Blog : Scottish Government

NOTHING CHANGES, IF NOTHING CHANGES

NOTHING CHANGES, IF NOTHING CHANGES

This week Scotland became the first nation in the world to make period products free for all; a ground-breaking policy that’s a key step in addressing period poverty, reducing the shame and secrecy of periods, and changing mindsets and attitudes.

Similarly, in January, Stripe asked people to stop with the euphemisms that stigmatise menstruation and instead say it straight and just ‘call periods, periods.’  A campaign we’re proud to have delivered and one of the many social marketing campaigns that we’ve deployed over the past decade for the Scottish Government, confronting everything from excessive alcohol consumption, to reducing knife crime and increasing plastic bag use.

 

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While these campaigns are wildly diverse, they all share a common goal; to change attitudes and ultimately behaviour long term.

Every one of the 40+ campaigns we’ve devised and delivered have tested our thinking, our understanding and regularly made us rethink what we thought we knew…but no-one ever said championing change was easy!  So, what’s the key to delivering campaigns that really make a difference and can change social norms?

  • Challenge – be bold in your approach and your ideas. Change isn’t easy; it’s scary and difficult, but you won’t get the results you want if you always play it safe. Some of the most successful results have come from campaigns that highlighted an uncomfortable truth, made people realise they did that very thing, or had that very attitude. Confronting an issue head on often gives the standout you need. So, if you believe in it, stand up for it! We did this when we commissioned a ‘Drinking Mirror’ app showing what you would look like in 10 years’ time of you continued drinking at your current rate. We hit a nerve with the audience and media and secured over 800 media articles and 470,000 downloads.
  • Immersion – it’s obvious but understanding the issue and the audience is key and often this means leaving your own experience or viewpoint at the door. Resonance often comes after an issue is stripped back to the single most compelling insight, motivating factor or barrier to change, and addressing that head on.
  • Empathise – no point preaching, you’ll just alienate. Instead put yourself in their shoes; how do they feel, what’re they afraid of, what’s stopping them, what do they need or want to make change? If you can appreciate the challenge from a different point of view, you’re more likely to increase engagement, acceptance and change long-term.
  • Normalise – once you were weird if you recycled your egg boxes or took your own bags shopping, now it’s frowned up on if you don’t. That’s the power of normalising the desired behaviour and switching the narrative to celebrate those that do, and stigmatise those that don’t.
  • Engage – put simply, reflect the audience, talk their language, live in their world, use simple, fluff-free explanations, and make a clear ask. Use spokespeople they admire or respect or have walked in their shoes.  Get feedback, listen, learn, and overall make it believable and achievable.  In the past we’ve used testimony from knife crime victims to show the devastating impact it has on real lives, ultimately driving more resonance with the youth target audience than anything else.

Five points that make the steps to change seem simple, sadly it’s not.  Our talented planners and strategists work hard to get under the skin of every issue, to find the golden nugget for each campaign that we can use to engage audiences, drive media, excite influencers, drive social content and help make change happen.

Attitudinal and behaviour change doesn’t happen overnight, but with multiple award-winning campaigns under our belt, it’s a challenge we relish and rewarding work we enjoy. And whether we like it or not, one thing is certain; change is constant!

Influencer culture in Lockdown: where do we go from here?

Influencer culture in Lockdown: where do we go from here?

A lot has been said about COVID-19 marking the end of influencer culture as we know it. Consumers are tired of seeing social stars brag about their lavish lifestyles or preaching from their #gifted million pound home, promoting products that we ALL know they don’t and would never use – Khloe Kardashian and Febreeze, what?!

I get it and we have felt the same. Particularly as we navigate what is going to be an incredibly difficult few months for everyone.

However, for all the covidiot influencers who have got it seriously wrong, a lot have also risen to the occasion, helping to spread important messages to otherwise hard to reach, younger audiences.

As these uncertain times continue (sorry!) and conflicting messages and cluttered news just gets worse, audiences are desperately looking for people who they can connect with, trust and rely on – the micro influencer. Those who are genuinely experiencing the same things their audience are and who can share real content their followers can relate to.

