Ignite Joe Public, Joe Public United’s cross-platform agency, in partnership with client De Beers recently executed an innovative internal communications safety campaign for employees, underpinned by a high set of values and a powerful vision that was written and developed by its employees in 2006. Safety is the company’s most important value in its business strategy. But, living out these values day-to-day proved to be a difficult task. Even though miners understood the procedures, shortcuts would continuously put them and their colleagues at risk.

De Beers needed a new approach to communicate their “Zero Harm” safety message. Previous campaigns that had taken an authoritative “No Tolerance” positioning yielded a lack of positive results and safety records plummeted. Ignite Joe Public were poised to help grow their clients need by creating a safety activation that would break through the apathy and bring about positive change. 

DeBeers DeBeers2

Most safety activations focus on the “hows” of safety, highlighting the procedures that need to be adhered to, to maintain a safe working environment. The creative execution and idea lead by the cross-platform agency were centered around the “why” of staying safe. Titled Why will you stay safe today? the activation aimed at turning the traditional “how” to stay safe messaging and notion on its head by prompting miners to think about what they and their loved ones stood to lose if they were injured or killed.

Internal posters and emailers asked the question “Why will you stay safe today?” giving each miner a printed template with a number on it, to illustrate in their own way, their personal reason for staying safe. Over 80% of miners responded with pictures of their families, future dreams and special moments they wanted to be around for. These reasons became the posters for our safety intervention, the posters that employees proudly put up on walls, boards and lockers to remind them why they were staying safe. Finally, these reasons also became daily reminders sewn onto the backs of mine employees’ overalls – reminding miners of what could be lost if safety procedures and standards are not followed.

The activation was executed with a roll-out to six mines and is still running. It has become an integral and permanent part of miners’ daily lives, seamlessly integrated into their overalls to form a permanent reminder of their personal reason to stay safe.

Watch it here:


Client: De Beers Consolidated Mines

Agency: Ignite Joe Public

ECD: Pippa Capstick

CD: Michael Estment

Art Director: Michael Estment

Writer: Pippa Capstick

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Category: Adscene News
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Founded in 1998 and growing into Joe Public United in 2007, makes this advertising communication group one of the countries largest 100% independently owned entities. Its core purpose is to deliver on growth – growth of its clients, its people and country as well as aiming to be an agency that inspires greatness. Joe Public United was rated as the 2014 Agency Group of the Year and also as the Agencies’ Agency of the Year for two consecutive years running. The group is an integrated offering serviced through its specialist companies: Joe Public (Above-the-line), Connect Joe Public (Digital), Engage Joe Public (Public Relations), Ignite Joe Public (Cross-platform) and Shift Joe Public (Brand Design). The group also has African and European partners/affiliates in 14 different countries. For more information, visit and follow on @JoePublicUnited, Facebook and Instagram.