YOU SHOULD BE SITTING DOWN FOR THIS. THANKS, MR TRUCK DRIVER.

Let’s say nature called and you sat down without noticing the loo paper hadn’t been replaced. You’d send out an SOS to your partner, children, or flatmate and they’d bring you the silky relief your dignity and buttocks desired, pronto. But here’s the thing, you’d be sure to thank them for their effort.

When COVID created a panicked buy up of toilet paper, we collectively yelled out “Can someone please pass me the TP?” That’s when truck drivers, logistics, and the ports kicked into action (well, to be fair they never stopped being active).

Day and night, they rushed to get bog roll, spaghetti, medicines, PPE supplies and all manner of things we thought we needed to their rightful destinations, on shelves across the nation. Three months later, through isolation with all its trials and tribulations, they’re still delivering. And so, it was only right they received a wholehearted thanks, from all of us.

There is no other company best-placed to say “Thank You” than nti: Australia’s Transport & Logistics Specialist. The company that backs the industries keeping us all moving, wanted something worthy of these transport heroes.

And so, in collaboration with their agency – nextThursday – a national campaign was created leading with 15” radio ads and supported by billboards and posters. Naturally, the campaign needed to thank all the industries nti covers: Transport and Logistics, Marine Cargo and the Ports; and the Infrastructure and Construction companies operating Mobile Plant and Heavy Machinery.

The idea behind the radio spots was to give reverence to these industries while they’re literally ‘on the job’. The intention? To have truckies sitting behind the wheel, and tradies listening in on their worksites, feeling proud of themselves and their efforts in such trying times. They may not be hospital staff, but they deliver the supplies and maintain the roads, that help that industry keep the rest of us safe.

We formed poetic odes romanticising the seemingly everyday tasks that workers in these industries partake in. We employed the talents of internationally renowned Australian Poet, Rupert McCall OAM, to collaborate in the writing of the odes and in their voicing for radio.

These short poems needed the meaning and reverence few people are skilled enough to impart through words alone. And Rupert fits the bill having such momentous career highlights as paying tribute to the NYFD at ‘ground zero’ after 9/11 and opening the Melbourne Cup with his stirring dedications.

Mr McCall said he was honoured to take on this project to say thanks for the vital work of those in Australia’s transport and logistics industries.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for our truckies and the job that they do, day in and day out. Especially in recent times, we’ve seen them continue their work driving through fires, around floods and all through this pandemic” Mr McCall said.

And here’s one of the odes…

The sacred smell of diesel, tarmac grease and pumped-up tires,

No virus gonna stop this fleet! They drove through summer fires,

Destination: frontline. We demand ‘n’ they supply,

To the trucks that keep us moving… we say thanks… from nti.

Speaking of the featured billboards and poster campaign, nti CEO Tony Clark said they included images of truckies, port, construction, and warehouse workers accompanied by a message that reads ‘Thanks for keeping Australia moving’. These will also appear as posters at truck rest stops.

Said Mr Clark “This campaign is all about showing respect and gratitude. These are the people who work tirelessly every day to ensure Australians get what they need. We’ve seen an amazing response from these workers during the COVID-19 crisis and it’s now more than ever we can see how vital their work is.”

Mr Clark added “nti is proud to be part of this industry and this campaign goes a little way to expressing that. It’s also about reminding Australians of those who work behind the scenes for the benefit of us all.”

Head honcho at nextThursday, Dan Adler, also added “We’re wrapped that the public gets to see and hear this campaign. To realise just how important these industries are and have always been to our lives. They’re very rarely given the credit they deserve. In an ideal world, Joe Citizen hears one of our ads and as a result, gives a truckie sitting beside them at a set of traffic lights, a thumbs’ up… job done.”

If your brand is looking to communicate authentically with people right now as we transition out of, possibly back into, or anywhere else in regarding the global pandemic, or virus aside – (hell!), if you need help going viral – give us a call at nextThursday.

Pacific Highway - Mayfield West, NSW

LAZRUS SIMONS

Senior Writer, nextThursday