In Finland, social influencers have actually been defined as ‘critical operators’ throughout the pandemic. They have used their platform to communicate Government guidelines and speak to a traditionally hard to reach audience. And what better way to reach your audience than working with the people you are trying to reach?

Influencers are always a key part of our campaigns and although the big names out there will always be big, it’s the micro influencers who are coming out on top for our clients at the moment.

Throughout lockdown, we’ve run influencer campaigns for the Scottish Government, Young Scot and Baxters to name a few – all of which have been used to spread a message quickly and efficiently, something a traditional media campaign just couldn’t do.

But why micro influencers?  They are the most flexible and can create content quickly that is authentic and believable. They are close to their audience and know what they respond well to. With fewer followers, they are much more likely to engage and respond to comments – they genuinely care and want to help their followers, which reflects well on the brands we work with. Finally, they are real. Without management teams, ulterior motives or big production budgets, their content is incredibly personal and personable and resonates with their audience better.

Post-pandemic, I think we can expect to see all influencers take a step back and take stock of the content they’re sharing. The high profile, aspirational type content still has its place but moving forward, honesty and authenticity is going to be key.

Serving up Happier Mealtimes

Serving up Happier Mealtimes

Healthy, tasty food is something of a passion for us here at Stripe so we’re very proud to have helped launch the Scottish Government’s ‘Happier Mealtimes’ campaign.

It’s all about championing the sourcing and eating of fresh, in-season food which is nutritious, tastes delicious and also has environmental benefits.

We kicked it off with a taste test of delicious samples at a pop-up food kitchen in Edinburgh’s Festival Square.

The four-week campaign offers advice on how to find and use fresh, in-season foods as well as easy to make, tasty recipes from some of Scotland’s leading chefs and food organisations.

The pop-up food kitchen is also on the road to spread the ‘Happier Mealtimes’ message across the country so keep your eyes peeled!

Find out more at Greener Scotland.

New Road Safety app for kids is out of this world

New Road Safety app for kids is out of this world

Stripe showed its gaming prowess this month as we helped to launch a brand new kids’ app called KLANG: The Road Home. Developed by Road Safety Scotland and the Scottish Government, the app’s aim is to get kids aged 8-11 to think about road safety.

Following the story of a stranded and homesick alien robot called Klang, intrepid explorers are challenged to help Klang navigate our busy roads to collect the missing parts of his spaceship.

Stripe launched the app at the National Museum of Scotland with the help of Minister for Transport and Islands Derek MacKay, along with Klang and 30 of Scotland’s finest Junior Road Safety Officers.

Although none of the Stripes have managed to get past the first level, the app got off to a flying start with over 9,000 downloads in the first 48 hours!

Getting Ready for Winter (with Terriers!)

Getting Ready for Winter (with Terriers!)

Stripe had the pleasure of looking after (and dressing!) some adorable West Highland White Terriers last week, as they assisted Minister for Transport, Keith Brown in the launch of the Scottish Government’s Ready For Winter? campaign.

The Scottish Government’s ‘Ready for Winter?’ campaign, in partnership with the British Red Cross, provides information and advice on how to prepare and cope with severe weather including snow, ice, flooding and high winds.

The campaign includes a range of online resources and will feature integrated marketing activity across TV, local press, radio (local and community), news websites and social media. This is the fourth year the campaign has run and it will run from 21 October to 30 November.

For more information visit www.readyscotland.org

Road Safety campaign drives away with top award

Road Safety campaign drives away with top award

A campaign that Stripe worked on with The Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland (part of Transport Scotland) has received a prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award.

This award recognises a ground-breaking campaign aimed at reducing the number of fatalities on Scotland’s country roads.

The innovative Country Roads campaign, fronted by former Formula 1 racing driver David Coulthard, sought to get across the message that ‘even the best drivers in the world adjust their speed on country roads’. It was selected as a winner from 70 campaigns and initiatives throughout the world.