Potholes are everywhere, there’s even a National Pothole Day, but JCB wanted to get traction for a new machine which did four of the main tasks at once. They had plenty of construction contacts but wanted us to reach broadcasters, nationals and everyday consumers.
Built around an infographic we designed, we laid the facts bare about the impact potholes have on our daily lives – the cost to fill each hole, the road closures, the wasted resources, the injuries to pedestrians and cyclists and the exorbitant insurance claims.
We also wanted to take the machine across the whole of the UK, using customer demonstrations as impromptu press calls and teaming up with JCB’s internal team to utilise Letters Pages of local and regional newspapers up and down the land.
The last ace up our sleeve was nailing the experiential: it’s vital that journalists have something they can touch and feel themselves, so that’s why we offered them the chance to sit behind the controls and get involved in the filling.
Extending the season
People traditionally talk about potholes in the winter so our task was to make this a year-round discussion topic. This was, after all, a personal mission from JCB chairman Lord Bamford – his dedication to finding a solution to potholes was unremitting and he put a vast engineering team together in order to come up with the PotholePro. There was no way we could simply provide cuttings and coverage for December and January, it had to stay at the top of the news agenda for as long as humanly possible.