Fire safety partnership drive "not a bad deal for the public"

The Department for Communities and Local Government is promoting its fire safety message for just £30,000 by teaming up with the marketers of kids' movie How To Train Your Dragon 2.

Fire safety: The Department for Communities and Local Government partners up with Dreamworks
Fire safety: The Department for Communities and Local Government partners up with Dreamworks

The plot of the film, which is based around fire-breathing dragons living in wooden Viking homes, presented an opportunity for both organisations to promote their messages.

The film's distributor 20th Century Fox approached the DCLG with the idea of a collaboration between the release of the film and the Fire Kills campaign.

The new campaign, entitled ‘How to train your family’, aims to encourage families to test their smoke alarms every month, using media channels to target audiences of all ages.

The total cost of the campaign to the DCLG was £30,000 of its £1m fire safety comms budget.

A spokeswoman for the department explained that the Dreamworks characters were used by the campaign at no charge, commenting that this was "not a bad deal for the public". 

The department was able to promote the campaign in a series of adverts sent to local newspapers through Featurelink, a platform that connects national advertising campaigns to local newspapers.

Eighteen local papers featured the press release packaged by Featurelink in some form of story alongside the advert at no extra cost to the department. 

The spokeswoman said that in 2010, the DCLG had to rethink the way it ran campaigns due to significant cuts to its PR budget. 

"Because we had a third of the budget, the campaign we came up with was based on behavioural insights," she said. 

She added: "The Fire Kills campaign has not done much between March and October and the number of fire deaths in summer went up last year, so this was an opportunity to do something in that middle period."

The campaign will run until autumn when the film is no longer in the cinemas. 

Similarly, Public Health England last month struck a partnership with Disney meaning it can use the media giant's characters in its Change4Life campaign, to encourage children to exercise more.

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