Betty, Driving Home the Dangers of Asbestos 2012 – 2016
“Betty the ADRI House” was launched in Sydney in November 2012 as part of the National Asbestos Awareness Week campaign. Betty is a purpose built prototype model designed to effectively demonstrate all areas in Australian homes (built or renovated before 1987) where asbestos may be found with each and every component personally sourced and selected by the Insight team.
Based in Sydney, Betty is a practical education resource and media tool that educates communities at grassroots level while driving traffic to the website created and managed by Insight – asbestosawareness.com.au
When we first created the concept of Betty, we had no idea how far she would travel to deliver her potentially life-saving message to communities across Australia. Since launching on 22 November 2012, Betty and her dedicated crew have toured extensively throughout NSW, VIC, QLD, SA and the NT covering more than 50,000 kilometres and has been the focus of extensive media coverage taking her important message into the homes of every community Betty visits.
Experiential Community Health Education Campaign – Australian East Coast
In 2012, Insight researched and developed ‘Betty The ADRI House’ to compliment our National Asbestos Awareness Campaign.
Betty is a world-first experiential marketing tool and model exhibit designed for transportation to demonstrate asbestos locations in and around homes in multiple communities.
- Educate homeowners and renovators on identifying and managing asbestos–containing products in homes safely throughout NSW, Queensland and Victoria between 26 November 2012 to 26 April 2016.
- Deliver strategic, innovative grass-roots community awareness campaigns through integrated, experiential communication featuring a unique, mobile education exhibit to achieve targeted, concentrated media engagement that would advance awareness when in transit; engage and inform communities when exhibited; and deliver heightened education through driving traffic to asbestosawareness.com.au
- Exhibit development: no blueprints
- Builders couldn’t grasp concept: “Why not use a caravan?”
- Limited budget and development lead-time
- Sourcing: materials that would imitate asbestos-products
- Weight: Compliance, manoeuvrability, fuel-efficiency
- Scheduling: accommodation, distances, timing
- Council engagement: time-consuming
- Resourcing: vehicle, storage, crew, collateral
- Conflicting: events, dates
- Limitations and threats: size, access, distances, weather, roads, access to volunteers
- Betty travelled 36,000 kilometres
- Exhibited at 171 health and community events
- Toured 141 communities
- Distributed 40,000 magnets and 120,000 brochures
- Engaged 108 councils, 51 Bunnings stores, 6,450 renovation students and 4,000 conference delegates
- Betty’s activities reached 2.19million Australians at grass-roots level
- 78 targeted media releases of Betty’s tours and events garnered 422 local, state and national media pieces across print, radio, TV and online
- Qualitative and quantitative media analysis determined media reach exceeded 6.75 Million
- While Betty is on the road, daily website visits increase by as much as 192.7%
- Betty drives over one-third of annual traffic to asbestosawareness.com.au
- Outside Asbestos Awareness Month, Betty is the primary resource driving website traffic
So much more than a moving billboard; Betty engaged primary publics in the three practical learning styles; utilised targeted stakeholders and media coverage to reach communities driving increased online education in all three states.
Branding the world-first mobile experiential asbestos education exhibit ‘Betty’ delivered serious, life-saving messages in a creative, non-threatening format that continues to fascinate and engage communities, media outlets, health and international forums.
As Betty’s fame, popularity and reputation grew:
- Demand and bookings increased
- ‘Understudy’ exhibits were developed to address availability and accessibility issues
- Local and state governments leveraged Betty events to engage constituents in asbestos policies
- In 2015 ‘Asbestos in Your Home’ video was developed based on the ‘Betty model’ to deliver online global access to the Betty message
- Betty’s crew were awarded NSW Volunteer and SafeWork NSW Awards in recognition of their dedication
- Asbestos awareness advocates from around the globe praise Betty and her success in educating communities in a practical way to save lives
Over three-and-a-half years, Betty’s extensive tours-of-duty, took her as far north as Cairns, as far south as Warragul and as far west as Condobolin while enduring 40+ degree heat, sub-zero temperatures and dramatic storms throughout populated areas of NSW, QLD and VIC reaching more than 2.19million Australians at grass-roots level with her potentially lifesaving message.
Betty’s Ongoing Success – Taking Her Message Beyond The Eastern States
Following on from her success in Australia’s eastern states, in 2016 Betty’s adventures took her on her most extensive tour to date with Betty and her Crew travelling more than 6,500 kilometres and appearing at 36 events over a 46 day period throughout the Northern Territory, South Australia and Far West NSW.
Betty’s Overall Success
Since Launching in 2012 Betty has:
- Travelled more than 50,000kms throughout NSW, VIC, QLD, SA and the NT
- Exhibited at 207 health and community events
- Toured to 177 communities and conducted media events in the majority of these locations taking our messages into the homes of people unable to meet Betty in person
- Distributed more than 130,000 brochures and 50,000 magnets and tape measures
- Engaged with 144 Councils
- Engaged more than 7,000 renovation students and 4,000 conference delegates
- Appeared at 65 Bunnings Stores engaging renovators and tradies
- Appeared at Sydney’s Royal Easter Show twice among other community events and exhibits including the Sydney Home Show, Australia Day and NAIDOC events.
