SOS Alarm is the leading emergency operator in Sweden. They accept more than 10,000 phone calls every day. One of SOS Alarm’s greatest challenges is that 30 per cent of the incoming phone calls are non-emergency related, something which distracts from important calls – which in worst case can be a matter of life and death.
One of the reasons that people dial 112 for non-emergency reasons is that the knowledge of the other phone numbers (e.g. 1122, 11313, 11717) is so low.
How could Spoon and SOS Alarm help people dial the right numbers, for the right reasons? And how could we turn a dull and impersonal message into something entertaining, in order to engage the public?
Spoon and SOS Alarm made a video series on YouTube: 112 – Glöm inte att komma ihåg. In the show, the host Kodjo Akolor met memory champions, jingle makers, neuroscientists and designers to help us remember the most important phone numbers.
The tone was funny and light-hearted, mixing engaging content with serious facts, all without being too formal. We used various popular figures, e.g. the humour group I Just Want to Be Cool, to attract the most relevant audiences, with stories that stood out.
In each episode, the “problem solvers” worked hard to apply their skills to help people remember what phone number to dial, and for what reason. Some of the solutions took the form of a funny and humorous sketch, a jingle, and others a catchy mnemonic. The journey towards the best solution was an important part of the video series.
The content campaign included a carefully thought-out launch that stretched over two months. Teasers and trailers built up suspense for the show on social media. Sing-along songs were played on Spotify. Even the press picked up on the series.
The YouTube series was broadcast during March 2018 and consisted of four episodes, which were distributed on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat. The target group was the broad Swedish public, with an special focus on children, youngsters, and newcomers with a different mother tongue other than Swedish. To reach newcomers in Sweden, the videos were subtitled into different languages.
In a country of only 9.5 million, the series garnered 7 million views, and the top episodes got 350,000 unique views. 1 million people watched the series.
In the period March-June, the number of incorrect calls fell by 27 285 compared with the previous year. This is a significant difference that may have saved lives.
In addition, the awareness levels of the other social numbers went up. Awareness of 11313 rose from 37% (previous period) to 43%.
Furthermore, the number of phone calls with an actual need increased, meaning that more “real” phone calls were made and fewer unnecessary ones, which was the main objective of the whole campaign, from circa 735,243 calls (2017) to 762 528 calls (2018).
Getting millions of people to call the right number, at the right time, is a tough challenge. Especially considering what’s at stake. But by using humour and engaging content, Spoon and SOS Alarm made a video series that brought about positive change.
“Every year, approximately 1 million incorrect calls are sent to Sweden’s emergency number 112. This is a serious problem as it means longer waiting times for those who really need urgent help.
With the help of fun yet knowledgeable content, we hoped to raise awareness about Sweden’s different social numbers and eventually reduce the proportion of incorrect calls to 112. Through the campaign, we not only created internal pride among our employees, but we also saw that the awareness of other social numbers increase, which in turn led to reduced pressure of 112.
The more people call the right number, the more lives can be saved.”
– Jenny Friberg, communication strategist SOS Alarm
Awareness of 11313 rose with 7 per cent during the campaign period.
Number of incorrect phone calls fell by 27 285 compared with the same period previous year.
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