Sheffield City Council
Sheffield City Council want to help local families, schools, businesses, healthcare professionals and community leaders to tackle sugar by creating a social movement that engages all factions of the community. The ultimate aim is to reduce obesity and tooth decay by 20% over a five-year period
Statistics already showed worrying trends in Sheffield. Almost 1 in 4 children are overweight or obese when they start school; 1 in 5 pregnant women are obese nearly 30,000 adults are living with diabetes; and over 76,000 have high blood pressure.
To create a campaign that resonates with local people, we had to get the facts from the people who live there. Working with the council and its partners, we conducted a series of workshops and focus groups with our core target audiences of pregnant mothers, parents of children from birth upwards and adults in the general population.
This revealed a general lack of understanding about recommended daily sugar limits and how much sugar different foods contain. It also highlighted that people find food labels misleading and need help to make healthier choices. Research also showed many women are unaware of the dangers and risks associated with excessive weight gain and obesity during pregnancy.
We tested our initial campaign messages and creative solutions with these audiences. The general feeling was that hard-hitting messages were well received, as long as sugar was demonised, not people.
We were asked to develop a campaign that would create a social movement, building up engagement over a five-year period. Working to a tight budget, we couldn’t rely on traditional print media to spread our core campaign message Sheffield’s Sweet Enough.
With so much information to share, we decided to create a campaign website and drive traffic via a social media campaign on Facebook and Instagram. We created a main campaign visual featuring a line-up of the worst sugar culprits and a targeted ad for each group: pregnant mothers, parents of young children, parents of older children and adults in general.
Rather than pointing the finger of blame, each execution highlights the negatives of sugar with an arresting visual and bright backgrounds to maximise standout and campaign recall
We created a main campaign website Sheffield is Sweet Enough to outline the recommended daily limits of sugar, identify some of the worst offenders for too much sugar and help people to make healthy food swaps.
A social media campaign on Facebook and Instagram has been created to drive traffic to the website using the main campaign imagery and we are continually using outreach to get local community groups involved. Other materials include posters, TV graphics and leaflets for GP’s waiting rooms and community groups, plus inserts in maternity booklets for pregnant women.
Education resources for nurseries and community groups, such as scouts and guides, will also be available to download to help children of all ages understand more about sugar and its impact. For schools, we have created lesson plans, assembly presentations and homework ideas which invite pupils to become ‘sugar detectives’ in a range of engaging activities. Certificates have been created to give out to pupils on completion.
To generate maximum PR, we launched the campaign at Woodthorpe Community Primary School, where the children could take part in our sugar-based activities. The event was covered by BBC Radio Sheffield, Look North, The Sheffield Star, The Sheffield Telegraph and even received commentary in Professor Barry Gibson’s blog who is the research lead for the Population and Person Centred Oral Health Group (PAPOR) at Sheffield School of Clinical Dentistry.
The campaign is in its first phase, but initial feedback has been very encouraging and we are recruiting new followers on Facebook and Instagram daily.
Take a look at the website: www.sheffieldissweetenough.org