The campaign launches on 24 July and will run until the end of August across outdoor, press, online and social media, as well as through direct marketing. Created by Proximity London, it will be RNLI’s most integrated campaign to-date.
The aim is to engage with children and educate them on how to stay safe on the beach and in the water over the summer. It includes a bespoke microsite online game, Beach Smart, that gives children a number of small challenges to complete across three levels.
These include helping the characters swim between the correct flags on a beach using simple mouse controls, putting safety flags in the correct place on the beach and clicking on characters to buddy up with a friend so they stay safe in the water.
RNLI aims to reach 17,500 families with the campaign, with the activity particularly aimed at children under 16 and their parents. Visitors to the microsite will be encouraged to register their contact details after completing the game to receive a free pack containing an activity book, waterproof pen and wristbands.
Experiential activity will focus on five UK shopping centres and include face painting, Beach Smart-themed temporary tattoos and tablets so children can play the online game. There will also be volunteers on hand to offer safety advice.
Outdoor and press activity will focus on coastal regions and is being handled by OMD. Targeted digital and social media activity will aim to drive families to the microsite.
The RNLI hopes that beyond educating families, the campaign will introduce the charity to a new generation of supporters and raise awareness of the work it does beyond the lifeboats with which it is synonymous. The RNLI provides lifeguards on more than 200 of Britain’s beaches and last year helped more than 9,500 children, 741 of which were saved from dangerous rip currents.
Russell Tarr, interim head of marketing at the RNLI, says: “This innovative campaign is a great way for the RNLI to encourage children and their families to think about beach safety. Although we have lifeboats all around the coast on call 24/7 and lifeguards on 200 of the busiest beaches, it’s always better for families if they don’t need to call on our volunteer crews and lifeguards. Through this campaign we are encouraging people to have fun this summer while staying safe.”