50 years of 'clunk-click'

Over a million people worldwide owe their lives to the simple device that is the seatbelt, which was invented 50 years ago by a Volvo engineer named Nils Bohlin. The name of this unsung hero and the fact that Volvo chose not to patent his invention at the time so that car users everywhere could benefit had gone largely unnoticed for 50 years. However, this year’s anniversary opened up the perfect opportunity to celebrate the lifesaving device, highlighting the sheer number of lives that continue to be saved as a result and give people a timely reminder to, as once Jimmy Saville told us in the iconic TV ads, ‘clunk-click every trip’. As leaders in vehicle safety, the campaign also gave platform for Volvo to highlight the future of safety on the road.

Markettiers4dc were brought on board to drive broadcast and online coverage on the anniversary date. Access to key industry spokespeople was organised to support the anniversary as well as thorough research of the latest Department of Transport road statistics in order that the campaign could sufficiently highlight the difference that the introduction of seatbelts made in saving lives. Crucially, we were also able to highlight the impact that not wearing a seatbelt can have. With some key spokespeople not being available in the UK on the actual date of anniversary, markettiers4dc arranged for Volvo’s Senior Safety Technical Advisor from Sweden and Robert Gifford, the Director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) to pre-record video and audio content ahead of the campaign launch. Their comments, along with that of Volvo UK Sales Director Nick Connor, were edited with retro and archive footage charting the development of the seatbelt from Bohlin’s original tests using an egg in a wooden cart to the computer aided tests of today. The anniversary saw the video placed on over 19 sites including BBC News, the Independent, the Telegraph, Auto Trader, MSN and many more news and motoring sites. Further online editorial coverage was gained on Sky News and The Guardian.

The radio session ran from 0700 from markettiers4dc’s studios in Clerkenwell with Volvo’s Duncan Forrester and ROSPA’s Road Safety Manager Duncan Vernon. Over 150 items of radio coverage were recorded achieving, in excess of, 13 hours of airtime across key national and regional desks including Sky News Radio.

After 50 years of saving lives, Nils Bohlin and his employers, Volvo, were finally given the recognition deserved.

“I would like to thank you for all your hard work, you have really made this project work with your dedication and commitment.”
Steve Carman, Director, Nobull Communications