A JOSB DONE WELL

Industry campaign JOSB Done comes to an end after nine successful years championing the uses and benefits of Oriented Strand Board (OSB)

Over the past nine years, JOSB Done has been an engaging, tough talking and multi-faceted campaign focused on promoting the many uses and clear benefits Oriented Strand Board (OSB) has to offer the trade but all good things must come to an end and as such, the industry initiative is celebrating a job done well and drawing to a close this month.

Originally formed in 2005, the industry group wanted to tackle the long-held myths that the trade held about OSB as research showed that builders by-and-large didn't understand what it was and as a result, often chose plywood for many tasks large and small without question, particularly when it came to provenance or quality.

JOSB Done was born, supported by manufacturers Norbord resin supplier Huntsman, plus endorsement from the Wood Panel Industries Federation, with one clear aim - communicate the uses and benefits of OSB and demonstrate why it should be the panel of choice for a whole host of building projects.

During the course of the next nine years, JOSB Done undertook various tactics and made great headway in challenging these misconceptions and in turn, the group feel the campaign has really made an impact and importantly, a change in the way that OSB is viewed today.

From eye-catching adverts and a hard-to-miss stand at Interbuild in the early days, to merchant breakfast mornings, Apprentice of the Year competitions, football tournaments, tank driving days, case studies and last year, a partnership with London design studio Material Lab, and an online series of instructional videos with building expert Roger Bisby, there's not much that JOSB Done hasn't done to illustrate why the industry should choose to use OSB.

Alastair Kerr, Director General of the Wood Panel Industries Federation and main spokesperson for the JOSB Done campaign, comments: "From the beginning, we have set out to challenge entrenched attitudes and misconceptions about OSB's properties and applications, as too many tradesmen believe it's not up to the same job as ply, which simply is not the case.

"Through various engaging and educational initiatives, we have been able to advise builders, specifiers and merchants alike why OSB is an attractive panel proposition; and we have certainly made significant headway.

"The response we have received and the feedback from the ground is that our message has been heard and since we began the campaign, you can certainly see an increase in the use of OSB for a plethora of projects; just walking down the street, you can see OSB is being used on a larger scale than perhaps previously."

As the campaign comes to a close, two final informative videos of OSB's uses and the trade's thoughts on this versatile panel are set to be launched later this month plus JOSBDone.com will remain as a testament to the campaign and as a useful online resource on everything relating to OSB.

Beyond this, the manufacturers and supporters of JOSB Done, Norbord will continue to champion the benefits of OSB, focusing on the quality and reassurance their home-grown products have to offer over OSB imports that have recently been entering the UK market from overseas.

"Plywood has traditionally had a strong hold on the market but through product development and marketing by OSB producers, the balance of use in many applications is changing in favour of OSB," says Alastair.

"JOSB Done has helped with this and we have been able to show the trade that OSB is the panel of choice if you're looking for something that is homegrown in the UK and Ireland, hasn't got a questionable route to market and has all the quality credentials to ensure it's up to the job at hand.

Alastair concludes: "JOSB Done has always been a unique initiative and every year, we came back with more to say and more to do. It's fantastic to see how far we have come and how the timber panel landscape has changed over the past nine years and whilst it may be the end of an era, we want to thank everyone who has been a part of the campaign as it's been a job done very well indeed."

Campaign timeline and key activities:

• 2005 - the JOSB Done group formed and the campaign focused on communicating the findings of its industry survey into attitudes towards OSB

• 2006 - press trip to Inverness to kick off the editorial campaign, starting the conversation in the press and initial advertising campaign

• 2007 - 2008 - ‘OSB vs.' series of videos showing OSB being put through its paces, first dropping items from a great height then stacking items on a panel to see if it would bend; eye-catching advertising campaign featuring models; ‘tough talk' competitions and theme; attendance of JOSB Done at Interbuild two years running with t-shirt giveaways and experts on stand

• 2009 - 2010 - commentary reflecting on the findings of the Greenpeace report, three clear messages communicated through advertising, case study development with joinery, garden building and timber frame housing companies and round table debates

• 2011 - broader campaign speaking to various audiences, focus on editorial activity and guest lecture at Mid-Cheshire College and practical challenge for the students

• 2012 - refocus on the builder audience, ‘Get on Board' builder mornings at merchants, first year of JOSB Done's Apprentice of the Year competition with the final held at the Norbord factory in Inverness, Scotland

• 2014 - partnership with design studio Material Lab in London to communicate with the design audience, development of a series of ‘how to' videos working with Roger Bisby to show OSB in its variety of uses, new Twitter page set up to support the campaign, @JOSBDoneUK

Contact information for our partners can be found here