Note: Spoilers ahead!
I’ll just come right out and say it. I love the Pearsons—Jack, Rebecca, all of them. They have become a second family, and I voluntarily sit on my couch to cry my eyes out with them on NBC’s “This Is Us” every week.
And let’s be honest, the tears are getting to be uncontrollable. We’re officially on the brink of facing Jack’s death unfold. Yes, we knew it was coming. But as of Tuesday night, we have a much better understanding of how it happens (I’m not prepared to watch the Pearson home go up in flames…), why it happens (a terrible combination of funky wiring in a 20-year-old slow cooker, dead batteries in the smoke detector, and a sleeping family…), and when it happens (after the Super Bowl, be sure to set your DVRs for extra time!).
Forgive the spoilers, but I need them to make a point. If this isn’t the perfect social marketing opportunity, I don’t know what is. Maybe it’s because the U.S. Fire Administration was a client of ours, but while everyone else is talking about unplugging their Crock-Pots, I see this as the perfect time for every firehouse in the country to remind people to test their smoke detectors and make a family fire escape plan.
It isn’t often that you get to know—in advance—when your work is going to be this relevant and this timely for millions of people. Let’s talk through some ideas for how to integrate fire safety into the conversation.
- Optimize social media content. #ThisIsUs and #savejack have been trending hashtags on Twitter. Pair those with your existing messages about fire safety and you extend your reach exponentially. Need a graphic? The U.S. Fire Administration has multiple Facebook and Twitter images and animations ready to go, including some about smoke alarms, escape planning, and electrical cords.
- Promote your spokesperson. Media outlets ranging from local papers to Huffington Post to Cooking Light have been capitalizing on the conversation. Pitch your spokesperson as a subject matter expert on how Jack’s life and others’ can be spared with a few small projects around the house.
- Consider partnerships. Has anyone else noticed that the State Farm commercials that air during the show are narrated by Kevin? Brilliant. Who might be open to partnering on some fire safety PSAs? Crock-Pot needs a little extra love after their unexpected role in the family tragedy…Just a thought.
There’s a little more than a week to go before the episode when all our questions are answered. We may not be able to #savejack, but let’s not let this moment pass to potentially change behavior. Do it for Kevin, Kate, and Randall. Do it for all of us.
Melissa Spade Cristler, M.A.
Senior Account Supervisor