Getting a public service message to the masses isn’t easy, especially in a crowded media environment. Enter Safety Squirrel, a fast-talking rodent who is out to warn Californians about the danger of power lines.
Southern California Edison picked a squirrel for its relatability to power lines, as the fuzzy-tailed beasts are often seen traipsing along them like an agile tightrope walker.
‘Safety Squirrel’ is a campaign by IW Alliance, consisting of Dailey, GP Generate and IWGroup. It features a frank, quick-tongued squirrel who dispenses rapid-fire real talk about how to behave near power lines. Whether he's saving a partygoer's errant metallic balloon from frying a power line or stopping a distracted tree trimmer from making a shocking mistake, Safety Squirrel intercedes in spots that are, well, a little nutty.
“Dailey’s focus groups confirmed a hunch. Few people recalled any messages from safety advertising at all, prompted or unprompted,” said Helen Cho, executive creative director at Dailey. “We needed to create a campaign that would be a departure from anything Southern California Edison had done before.”
Added Diane Tasaka, principal manager, brand and creative at Southern California Edison: “We really wanted something that would break through the clutter in five languages and appeal to all age groups, because in the end it’s about keeping people safe.”
Dailey’s diverse team created the integrated regional campaign to be presented in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Mandarin – five languages commonly used in Southern California.
The first spots, ‘Tree Trimming,’ and ‘Metallic Balloon,’ debuted during spring tree trimming season and just before the annual uptick in balloon purchases around Mother’s Day and graduations. The media buy also includes TV, digital, social, OOH.