Happy teeth, happy smiles!
By the age of five, half of all children in Leicester have some signs of dental decay. Leicester City Council’s public health team is working hard to change this statistic. As part of this work, the council appointed us to develop an oral health resource pack to tackle the problem of poor dental hygiene among children and young people. The pack is designed for use at home and in schools to promote tooth brushing, a healthy diet and regular check-ups.
This sort of social marketing and behaviour change campaign has to be firmly rooted in the facts, so our starting point was to interview council staff, and partners from the Oral Health Promotion Board, and meet with families and healthcare professionals. We also completed a desktop review of best practice, looking at packs produced across the world to gain evidence-based insight into what works and what doesn’t.
We sought the views of the council’s education team, exploring the links between attainment and good health. We used their advice to hone key messages and link the packs back to specific educational guidance. In this way the packs, as well as conveying an oral health message, enable teachers to test pupils’ wider maths, science and literacy skills in the exercises.
The feedback from this research fed into the design of the pack, to create a mix of giveaway items and material to promote simple, clear and memorable messages about better oral health. These messages were reinforced online and via social media.
The completed pack included a mix of giveaway items and materials to promote simple, clear and memorable messages about better oral health. It also contained lesson plans (linked to oral health and the curriculum), parent leaflets, storybook stickers, teacher background and take-home activities.
We created two central characters and ‘aged’ them across the target year groups, with an accompanying illustrated storybook.
Our marketing, copywriting and creative studio teams created a package of materials to appeal to young children, which steer away from simply preaching about good oral health to engage positively with their interests and concerns.
As free added value, we used our client and industry contacts to target the campaign and promote the resource pack to social housing providers and networks in and around Leicester.