Sold for parts

These days, you can buy almost anything. But the latest campaign for the Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, by Dartmouth agency Extreme Group, plays up that nothing can replace the real thing when it comes to the human body. It features images of human limbs on display in stores, with the tag, 'You can't buy a new pair.'

These days, you can buy almost anything. But the latest campaign for the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, by Dartmouth agency Extreme Group, plays up that nothing can replace the real thing when it comes to the human body. It features images of human limbs on display in stores, with the tag, ‘You can’t buy a new pair.’

All efforts drive the youth target to www.notworthit.ca, a creepy microsite where they navigate through a virtual clothing store and ‘browse’ various body parts. When they hover over each part, they get stats about limb injuries. In a month, 1,900 visitors read about a woman who lost her leg in a workplace accident, and 1,450 had downloaded the PDF on safe lifting.

Extreme created faux price tags with phrases like: ‘We’ve got a leg to go with those jeans,’ to be distributed at youth events across Nova Scotia. The street teams initially weren’t allowed in schools, but once educators saw the campaign, they got an invite. About 15,000 tags have been handed out with another 15,000 planned for September.

Meanwhile, Vancouver’s Wasserman + Partners has just adapted the campaign to run out west for WorkSafe BC.

We asked Rick Davis, creative partner at Toronto-based Gilbert + Davis; Donna McCarthy, partner/ CD at St. John’s, Nfld.-based Dory Advertising and

Mitch Joel, president of Montreal-based agency Twist Image and, to weigh in on whether this campaign was worth going out on a limb for.

Concept

RD: I like the concept. It’s not predictably full of doom, gloom and dire warnings. There’s a matter-of-factness to it that the target group appreciates. ‘You can’t buy a new pair.’ No kidding.

DM: I wonder if the concept is a bit too lighthearted. Dressing [the message] up and making it entertaining makes it more palatable, but I doubt it has the same impact as the truth.

MJ: Based on the types of video games that the intended target market plays, I think the campaign could have had a harder edge. (This could be because I’m from Quebec where almost anything goes). 50 Cent videos are more daunting.

Website

RD: This is a nice, simple site. It doesn’t try to do or say too much. This must have driven the WCB bureaucrats crazy. The ‘Actual Injury Descriptions’ give it just the right amount of heft to let the visitor know that workplace injuries are for real.

DM: It’s a nice site but I just don’t feel the campaign is going to get kids interested in workplace safety. I hope I’m wrong.

MJ: I think the message got buried in the Flash of it all. The site is very much a click-and-surf, instead of an opportunity to begin a true conversation.

Print

RD: I prefer the ‘Arm’ ad. I find it visually more intriguing, and a little more unusual. I think I’ve seen that foot before in my doctor’s office.

Never with a pair of pumps, though.

DM: If the print ads are intended to get kids to go to the site, they might work. But, as for: ‘You can’t buy a new one,’ the body parts look like prosthetic body parts, so it looks

like you can buy a new one.

MJ: It’s missing the blood and guts of it all. I feel like the limbs are just pieces of mannequins. The curious factor that would drive me to the website was not pushed hard enough. Teens live in their own world. They think they’re bullet proof.

Tags/Field Efforts

RD: This is the best idea within the campaign. I love the thought of street teams stealthily going around town slipping these things onto the merchandise at Mark’s Work Wearhouse. Strong headlines. Right tone.

DM: I like the street teams. Feels right for the target.

MJ: I like the tags. A true teaser. Well done. I could actually see kids keeping these tags tied to their schoolbags, etc…

The creds:

Client- Workers’ Compensation Board of NS:

Steve MacDonald, manager, marketing and communications; Shelly Rowan, VP, marketing and communications

Ad agency – Extreme Group:

Shawn King, CD; Cliff Thompson, ACD; Cliff Thompson, Steve MacDonald, Bruce Whelan, copywriters; Cliff Thompson, Anthony Taaffe, James Rothenberg, ADs; Sara Newman, Andrew Doyle, client services

Interactive:

Allan Kennedy, AD & Flash developer;

Brad MacPhee, programmer; Jon Burke, Darren Hubley, Philippe Deginer, Crystal

Oicle, designers