When devising a new transport strategy for a County, the public need to have their say. Cheshire West and Chester Council needed to engage with the public, and gather their feedback to influence policy.
Cheshire West and Chester Council are a public-sector organisation serving the western portion of Cheshire, a County in North West England.
Cheshire West faces a similar challenge with each public consultation; how to engage with people that don’t typically engage with the Council? Their primary concern, and objective, was to receive feedback on their policy from an audience who are ‘underheard’.
Using 2D animated characters, innovative communication strategies, and a diverse collection of deliverables meant that every channel was treated individually and carefully considered. This detailed response to the brief provided an overwhelming success, leading to an excellent number of respondents – the client’s sole performance KPI.
Cheshire West and Chester Council are one of 185 District and County Councils in England. They look after a region with a population of 350,000 people, providing them services ranging from Education, to Waste Management and Transport.
The Council had two clear target audiences;
Firstly, a broad and diverse audience. People who live, work or travel through the Borough. Ultimately, the people who would benefit from the new transport vision.
Secondly, a narrower, laser focused group of ‘underheard’ people within the Borough. This group comprised people who wouldn’t typically engage, respond or communicate with the Council.
It was vital that people who have never communicated with the council got in touch and voiced their opinions. This was to be a Creative Public Campaign for all, not just a consultation for those on the email list.
Challenges and Goals
The Council had their main challenge of engaged with those ‘underheard’ people, but there were also secondary challenges that were identified with such a large target audience;
How can those with short attention spans be stopped mid-scroll and engaged with? Not just young adults, but also the elderly too.
How can the various pieces of collateral be made as accessible as possible? Including people with sight and hearing difficulty, and for those who English isn’t a first language.
How can the audience be inspired and motivated and therefore funnelled from typical online platforms to filling out a detailed form.
How can we reach the widest possible audience, from every walk of life across the Borough.
The client’s single measurement of success was the number of successfully converted audience members. A conversion to the client meant a completed consultation form via their online platform.
Strategy and Implementation
Three key deliverables were identified to reach the widest possible audience;
1. A 60 second Explainer Video to convey the “why” behind this new Future of Transport. It should provide a suitable “hook” to the audience to call them to the action of finding more about the transport strategy. For use organically, on-site and in presentations both internally and externally.
2. A suite of 5x 15 second short form Infographic Animation to speak to a single topic. The advert opened with a compelling statement followed by a question to the audience. For example; “Transport is the second highest contributor to climate change in west Cheshire…Our goal is net zero by 2045. How do we get there?” These were for advertising use on social media and digital platforms and were required in various sizes for maximum performance.
3. A 36pp brochure containing all of the details behind the transport strategy. This was printed on a limited run, hosted online and typeset into an accessibility reader.
This project was required in a short timeline, meaning that each step of the process had to be as efficient as possible to ensure meeting the clients deadline.
As with any animation project, various creative rounds of concepting, ideation and design took place, before settling on a unifying creative approach for the campaign.
Scripts were written, stories were boarded, and characters animated to bring the whole project together from commencement to delivery in 5 weeks.
For more information on how to structure a 2D animation project, check out our services pages explaining our ISO 9001 certified process in much greater detail.
We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our stakeholders and senior management within the council. The videos were truly engaging for everyone. We’d also shown it to our partner organisations, and they gave positive feedback and supported it.
Jack Hubert-Mayhew – Policy Lead, Cheshire West & Chester Council
What were the key takeaways from this project?
It’s All About Timings
A day-by-day breakdown was formulated upon commencement of this project meaning a wealth of varied work from brochure layout through to Character Animation was delivered, on time.
Harnessing quick sketches, ideas and drawings enabled the team to understand the client deeper and quicker. Don’t be too precious and chase perfection in the starting stages of a project.
Keep It Simple
A single unifying creative style, and a diverse suite of illustrations meant elements could be repeated and reused, saving huge amounts of time in the animation stages (and making that brochure come to life).
Ask The Hard Questions
Thoroughly understanding the project at the start, using questionnaires and challenging for those few extra words had huge positive impacts to the later creative stages. The changes that came down the line were detailed and specific, rather than broad and inefficient.
If you’ve got a very specific target audience you’d like to advertise, engage and motivate, 2D video animation could be a brilliant tool for you.
Are you looking to connect with a broad, or focused target audience, simplify your message, or explain your offering? Call us on 01244 560 537, or fill out our online contact form to submit an enquiry.