Eurobest

Line for change

VMLY&R, Paris / COLGATE-PALMOLIVE / 2023

Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

271.000 people were recorded as being homeless in England in 2022. 60% of those people experiencing homelessness suffer from toothache. A further 15% revealed they had pulled their own teeth out. Because of the high cost of healthcare, lack of information or social stigma, people who experience homelessness have troubles accessing oral care. So Colgate, the leading oral care company in the UK had not only to act to provide help, but amplify this action in a PR-worthy way to make it seen and heard nation-wide.

Idea

If people experiencing homelessness can’t access dentists, we have decided to bring the dentists to them. Presenting, the “LINE FOR CHANGE”, a bus line with iconic London’s double decker busses onboarding full dental care equipment and volunteer dentists, to help people experiencing homelessness one stop at a time.

Strategy

By utilizing the iconic London double decker busses, involving the mayor of London to inaugurate the line, partnering with the highly charismatic CEO of Change Please, Cemal Ezel, and Channel 4 presenter Karim Zeroual to promote the operation was all part of a bold PR strategy to emphasize the vital importance of oral health and Colgate’s fight to help people who experience homelessness.

Execution

The Line for Change has been created using iconic and very familiar London double decker busses, driving to key locations to make the access to the vital oral care services easy and seamless. Colgate equipped the busses with state-of-the-art dental equipment and launched a volunteer dentist recruitment campaign, encouraging them to ride on the bus and help those who need it most. The line was inaugurated by the Mayor of London during a big scale city-wide event covered by all the main UK media. A documentary in partnership with Channel 4 has been created to promote the Line for Change.

Outcome

The Line for Change has helped thousands of homeless people throughout all the city. At the same time eliminating crippling oral health issues, the people who benefitted from the action benefitted from psychological help and job orientation from the help of Change Please.On a nation-wide scale, the massive paid and earned media coverage of the operation has created awareness about the importance of oral health as well as pushed the authorities to act on the growing problem of homelessness in London.

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