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Meet your new Buddy

After successfully winning the pitch of a new product launch for global safety company MSA in Berlin, November 2017, Oi have been working closely with the respiratory project team at MSA to strategise, develop and deliver a fully integrated campaign that has taken us, as agency and client on a journey, including many different European locations, before the official launch in September 2018 at the Firefighting Congrès in Bourg-en-Bresse, France.

Step 1

How we listened and learned

Facing a tough challenge, which not only included raising brand awareness for MSA in the UK and Europe but also to launch their game-changing new self-controlled breathing apparatus platform, the M1 in an already saturated market posed a real challenge. The brief made us acutely aware of the everyday challenges that firefighters face, the risks they are exposed to and how much trust and respect they put in their ‘buddy’ - their team member who has their back in every situation they encounter. This highly personal and connected relationship between firefighters, their buddy and their equipment proved invaluable in the structuring of the campaign messaging and how it would connect the product to the target audience.

Meet your new Buddy

Step 2

How we collaborated and created

After initial research, collaboration and refining our messaging, we established that by giving the product a human personality, we could bridge the gap between user and equipment, creating an emotional connection - one that instilled a sense of trust, respect and confidence - everything a firefighter looks for in a buddy. To support the campaign elements, we also worked closely with MSA to create a new tagline to support the M1 in fire safety markets - ‘TOGETHER AS ONE’. This simple yet powerful statement encompasses the very essence of MSA’s mission and commitment to put the health and safety of firefighters lives first and featured on every piece of communication.

One of the main objectives of the campaign was to gain the trust and confidence of firefighters outside of USA, so part of our strategic and creative approach was to develop an engaging teaser campaign through video that asked firefighters a vital question - what do they look for in a buddy - the values and attributes that means the most to them. We also asked them how their buddy has come to their rescue in critical scenarios - all key information that firefighters relate to and is front of mind for them on a daily basis. The filming of the video content involved travelling to various European locations including the Netherlands, Poland, France, Spain and the UK to interview and film the firefighters response to this question. The content was then edited to create a series of ‘teaser’ videos in relevant languages and subtitles that featured on geo-targeted microsites - the hub of activity for the M1 as part of a social campaign and competition.

Firefighters who visited the microsites, which were shared through highly targeted social content, were prompted to share their stories, videos and photos of their buddies to be in with a chance of winning amazing prizes for their fire station, including M1 branded foosball tables, table tennis tables and dartboards. There was also strategically placed print advertising, press releases to targeted media and brochures for the sales teams driving traffic to the websites and encouraging visitors to enter the competition - the 2018 Buddy Awards.

Whilst the teaser campaign generated awareness and intrigue, the next step for our team was to strategise, plan and develop the product launch with the project team at MSA. This included a training workshop in Berlin with the M1 prototype to gain valuable insights and hands-on understanding of the product's features, as well as planning the next phase of execution for the campaign.

In order to capture the highly innovative features and construction, an intensive three-day photoshoot took place in Guernsey with renowned photographer Karl Taylor, where highly detailed video and images which were shot, retouched, additional effects added and then edited into a highly impactful and dramatic video for the launch event. The video was translated into seven different languages and featured once again, on geo-targeted microsites, as well as being uploaded to the MSA Youtube channel, other video-sharing websites and shared with the media. Additional marketing collateral, press advertising, social content and a shorter, illustrative video that showed the features and benefits of the M1 in superb detail, were also created to support the main video and digital aspects to complete the campaign.

The M1 was officially launched in September 2018, at the 125th National Firefighters Congress of France in Bourg-en-Bresse to a select audience of influencers and key decision makers, where the launch video was screened and afterwards visitors were directed to a function room where a highly prominent exhibition stand featuring MSA products, brand imagery, messaging, key information and other marketing collateral were displayed.

Meet your new Buddy

Step 3

How we evaluated and evolved

By working closely with the MSA team, Oi developed a highly engaging, innovative and powerful integrated campaign that won the hearts and minds of firefighters across Europe, raised brand awareness of MSA and created attention, interest and desire for the brand new M1, which was available for order in November 2018.

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