The arresting sound of an ambulance siren – and the range of powerful emotions it evokes – is the centrepiece of a new St John campaign launched this week by 303 MullenLowe Perth.
Called the Sound of Survival, the compelling campaign uses the curiosity, excitement, fear and sympathy generated by a siren, particularly highlighting the most important emotion of all experienced by those needing an ambulance in a critical moment: hope.
It aims to reinforce the importance of only calling Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance for serious or life-threatening emergencies, and help Western Australians better understand the right time to call an ambulance, or when it’s more appropriate to contact another health service for assistance or advice.
St John Chief of Brand and Reputation, Aaron Crowther said with about 300,000 people calling St John through Triple Zero (000) seeking an ambulance each year, the organisation needed a campaign that reinforced the importance of keeping the community St John Strong, with emergency call takers and front-line workers on the road able to respond expeditiously when they were most needed.
“Western Australians are pretty good at knowing when they are facing a life-threatening emergency, but St John had been receiving some calls to Triple Zero (000) which related to more general questions and concerns about COVID-19,” he said. “After speaking with other ambulance services around the country about the influx of calls they’d experienced of that nature, we needed to do something to save Triple Zero (000) for emergencies as the virus spread throughout our community.
“For the past two years we have been hearing about the serious threat COVID poses to people’s lives, including death. As a result, some people have ‘hard-coded’ any experience with COVID into the ‘emergency box’. The population is well vaccinated and prepared, so while COVID-19 can cause a life-threatening emergency, it is not always the case.”
303 MullenLowe Perth Senior Business Director Holly Creasey said: “We’re thrilled with this powerful campaign which short-circuits the automatic link some people have between COVID and an emergency situation, reinforcing the ‘life-threatening’ element of emergencies, and providing alternate pathways for flu-like COVID symptoms. We hope it will enable people to recognise the importance of the ambulance service in saving lives.”
303 MullenLowe Perth ECD Richard Berney said: “An ambulance siren is one of the most distressing sounds that humans have ever designed. It cuts through almost any other, and has a way of reminding us of our own mortality. But to those who need critical help, it may as well be birdsong. This is the idea our campaign explores; it brands the St John ambulance siren as ‘the sound of survival’ and reminds people to only call on it in life-threatening situations.”
Sound of Survival is running statewide in WA across radio, online video, social and outdoor and was strategically designed with a speed to market approach in mind. The campaign also leveraged credible, trusted news environments. Media planning and buying has been handled by 303 MullenLowe’s sister agency, Mediahub.
Client – St John
Chief of Brand and Reputation – Aaron Crowther
Peta Rule – Head of Brand Media
James Foggo – Media and Content Team Leader
Agency – 303 MullenLowe Perth
Creative Director – Richard Berney
Creatives – Jake Ransom, Zosia Kilpatrick
Senior Business Director – Holly Creasey
Agency Producer – Belinda De Corti
Planning Director – Smiljka Dimitrijevic
Design – Alby Furfaro
Finished Artist – Suzanne Whoston
Media – Mediahub Perth
Media Director – Kylie Macey
Media Manager – Meg Handley
Photographer – Finlay McKay
Production Company – Beautiful Pictures
Producer – Kate Downie
Director – Corrie Jones
DOP – Duane Orriss
Music & Sound – Cue Sound
A charitable, non-profit, humanitarian organisation teaching first aid to the community and delivering the State’s ambulance service, St John has been a client of 303 MullenLowe Perth since 2020.
Earlier this year it launched the ‘State of Misadventure’ via 303 MullenLowe Perth, aimed at recruiting GPs from across Australia and New Zealand for St John’s expanding network of services, including General Practice, Urgent Care and Dental. The campaign comprised a range of still and video executions; the social video can be seen here.