Who Was Offended?



Get Active Bolton, the public facing brand of sport and physical activity at Bolton Council, created a social marketing campaign for physical activity which worked on two levels. Firstly, they highlighted the socially desirable aspect of being active. Secondly, and more importantly, they created a campaign that rewarded people with a moment of humour for the few seconds they spent reading their posters which were plastered on buses and billboards across Bolton. This made the campaign memorable and raised its ‘talkability’.

Their team sent me some of the drafts through to ask my opinion. They were worried about the potential for complaints because the content was a bit close to the line.

I was on holiday at the time, sitting on a sunbed by the hotel pool when the attachments came through. I laughed out loud, so loud that the people around me woke from their naps and looked up from their books. Nothing quite like laughing out loud at a private joke in public!

My opinion was that if anyone complained about the content it would be a great opportunity to talk about the campaign and why it was important enough a topic to risk provoking such a response.

Soon after the launch, they got a complaint. Just one. It was from someone within Bolton Council who pointed out they weren’t personally offended but that someone else might be!

I personally think it’s funny. What do you think?

And what are you afraid to start because you are unsure what the reaction might be? Can you turn it into an opportunity for a conversation?

(For more about Get Active Bolton and to see more of their funny campaign images, check out http://www.getactivebolton.co.uk/whos-doing-it/)