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From Billboard to Boat

From Billboard to Boat

Danielle Smith

Danielle Smith

September 9, 2019

Havas Media Ortega responds to climate change and flooding with Project SAVE

"Here in the Philippines, OOH advertising is always the first to go when storms or typhoons hit."

The Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world in terms of natural disasters. Havas Media Ortega, together with the local government in Valenzuela City created outdoor ad signages that become life-saving devices (stretchers, billboards, rafts, boats) to help in cases of flood, fire, earthquakes, etc. The devices were developed, tested, and installed in key points in the city this spring, in preparation for the rainy season that is usually around June through September in Manila.

“This is a great opportunity to help out less fortunate communities that are flood-prone in the event of the inevitable rainy and stormy season,” Havas Media Ortega said in press materials. “We’re so stoked to share this with you and excited it’s gaining a lot of traction within the marketing community.”

Business Unit Director Rommel Garcia led the Signage and Ad Space Versatile for Emergencies project, also known as Project SAVE. He shares his thoughts on the creation and effect this work had on the city of Valenzuela, and the potential of advertising to spread across the world to disaster-prone regions and literally save lives. Project SAVE made it on the Cannes Media Lions shortlist for Reach Track.

 

How did the idea for Project SAVE come to fruition?

The City of Valenzuela was a client of ours and is also one of the most flood-prone areas in Manila. Here in the Philippines, OOH advertising is always the first to go when storms or typhoons hit. So we thought, what if instead of them being the first to go, we turned them into the first-responders? That was how the idea for Project SAVE was born.

 

What is the mission of Project SAVE in the short term and looking forward to the future?

There are currently 3 SAVE structures that have been installed in one part of the city. Havas Ortega is working together with the City of Valenzuela to explore putting up more structures in parts of the city that get hit hardest during flooding.

The long play to Project SAVE is being able to deploy these structures in other towns and municipalities that share the same predicament as Valenzuela.

"Project SAVE was well received by the people who attended the training."

There is an element to Project SAVE that goes beyond advertising and is more engineering. How did the team at Havas Media Ortega figure out how to design the Project SAVE devices? 

It was a collaboration between the Havas Ortega creatives and a partner fabricator that specializes in metalworks. Of course, edits had to be made to the prototypes with regards to certain shapes and materials that could be used to improve weight capacity and buoyancy.

 

What was the public reaction to Project SAVE and how did you educate people about how to use these devices in the event of a flood or emergency?

There was training done with the Valenzuela first-responder teams together with the people from the barangay. Project SAVE was well received by the people who attended the training. 

 

During the current flood season, how did Project SAVE affect The City of Valenzuela since the structures were installed?

Thankfully, there has been no need to use any of the three structures. But it is comforting to know that they are there should the need arise.

  

Brands like McDonald’s, Google and Facebook Philippines quickly took notice of Project SAVE. How has this evolved in the last three months in terms of new business and partnerships?

We are currently fleshing out the business side of things with the City of Valenzuela, but as of now, McDonald’s is first in line to rent out the three structures, initially for three months.

"Here in the Philippines, OOH advertising is always the first to go when storms or typhoons hit."

The Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world in terms of natural disasters. Havas Media Ortega, together with the local government in Valenzuela City created outdoor ad signages that become life-saving devices (stretchers, billboards, rafts, boats) to help in cases of flood, fire, earthquakes, etc. The devices were developed, tested, and installed in key points in the city this spring, in preparation for the rainy season that is usually around June through September in Manila.

“This is a great opportunity to help out less fortunate communities that are flood-prone in the event of the inevitable rainy and stormy season,” Havas Media Ortega said in press materials. “We’re so stoked to share this with you and excited it’s gaining a lot of traction within the marketing community.”

Business Unit Director Rommel Garcia led the Signage and Ad Space Versatile for Emergencies project, also known as Project SAVE. He shares his thoughts on the creation and effect this work had on the city of Valenzuela, and the potential of advertising to spread across the world to disaster-prone regions and literally save lives. Project SAVE made it on the Cannes Media Lions shortlist for Reach Track.

 

How did the idea for Project SAVE come to fruition?

The City of Valenzuela was a client of ours and is also one of the most flood-prone areas in Manila. Here in the Philippines, OOH advertising is always the first to go when storms or typhoons hit. So we thought, what if instead of them being the first to go, we turned them into the first-responders? That was how the idea for Project SAVE was born.

 

What is the mission of Project SAVE in the short term and looking forward to the future?

There are currently 3 SAVE structures that have been installed in one part of the city. Havas Ortega is working together with the City of Valenzuela to explore putting up more structures in parts of the city that get hit hardest during flooding.

The long play to Project SAVE is being able to deploy these structures in other towns and municipalities that share the same predicament as Valenzuela.

"Project SAVE was well received by the people who attended the training."

There is an element to Project SAVE that goes beyond advertising and is more engineering. How did the team at Havas Media Ortega figure out how to design the Project SAVE devices? 

It was a collaboration between the Havas Ortega creatives and a partner fabricator that specializes in metalworks. Of course, edits had to be made to the prototypes with regards to certain shapes and materials that could be used to improve weight capacity and buoyancy.

 

What was the public reaction to Project SAVE and how did you educate people about how to use these devices in the event of a flood or emergency?

There was training done with the Valenzuela first-responder teams together with the people from the barangay. Project SAVE was well received by the people who attended the training. 

 

During the current flood season, how did Project SAVE affect The City of Valenzuela since the structures were installed?

Thankfully, there has been no need to use any of the three structures. But it is comforting to know that they are there should the need arise.

  

Brands like McDonald’s, Google and Facebook Philippines quickly took notice of Project SAVE. How has this evolved in the last three months in terms of new business and partnerships?

We are currently fleshing out the business side of things with the City of Valenzuela, but as of now, McDonald’s is first in line to rent out the three structures, initially for three months.

Danielle Smith is the Communications Manager of Havas Group. She’s believes every meal can be tacos if you have tortillas and the heart to try.

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