Road safety is a serious issue and despite years of hard-hitting advertising campaigns that drove home the potentially deadly implications of unsafe behaviour on the road, the message just wasn’t having the desired impact.
Dorset Police challenged us to change this culture of ambivalence by creating an impactful road safety campaign that would alter people’s behaviour.
This was to be an all-encompassing, multi-channel campaign that would resonate with the target audience across all forms of communication; social media, radio, door drops, websites, billboards, anywhere where we could change the attitudes of road users across the county.
We started by asking ourselves a simple question; Do you think we can tell people to be more respectful and they simply will be? And from there we began to employ our disruptive thinking ethos to the problem at hand.
Road safety awareness campaigns are typically emotive with an emphasis on the life-changing outcomes such as death, serious injury and imprisonment. In opposition to this is humour, and in the popular new game Cards Against Humanity we saw an opportunity to repurpose a mechanic to use some subtler, edgier messaging that would cut through the noise that fear-mongering had been unable to.
We wanted to engender a greater feeling of empathy among drivers without being patronising while empowering other road users to feel safer, which is when we began to evolve into a concept of ‘respect’. Literally defined, the noun means, “due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others.”
Seizing upon these two ideas, we found a unifying theme in ‘choices’. As individuals, it is our choice whether we respect others, something clearly self-evident in attitudes between cyclists and non-cyclists for example. Similarly, the defining game mechanic in Cards Against Humanity is the player’s choice in how to fill the blank and generate a reaction. These concepts helped us realise what became #ChoicesForHumanity.
“It is vital that we continue to find new and innovative ways to prevent casualties on our roads.
Everyone would like to think they are a considerate driver, but sometimes life gets in the way and one error of judgement can sometimes have catastrophic consequences.
This unique and innovative campaign will hopefully remind us that we are all human and have the ability to make the right choices and show humanity towards each other.”
Chair of the Dorset Road Safety Partnership & Assistant Chief Constable