Operation Lifesaver Canada has been advocating for rail safety for 35 years. For most of those 35 years, outreach and education was fairly traditional, employing tactics such as pamphlets, classroom presentations, safety blitzes at train stations, and so on.
While those tactics are still used, and are effective for certain demographics, a shift started to take place a few years ago.
The population most at risk, young males, was the population least likely to use traditional media or to respond to traditional outreach. This necessitated a strong digital communications program.
For Rail Safety Week 2016, Operation Lifesaver wanted to focus on the at risk young male audience with edgier, more digital content.
That’s where “The Misadventures of Bob” came in, Bob being a cartoon character who dies each time while engaging in unsafe behavior.
A strong mix of media, digital, traditional, and event marketing was used to maximize the reach of the “Don’t be a Bob” message.
The opportunity, then, was to speak to young men in their own language, all the while reaching other demographics (professional drivers, new drivers, parents, teachers, snowmobilers, etc.) with more traditional media and outreach.
- Doug Lacombe
- Kelly Ferrier
- Stephanie Lake
- Ashley Sloman
Many thanks to Operation Lifesaver staff and the communications committee for all their support and contributions, especially Maryse Bétournay.