CPSC Uses the Super Bowl To Educate People on the Danger of Furniture Tipping Over on Children

February 4, 2017

  • You need an extremely powerful defensive line to go toe-to-toe with the 3150-pound New England Patriots offensive line, but to stop a 36-inch TV from falling with 12,000 pounds of force, you only need a $5 bracket.
  • You need an extremely powerful defensive line to go toe-to-toe with the 2452-pound Atlanta Falcons offensive line, but to stop a 36-inch TV from falling with 12,000 pounds of force, you only need a $5 bracket.
  • In the time it takes to watch Super Bowl 51 – about four hours – eight children will be rushed to the emergency room due to injuries sustained from tipped furniture or falling TVs.
  • The force of a falling TV on a child is ten times stronger than two NFL football players colliding at full speed.

These are just some of the statistics, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and FinnPartner’s Widmeyer Communications, are using to educate people on the danger of furniture tipping over on children.

New research conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Anchor It! campaign shows that a child visits the emergency room every 30 minutes, and dies every two weeks, because of a tip-over incident. Most of the children involved in these incidents are under three years old.

The CSPC uses the two weeks before the big game to push this PSA because statistics show that an estimated 115 million Americans will watch the upcoming Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons on Feb. 5, and many of them will purchase a new TV just for the event.

What those people don’t realize is that the result of children climbing on furniture and TVs can end (and have ended) in tragedy. Learn more and help share this important information about prevention.

DIVERGE talked to Jessica Reape, Associate Vice President in the Public Affairs practice at Widmeyer Communications, A Finn Partners Company. She also leads the Anchor It! Campaign at Widmeyer.

Where did the idea come from?

In the fall of 2014, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) tapped Widmeyer Communications, a Finn Partners company, to help the agency design and launch a public education campaign focused on TV and furniture tip-over prevention. CPSC reports that every 30 minutes, a toddler in the United States goes to the ER as a result of a tip-over incident, and every two weeks, a child in the U.S. dies from a TV or piece of furniture tipping over onto them. Despite these harrowing statistics, most Americans aren’t aware of the dangers these household items present.

To help better educate the public about this serious threat yet simple and cost-effective solutions, Widmeyer designed and launched a comprehensive, multimedia campaign called Anchor It! Secure Furniture and TVs: Protect Children. The campaign is raising awareness of the tip-over issue through its name, brand and website – all created by Widmeyer through strategic research efforts. Widmeyer has also grown visibility of the campaign and tip-over prevention through an integrated, multimedia PSA program, strategic partnerships, social media efforts, and direct community placements of campaign materials in English and Spanish (also designed by Widmeyer). The campaign’s awareness efforts have

been particularly successful through a targeted focus on certain times of the year, specifically Super Bowl TV-buying season.

Who is the team behind it?

Widmeyer Communications, a Finn Partners company, works with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission as the Agency of Record for the Anchor It! campaign.

What do you hope to get out of it? Why is it important to spread this message?

The overall goal of the Anchor It! campaign is to inform parents and caregivers of young children about the unknown – but very real – threat of furniture and TV tip-over in the home, and to educate them about the simple solutions that can prevent these tragedies. Considering that the two-week period ahead of the Super Bowl is one of the biggest TV purchasing periods of the year, we use the Super Bowl as a broader opportunity to educate media and consumers alike about this serious issue.

When/where will this air and what can we expect?

No one knows about the hazards of tip-over better than the parents who have lost their children to a tip-over, so in the weeks leading up to Super Bowl 51, we have partnered with numerous organizations founded by these parents to author letters to the editor on behalf of the campaign and place them in local newspapers. In addition to general media outreach sharing the above Super Bowl themed tip-over statistics, we organized a radio media tour (RMT) featuring CPSC Commissioner Marietta Robinson as spokesperson that included nearly 20 interviews with both national radio programs and local stations based in markets across the country. In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, CPSC will also execute a social media campaign and work with the campaign’s partners  as well as news anchors that the campaign partners with (called Anchor It! Anchors) to share Super Bowl tip-over prevention messaging on social media with U.S. communities.

This article originally appeared on the website Diverge.

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FINN Partners


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