Neighbours' legend campaigns for student safety

With thousands of university students moving into their new private rented accommodation, National Grid wanted to create a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of gas safety and the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning amongst the student population.

ho better to front the campaign than the cult figure of Alan Fletcher, who plays Dr Karl Kennedy in Aussie soap Neighbours. Alan has an unrivalled association with British students past and present, having been on our screens for 15 years and regularly toured here with his band ‘The Waiting Room’.

The Student Safety campaign is focused around a Facebook Fan Page – the ‘National Grid Student Union’ – which maximises dialogue with the student population. It hosts a Video Theatre which includes the ‘Student Safety’ Video Feature we produced and Alan Fletcher’s top 10 video tips for surviving student life which will be individually released on Facebook on a weekly basis over the coming months.

The National Grid Student Union also includes 2 fantastic competitions to win a year’s rent and a multi-festival VIP package next summer, not to mention all the crucial information on CO and gas safety. To drive the safety message further, we also teamed up with the National Union of Students, individual student union websites and radio , not to mention handing out thousands of Fan Cards at Alan’s 14 concerts around some of the UK’ s biggest universities.

Alan pens 'Jumping Jack Gas' before playing live on Jo Whiley's new Radio 1 Show

To launch the campaign, Alan appeared on ITV's This Morning and Radio 1's Jo Whiley Show, where he played his very own gas safety song – to the tune of The Rolling Stones' ‘Jumping Jack Flash’. Not only did Alan write the campaign song, he used his blog and Twitter page to promote the campaign to his massive fan-base. Alan was also interviewed by ITN and the PA – whose copy – also pushing the Facebook Fan Page and video feature – ran on Yahoo, MSN, Virgin and many more sites.

And everyone’s favourite TV Doctor didn’t stop there – Alan joined Sarah Harris from National Grid for 25 radio interviews, which were aired on 132 radio stations, with a potential reach of 47 million people.

Sarah Harris of National Grid said: “Students can be a very difficult audience to reach particularly when you are trying to get them interested about issues like gas safety but, Markettiers4dc helped us to develop a creative campaign using social media to target our audience. Alan Fletcher was also a great choice to front the campaign as he is such a cult figure with students.

Alan Fletcher added: “Working on the National Grid Gas Safety Programme was a natural fit for me. I have thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the campaign, particularly discussing Gas Safety face to face with my fan base. My sincere thanks to all the team at markettiers4dc for their expert attention to detail and thoroughly professional and innovative approach to this important campaign – I had a great time working with you. You inspired me to feel utterly confident in my work.”