In 2017, Betty and her dedicated crew are set to take Betty’s life-saving message off the mainland on her first tour of Australia’s beautiful Apple Isle, Tasmania.
Asbestos Awareness – What Stakeholders have to say about ‘Betty’
INTERNATIONAL BAN ASBESTOS SECRETARIAT (IBAS), LONDON, UK
Betty, the asbestos model house, is a shining example of a creative approach to a difficult subject. No one really wants to KNOW that their home might be a death trap but the fact of the matter is that asbestos remains hidden in homes as well as public buildings.
Betty is a focal point for a campaign which reaches out to the public in a positive way to educate and arm them with the information they need to take steps to protect the lives of those they love. I wish that Betty had a British cousin!
Laurie Kazan Allen, Co-ordinator of the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat (IBAS), London, UK
SAFEWORK SOUTH AUSTRALIA
SafeWork SA was a proud supporter of the ‘Betty the ADRI House’ tour in South Australia. The Betty tour formed part of a wider SafeWork SA educational campaign on asbestos awareness from October to December 2016. Thanks to the support of Bunnings Warehouse, SafeWork SA and Betty we were able to engage with multiple communities, in particular home renovators, across metropolitan Adelaide.
Having a purpose-built van to demonstrate where asbestos can be found in the home is a highly effective way of explaining the risks associated with disturbing building materials that may contain asbestos. At the end of our campaign, the South Australian Government’s asbestos information website received an increase of almost 20 per cent in page views compared to the previous year.
We believe the Betty tour played an important role in this increase and in increasing the public’s awareness and understanding about asbestos.
Brett Pfeffer, Principal Industry Advisor, Workplace Advisory Services, SafeWork SA
Our Bunnings Team members and customers in the NT and SA stores where Betty visited (as part of National Asbestos Awareness Month) was all positive with many saying they’d learned more about the dangers and correct safe handling of asbestos. In summary; Betty and the information provided worked well. One can honestly say that a picture say’s a thousand words and Betty and the presenters supported this. For our other stores that didn’t host Betty, they’d heard about the Betty (Van) and wished they hosted it in their stores. I think if we can get Betty to Tassie that we will have the same positive outcome.”
Morris Lamacchia, Marketing Services Manager SA/NT/TAS, Bunnings Group Limited
FAIRFIELD CITY COUNCIL
Fairfield City Council was lucky enough to have a visit from Betty and her crew today to educate our residents about the dangers of asbestos when renovating their homes. Around 300 residents came along to talk with the experts and gained valuable knowledge that may very well save their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
Stephanie Keane, Waste and Sustainability Projects Officer, Waste Strategy and Sustainability City Operations, Fairfield City Council
NORTHERN TERRITORY GOVERNMENT
We have a very unique opportunity with Betty to highlight to Territorians the dangers of asbestos. Asbestos can be found in a number of buildings across the Territory and it is important that we remind Territorians if they are undertaking renovations, they need to look out for asbestos to protect themselves and their families.”
The Hon. Natasha Fyles, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice (NT)
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR LINGIARI (NT)
It’s great that Betty has come to Alice Springs and I’m grateful to those who’ve funded this trip and the roles of those involved in it because increasing awareness of people who may be ignorant of the dangers of asbestos is very important.
It’s important that people who have asbestos in their houses understand how to deal with it and if they need to get rid of it get the professionals in. It’s very, very important that it’s done safely so that people aren’t affected adversely by it.
Betty’s lovely and I wonder what people think when they’re driving up the highway behind this house. I can see how Betty would stimulate people to click onto the website and they too can be informed just by seeing Betty passing by.
The Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, Federal Member for Lingiari (NT)
ALICE SPRINGS TOWN COUNCIL
Asbestos awareness needs to be carried right across the community. The provision in what you’ve done in travelling down the highway towards Alice Springs from Darwin is all about awareness.
Betty is a very practical resource. We know how popular home renovation shows are so as long as people keep talking the message and doing what you have done in bringing Betty to Alice Springs, it all helps towards creating that awareness.
Damien Ryan, Mayor Alice Springs Town Council
I’m grateful that you have come here (Alice Springs NT). The information in the media has been very good along with seeing Betty which has opened my eyes up to the dangers of asbestos again.
Jamie de Brenni, Deputy Mayor, Alice Springs
Betty is a really unique way of telling a story. It’s a very great set up with the visual display and it sparks people’s interest to come and have a look at it.
Sean Wood Manager, Bunnings Warehouse, Alice Springs NT
ASBESTOS DISEASES SOCIETY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA
A purpose built, mobile caravan house that graphically illustrates the pervasive use of asbestos products in the home is a great way of raising public awareness. And as someone who had not previously come across ‘her’ I was really impressed, as I’m sure most people are when they meet ‘Betty’ for the very first time. That was certainly the feedback that I and my Asbestos Diseases Society SA colleagues had from the people we met during the Adelaide stage of her tour.
Betty’ is a powerful, educational awareness tool that assists us in understanding the dangers associated with asbestos in the home. This is because of her practicality. People can see for themselves what asbestos products look like, what they’re used for and where in the home they are likely to be found.
Don Burke’s involvement in the media side of the Betty project was also a smart move as he is an informed, popular and trustworthy asbestos ambassador.
Dr Kevin Purse, Asbestos Diseases Society of South Australia