WSIB fights complacency with horror

It's no accident that the latest commercials from the Toronto-based Workplace Safety & Insurance Board are hard to watch.

It’s no accident that the latest commercials from the Toronto-based Workplace Safety & Insurance Board are hard to watch.

Two 30-second spots feature shocking, unsettling depictions of preventable injuries at work. The hard-to-ignore executions call to mind the memorable workplace safety ad from years ago in which a steel shard hurtles in slow motion towards a worker’s eye.

One of the new ads features a sous chef talking about how her upcoming wedding will have to be cancelled because she’s about to be injured at work. Viewers then see her slip, fall and have her face burned and disfigured by hot oil. Both ads end with the message ‘There really are no accidents,’ and direct traffic to prevent-it.ca.

‘If there is horror in the spots, it is certainly analogous to the horror of the issue,’ says Robin Heisey, CD at Toronto-based DraftFCB, adding that more than 80 Ontarians a year are killed in preventable workplace incidents. ‘What’s happening is an outrage…and people, to some extent, are complacent about it.’

He says the intense ads aim to force people to pay attention to the issue. ‘If 80 workers were all killed in a day, in a factory fire for example, that would make headlines all over the world. But since it’s spread out over a year,

nobody notices.’

The spots are running on TV after 8 p.m. to reach a mature audience. Heisey says the target is broad: all Ontario employees and employers. They have also been posted on YouTube to increase viral reach, and at press time had a combined view total of over 30,000.

The campaign also includes OOH and two 30-second radio spots. The latter weren’t finished at press time, but Heisey describes them as powerful. He says one features an announcer talking about the word ‘accident,’ using the example of a distracted pick-up truck driver running a red light and killing two people. It leads up to the message that the scenario wouldn’t be described as an ‘accident,’ but rather as two funerals. ‘It’s really well-targeted, because it’s talking to drivers.’
client: Moira McIntyre, VP strategic communications, policy & research; Colin Fenby, marketing manager, Workplace Safety & Insurance Board

agency: DraftFCB

CD: Robin Heisey

ADs: Joe Piccolo, Graham Tingle

copywriters: Chris Taciuk, Jef Petrossi

account director: Darrell Hurst

prodco: Imported Artists

director: Peter Darley Miller