A closer look at how Hövding is changing the world for cyclists one beep at a time

Following on from The Drum's Marketing Can Change the World awards, we take a closer look at how an initiative to help improving London cycling safety took home the Chairman's Award.

Earlier this month, The Drum's Marketing Can Change the World Awards celebrated the finest philanthropic and social good campaigns, recongising the brands and creatives that are truly proving that marketing can change the world.

The inaugural ceremony rounded off our Do it Day event during which marketers and tech players came together to solve real-world problems in a 24-hour timeframe.

Several big campaigns scooped prizes at the Marketing Can Change the World Awards, including Lynx, Unilever and Campaign Against Living Miserably's (Calm) 'Bigger Issues' work and Gerry Farrell's 'Leithers Don't Litter' initiative. On the night, however, the chairman's award went to Edelman Deportivo for its 'Give a Beep' push for Hövding.

The campaign was handpicked for the accolade by Visa's head of digital and corporate social responsibility (CSR) Nick Jones, who headed up the esteemed judging panel.

Hövding, a bicycle helmet brand which 10 years ago developed the first airbag for bikers, approached Edelman Deportivo to create an engaging campaign in London, which demonstrated curiosity, innovation and care for the capital's cyclists. The company believed a campaign on cyclists' safety was much needed due to the fact there is a cyclist involved in a traffic accident every other hour in the greater London area.

It's no secret that cyclists often feel frustrated when weaving their way through the city's roads, so Edelman Deportivo decided to channel these feelings into a movement that could improve bikers' situations in future.

Its solution? To re-invent the bicycle bell. Together with its partner Mynewsdesk, the brand and agency teamed up with the London Cycling Campaign to hand out 500 Flic wireless smart buttons to cyclists in the capital.

The bell still made a 'beep' sound via users' smartphones, but at the same time sent an email to the London Mayor Sadiq Khan each time a cyclist pushed it. In addition, the wireless technology within the buttons was used to plot out the location of cyclists' frustration on a real-time London map.

Following its launch the campaign reached more than 100 million people through press coverage and earned media. Cyclists shared their location 5,000 times - providing enough data for the mayor's office to see where in London they felt the most frustrated. After thousands of emails were sent to the mayor's office, the department send a direct letter to Hövding asking for the findings of the campaign to be included in London's forthcoming program for cyclists which is being worked on in partnership with Transport for London (TfL).

Hövding's campaign has been well received globally, with the agency saying that cyclists, organisations and authorities from 12 countries have contacted the firm with serious proposals and enquiries. Hövding is now looking to take 'Give a Beep' to other countries and markets.

Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum. Based in London, she writes news, analysis and features around brand marketing and digital innovation. She has interviewed key figures from the likes of Airbnb, Amnesty International, Unilever, Facebook and Spotify, as well as covering international events like Ad Week Europe, Dmexco and Ciclope.

All by Rebecca