National Drowning Prevention Week // Taxi Vancouver
July 27th, 2012
Before I even began to think about a career in design my swimming ability gave my the opportunity to bypass crappy first jobs and landed me in a lifeguarding position while in high-school. I continued to work at a couple of pools throughout the course of my design studies and years of travel which, in the end, was over 10 years of aquatic experience. But even after being so heavily involved in lifesaving for so long, my knowledge of the Lifesaving Society was limited to little more than the place that my certification came from and that sent us the terrifying, waterproof posters. However, Taxi Vancouver has finally changed my opinion.
If you found yourself on Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach last Saturday, you likely witnessed vancouver-based artist David Billings, of Sandemons Sculpture Company (with the assistance of Delayne Corbett) crafting on of his sand sculptures. Unlike most of his work which is geared toward family-friendly entertainment, this one is a little more of a shock. For National Drowning Prevention Week (July 16-23) Taxi and Billings created a chilling scene - a mother cradling the body of her drowned child paired with a sign that read “the beach isn’t all fun and games. Educate yourself on water safety.”
Employing this type of Guerrilla marketing tactic to their pro bono work for the Lifesaving Society of has hopefully brought a lot of much needed attention to a very important topic. “It’s hard to measure whether it will change behaviour, but it certainly will make people stop and think.” says Dale Miller, executive director of the Lifesaving Society of B.C. This stunt follows last years’s campaign which placed flutter-boards, a tool I’m all too familiar which, across the beach to symbolize tombstones. To me, the message is hard to miss and the tone of these campaigns is unforgettable, this is a striking and emotional campaign that should get everyone talking. Congratulations to all involved!