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Why insurance firm Trygg-Hansa decided to block customers’ phones at the beach

In Sweden, drowning is the most common fatal accident among children between the ages of one and six.

BCW Stockholm won the ‘Finance and professional service’ and 'Most effective use of technology' categories at The Drum Awards for PR 2021 with its ‘Beach Mode’ campaign for Trygg-Hansa. Here, the team behind the winning entry reveal the behind-the-scenes secrets of this successful project...

The challenge

In Sweden, drowning is the most common fatal accident among children between the ages of one and six and is often the result of a lack of parental supervision. Insurance company Trygg-Hansa, which has worked with water safety for the past 65 years, wanted to create an initiative that encourages parents to keep an eye on their children by the water. The brief was to come up with a new creative idea that could generate earned attention, to give Trygg-Hansa a platform to educate parents on the importance of supervision on the beach.

The strategy

Swedish parents spend three hours each day staring at their phone. But at the beach, swimming children need the full attention of their parent. A short distraction of the smartphone can be the difference between life and death.

The creative idea was to transform the problem (the smartphone) into the solution – by creating Beach Mode, a smartphone app that makes your phone completely inaccessible when you are at the beach with your children. No scrolling, no social media, no podcasts, and no phone calls. The only feature that works is emergency calls. Releasing the Beach Mode app gave Trygg-Hansa a platform that allowed them to get their message across: the importance of always keeping watch on swimming children at the beach.

The campaign

The awareness campaign was launched in June, using a campaign film that showed parents’ lack of supervision with a call to action to spread the message.

A press release combined with the results of a national survey on the lack of parental supervision was distributed to all media outlets all over Sweden. Media interviews were secured with Andreas Claesson, drowning expert at Karolinska Institute and Alexandra Gahnström, children’s expert at Trygg-Hansa.

For continued dissemination, an influencer collaboration with Margaux Dietz, Sweden’s largest Mummy blogger, was established, at the same time as other influencers were advised of the initiative.

All communication was linked to Trygg-Hansa’s campaign site where vital tips were shared on how to swim safely with your children.

The results

The initiative took Sweden by storm, and the story was talked about in all major news outlets – making Beach Mode the most shared news story in Sweden during the summer (apart from the pandemic). Hundreds of articles were written about Beach Mode and the importance of parental supervision and the press release was picked up organically by the singer Pernilla Wahlgren’s podcast, which reaches parents all over Sweden.

The initiative gave ripple effects. Following the launch of Beach Mode several municipalities have banned mobile phones from swimming locations. And a large international phone manufacturer is working on building the function into the phone.

Most importantly, fatal drownings among children: YTD 31% below average.

This project was a winner at The Drum Awards for PR 2021. To find out which Drum Awards are currently open for entry, click here.

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