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NHS Bolton Council

NHS Bolton creates ‘the hole truth’ body piercing campaign with Portfolio


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

November 16, 2011 | 2 min read

Portfolio has created an awareness campaign informing young people about how to avoid the health risks and dangers of body piercings.

It was initially briefed to create awareness information by NHS Bolton, in conjunction with Bolton Council and Bolton Safeguarding Children Board, but expanded the concept to focus on mobile and online communication channels to generate a more targeted response amongst the 13-20 year old audience.

Darren Clare, Portfolio’s head of creative services, said: “We felt a more targeted response was needed to reach the young target audience. The campaign successfully bridges a knowledge gap to arm teenagers with facts in an approachable, high-impact way.”

The brief demanded peer-to-peer delivery, bite-size information and high-impact branding, as well as QR codes to capture the mobile-friendly target audience. The campaign required local piercing studios on-board to enable a ‘good studio guide’ and provide information to the target audience at the point of sale.

The QR codes, pointing to the website, were added to posters for schools and youth clubs and window decals for body piercing shops, to provide information on what to look out for in a good piercing studio, how to look after a piercing, and how to spot the early signs of infection.

Paul Compton, communications officer at NHS Bolton, said: “We gave Portfolio a very tough brief. The campaign needed to grab the attention of young people – a notoriously difficult task - and give them advice without sounding like they’re being preached to.

“The result was an innovative campaign that appealed to the curious nature of teenagers to give them quick information at their fingertips. It was one of the best responses to a brief I’ve ever received and early feedback from young people and piercing studios has been very positive.”

NHS Bolton Council

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