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

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BCW Stockholm won the “Finance and Professional Service” and “Most Efficient 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 reveals the behind-the-scenes secrets of this successful project …

The challenge

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

The strategy

Swedish parents spend three hours a day looking at their phones. But at the beach, swimming children need their parents’ undivided attention. A short distraction from the smartphone can mean the difference between life and death.

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

The countryside

The awareness campaign was launched in June, using a campaign film that showed parental 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 controls was distributed to all media across Sweden. Media interviews were obtained with Andreas Claesson, drowning expert at the 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, along with other influencers being briefed on the initiative.

All communications were linked to the Trygg-Hansa campaign site, where essential tips were shared on how to swim safely with your children.

The results

The initiative took Sweden by storm and the story was covered in all major news outlets – making Beach Mode the most shared news item in Sweden during the summer (aside from the pandemic). Hundreds of articles have been written on Beach Mode and the importance of parental supervision and the press release was echoed organically by singer Pernilla Wahlgren’s podcast, which reaches parents all over Sweden.

The initiative had ripple effects. Following the launch of Beach Mode, several municipalities have banned cell phones in swimming areas. And a major international phone maker is working on integrating the feature into the phone.

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

This project was the winner of the Drum Awards for PR 2021. To find out which Drum Awards are currently open for applications, click here.


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