A long, long time ago on a roadside not so far away the children of 1970s Britain were rescued from their road recklessness by one safety-conscious superhero: Green Cross Man!
Now, almost 40 years later, we’ve orchestrated the grand return of the Green Cross Man, with Star Wars actor David Prowse MBE once again donning the famous suit (Green Cross Man, that is, not Darth Vadar) – only this time teaching adults to stop, look, listen and think before they cross the road.
The move to bring back the Green Cross Man was prompted by research from our client MORE TH>N, which revealed the extent to which adult pedestrians are putting their lives at risk every day by constantly using their smartphones or listening to music on headphones as they cross the road.
To coincide with Road Safety Week 2014, we scripted and filmed two brand new public information films starring the Green Cross Man and some absent-minded adult pedestrians. Elements of the dialogue and the scenarios were drawn from the new Green Cross Code for grownups, which MORE TH>N had crowdsourced from its Facebook community.
It’s probably safe to say that the return of the Green Cross Code Man was one of THE stories of the day today. In fact, we achieved no less than half to full-page write ups in EVERY national newspaper and their online equivalents, with stunning pieces in Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, The Times, Metro, The Independent, i, Daily Express, The Sun, Daily Star, Guardian online, Mail Online, Telegraph.co.uk, Independent online, Express.co.uk, Mirror.co.uk, Dailystar.co.uk, Times online, Metro.co.uk and even national BBC News. Such a national spread prompted a flurry of broadcast coverage, with the story, and interviews with David Prowse, seen on The One Show, Sky News, ITV National News at 6, BBC Radio 2 Chris Evans Breakfast Show and more regional radio stations and newspapers than you can shake a stick at.
All of this, along with further coverage in several high-reach onlines has dramatically increased awareness of the need for pedestrians to adhere to the green cross code when out and about, and importantly put away their smartphones and take off their headphones when crossing the road!
Already the films have had an incredible 340,000 views on the MORE TH>N Facebook and YouTube pages, not to mention being shared extensively on Twitter. And with more coverage in the pipeline that should all be set to continue!
The force was strong with this one.