Using behavioural science to ignite change


This year we were honoured to have the opportunity to conceive of, execute and rollout a local campaign aiming to tackle negative behaviour in our hometown of Bournemouth. We were excited at the chance to make a difference and preserve the area we are lucky enough to live in.

BCP Council were looking for a strong campaign and a supporting identity that would discourage anti-social behaviour within the area during the summer periods. BCP wanted a creative concept that will act as a theme to communicate the message related to all activities linked to a day out at the beach.

The Council’s previous campaign “Leave Only Footprints” – although much loved by the locals – was deemed too soft as it didn’t demand a significant enough change in behaviour and so, for this new campaign, the client wanted something more hard-hitting and memorable. We know that, although fear can often be successful in grabbing the audience’s attention, it rarely results in a real change in behaviour so we took the approach of using humour as a far more effective approach to this dry or difficult issue.

We set about creating a campaign that delivered hard-hitting truths with a cheeky humour to put a smile on people’s faces. We wanted to deliver persuasive but likeable campaign that tells it like it is. And so landed on the campaign line: “Sort **it out.” The implied line “Sort it out” works as our call to action, and our rallying cry. It’s what we tell ourselves and others when we stop caring about **it.

Playing on the asterisks we had used in a naughty and suggestive way, we were able to create a series of cheeky copy lines to ignite an emotional response from our audience. Defined by the strong typographic style in the creative, our campaign makes a statement that you can’t ignore.

In support of this, the imagery we used captured the reality of the situation, with a duo-tone treatment to reinforce our campaign’s identity. To soften the blow of the strong language and definitive message, we also created a series of illustrations to dial up the humour and bring more joy.

We believe “Sort **it out” is an accessible campaign with the audience at its heart. Using direct language helped us make a real connection with our audience, encouraging them to take ownership of the message, and be a part of the identity themselves. We wanted to show that the council was part of a united front against the same problem, demonstrating that together there could be a campaign for real change.

For a campaign to be effective, it must have a clear and memorable message. The repetition of our slogan across the streets of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole really drove that message home. It forced our audience to listen and to take responsibility. Our campaign can now be seen across lamp post banners, pier banners, digital boards, bus adverts, t-shirts, badges and more.

Our collective enthusiasm and passion for this project really helped us push the campaign beyond its local reach. Negative behaviour is a problem faced everywhere, and we hope that more people adopt our “Sort **it out” message as they too campaign for change. Until then, it’s exciting to see the success of our campaign in our hometown. We hope that the summer of 2021 will pave the way for a better future and encourage people to love and respect Bournemouth as much as we do.