate smokers to pick up the phone to call the Michigan Department of Community Health’s Michigan Tobacco Quitline.
Research shows that the number one motivator for people to quit smoking is the negative impact on the health of their children. Even though most smokers are aware that secondhand smoke is harmful, it’s motivating to remind parents of the hazard and give them a free and effective resource to help them quit.
For this campaign, our creative director took an old, classic, public domain song "Secondhand Rose" and re-wrote the lyrics from a child's perspective. An engaging youngster outlines for parents the dangers of secondhand smoke. Working within our budget, we were able to produce a memorable longer-format YouTube video that has been hugely successful with more than 130,000 views and counting. The Quitline received 874 calls, including a significant number of pregnant women, an important part of the target audience. We supported this with radio media as well.
Beginning April 1, 2014, nearly half a million working people were eligible for a new health insurance plan under Medicaid Expansion called the Healthy Michigan Plan. How do we spread the word to all qualified citizens, so that no one misses this new opportunity?
By researching this target audience (hourly wage workers previously ineligible for Medicaid), we learned what messages would work for them and the best places to reach them. We developed a media plan that included television, radio, Google search, outdoor, transit, interactive banner advertising, a consumer website, a mobile site and a resource website where businesses and community organizations could get materials to help promote the plan. Using the straightforward message that more people in Michigan can now be covered by affordable health insurance, the print and TV featured a collage of Polaroid-type photos depicting the kinds of workers who would be eligible for the plan.
Within four weeks of launch, Michigan was providing coverage to nearly 160,000 Michigan residents under the Healthy Michigan Plan. To date, the plan has nearly 600,000 enrollees.
The Michigan Department of Community Health requested we communicate the availability of free treatment resources for HIV positive individuals. Key challenges: discreetly find individuals who need the free HIV treatments; be sensitive to this serious issue while also reaching out to them in a memorable way.
We worked with experts who work closely with the community. We held focus groups with HIV positive individuals. We developed a guerrilla marketing campaign for bars, festivals and local venues. Since the launch of the campaign, the percentage of HIV Positive individuals receiving care has climbed dramatically from 52% in 2011 to 64% in 2014. This campaign was also a hit among industry peers as well, winning recognition at award shows such as the Telly Awards, Communicator Awards, Hermes, Summit Creative Awards and more.
The National Center for Education Statistics reported that significant numbers of U.S. students are severely behind in basic mathematical skills and science. Our students fall below the international average for 21 countries. The result? Fewer college degrees in math and science. Yet these areas are where the US Department of Labor expects the fastest growing occupations for the near future. To successfully compete for these jobs tomorrow, today’s students need to acquire significant math and science skills.
Talk to parents of children from pre-K through 12th grade. Make them aware of the issue. Engage them. Where? In their living rooms. The agency produced a lighthearted TV commercial featuring young children in a job interview situation, stating their dubious job qualifications (e.g., “I like chipmunks”). The more serious underlying message? There’s still time to get them qualified for these new careers—get started now.
The spot garnered an overwhelmingly positive response; in addition to its TV time, the spot was shared spontaneously on social media and at conferences as well.