Fire Safety: Creating a new behavioural association

Neasa Cunniffe
RKCR/Y&R London


"I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions"
Augusten Burroughs

This paper starts with the hard truth that people often really want to do the right thing, but can sometimes fail to follow through. We needed to find a way of helping people to help themselves, and turn their good intentions into action.

We did it by creating a new behavioural association. In making a behavioural link between changing your clock and testing your smoke alarm, we gave people a useful memory aid, and a context that would increase the likelihood of success.

In contrast to previous campaigns – that mainly aimed to increase people's motivation to test – this strategy works by decreasing the perceived effort required to act. In addition, by associating smoke-alarm testing with a calendar date, we're creating the potential for the date itself to become a testing reminder in future years, reducing reliance on continued marketing investment to prompt people's testing habit.

Creating a new behavioural association