Freshwater was challenged by the RNLI (the Royal National Lifeboat Institution) to develop an engaging PR campaign around its annual ‘Mayday’ fundraising drive, being rolled out across the UK and Ireland this year.
The symbol of the campaign, the RNLI’s distinctive yellow Wellington boot, is a crucial piece of kit for the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crew members who provide the 24-hour lifeboat search and rescue service, around the UK and Ireland.
Freshwater developed creative ideas that majored on yellow wellies to ensure that this remained central to the campaign and carried clear key messages and calls to action.
Working closely with the RNLI, Freshwater commissioned four yellow wellies and heavy duty vinyl footprints to touch down in London, Edinburgh, Dublin and Cardiff. We oversaw the branding and design of the wellingtons, plinths, key messages and colour scheme, in line with the RNLI’s brand guidelines.
Freshwater project managed the design and build as well as the liaison with land owners in the four cities. We produced the method statements and risk assessments for each application process, briefing documents for the ground teams and provided a dedicated Freshwater project manager to be on-call on the event day to ensure activity at all locations was delivered to the highest standard.
The giant wellies made for a fun, tactile and interactive launch to the Mayday campaign, and Freshwater’s targeted engagement with media gained coverage across a number of channels including print, online, broadcast and social media. Coverage reached over 215 million people with highlights including the Mirror (online), the BBC (online), City AM and a number of key boating outlets.
People were also encouraged to share their welly-centric selfies via Twitter, Facebook and Instragram using the #YellowWelly hashtag to aggregate activity, add to the ‘buzz’ and ultimately to boost awareness and fundraising.
Recommendations from Freshwater saw the campaign feature on Mashable UK, hitting its 40 million readers and 20 million social media followers. Plus, Press Association, OK Magazine and Heat World also tweeted after receiving a welly-themed desk drop from Freshwater.
The RNLI rescue teams have responded to the ‘Mayday!’ calls of those in distress for more than 190 years and during the campaign, which ran across the May Day bank holiday weekend, Freshwater worked to encourage the public to respond to the RNLI’s own call for help – to fundraise, donate, and volunteer.