Top 10 tips for effective road safety behaviour change advertising

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  • 1.Headlight InternationalTop 10 tips for effective road safety advertising Nigel Keats and Lew Bentley 2012. Not to be reproduced or distributed without the permission of the authors

2. Who Are We?Headlight International provides specialist consulting services for the development ofeffective road safety advertising campaigns.We work in a very collaborative way, with the intention of successfully transferingknowledge and capability to local city and/or countrys lead road safety agency, as well astheir local suppliers and partners.This approach is in keeping with the knowledge transfer objectives of organisations likethe World Bank and WHO.We can help local teams build the campaign framework, including the communicationstrategy, creative development, media strategy and campaign measurement using bestpractice principles developed in countries like Australia, New Zealand, UK and Ireland. Nigel KeatsWe can also advise on strategies to achieve funding and sponsorship, plus low-cost andno-cost enhancements for advertising programs.These are campaigns designed to create positive behavior change on a mass communityscale in order to save lives and reduce the public cost and harm of road trauma.The two Headlight International Directors - Nigel Keats and Lew Bentley - have over 20years combined experience in New Zealand developing many different road safetyadvertising campaigns for issues such as speed reduction, promoting safety belts andchild restraints, discouraging drink/drug driving, motorcycle safety, safervehicles, intersection safety and driver distraction. Lew BentleyWeve shared our shills and learnings in countries including Argentina, UAE, India, Tunisiaand OmanHeadlight International is an independent company not affiliated with anycommunications agency. 3. 1 - Be very specific about what you want people to do Generic messages such asdrive safely, be courteous, orbe careful are meaningless. Most people already believetheir driving to be good andsafe, even if theyre exceedingthe speed limits or not wearinga helmet or safety belt. Themessage needs to be clear andunambiguous such as Slowdown or Always wear ahelmet 4. 2 - Base campaigns around a coremotivator of behavior change This could be risk of death or serious injury to the driver or others(their family, innocent children etc). It could be to amplify theperceptions of enforcement and consequences of gettingcaught, or, garnering social pressure from others against theircurrent road user behavior 5. 3 - Avoid opt-out This is one of the most critical aspects of achieving behavior change. Roadsafety is a product that most people dont want to buy. They willcommonly look for opportunities to dismiss the safety message andreinforce their current behavior believing that they are good drivers. Common issues with this are that they dont identify with the driver in theadvertisement. He may be younger, older or driving an inferior car -therefore theyre a safer driver. The second issue is avoiding showing driving behavior where the viewerssays I could have swerved, I could have stopped so That would neverhappen to me 6. 4 - Be realistic Advertising agencieslove to develop overlyclever or artyadvertising. Also, frommuch experience, theuse of statistics andunrealsituations, seldomworks. People need tosee people likethemselves, their owndriving behavior andthe negativeconsequences theycould have. 7. 5 Raising awareness and changing attitudes isnt enough Often simple requests or instructions for people to wear a safety belt orslow down are not enough. Also messages such as those fromcelebrities, victims and even authorities may gain attention and evenagreement with the issue. But, they do not necessarily do enough to showthe majority of viewers why they should change their own behavior andempower them to do so. 8. 6 - An in-depth understanding of the target audience is critical. Communications have to reflect the audience, their attitudes, corefears, their current behavior, their influences and perceptions ofenforcement. As mentioned, they need to see themselves in theadvertisement 9. 7 - Focus on the biggest issues and specific behavior that are ideally both measurable and enforceable An approach of targeting thebiggest risks is critical. Theroad safety issues, the70 60people, the regions of your 50country where you can make 40the biggest gains for your 30money20 100FatigueSpeed HelmetsSafety BeltsDrink Drive CyclistsDrug Drive IntersectionsFollowing distances DistractionsExample only 10. 8 - Coverage, frequency and time -sufficient media exposure is veryimportant It is where most of the investment inroad safety advertising should go. A key mistake we see authorities makewith road safety advertising isattempting to try and do too much and TARPSTarpsLikeability (Males 16-24)Change Attitude (Males 16-24)Free RecallRelevance (Males 16-24)Free and prompted recallnot succeed in achieving significant 400 100exposure and therefore behavior 35090 80change with any single problem. 300250 70 High coverage levels are required if 200 60 50you are to influence a high proportion 150 40of the population and repeating the 10030 20message is important.5010 Long-term campaigns are required to0013/08/0727/08/0710/09/0724/09/0708/10/0722/10/0705/11/0719/11/0703/12/0717/12/0731/12/0714/01/0828/01/0811/02/0825/02/0810/03/0824/03/0807/04/0821/04/0805/05/0819/05/0802/06/0816/06/0830/06/0814/07/0828/07/0811/08/0825/08/0808/09/0822/09/0806/10/0820/10/0803/11/0817/11/0801/12/0815/12/0829/12/0812/01/0926/01/0909/02/0923/02/0909/03/0923/03/0906/04/0920/04/0904/05/0918/05/0901/06/0915/06/0929/06/0913/07/0927/07/0910/08/0924/08/0907/09/0921/09/09prompt the audience to adopt thecorrect behavior every time theyre onthe road until it becomes habitual.Consumers recall of one-off weekly ormonthly campaigns soon disappears 11. 9 - Surprise and surroundthe audience with the road safety message It is important to stand out from other advertising and beremembered, including at what we call moments oftruth such as when theyre on the road driving, or whentheyre drinking alcohol 12. 10 - Use emotion and lots of it The best communications connect with people deeply and powerfully andto leave them thinking I dont want that to happen to me 13. Advertising Can Help Reduce Road TraumaIf done properly, advertising can produce one of the greatest returns oninvestment of any road safety intervention.It offers some significant benefits: 1. Relatively quick and low-cost to implement compared to road orvehicle engineering or greater enforcement levels. 2. Stimulates public debate and raises the perceived importance ofroad safety issues. 3. Sets social norms and expectations of road safety behavior. 4. Complements and reinforces other interventions (e.g. engineering &enforcement). 5. Can deal with issues that engineering and enforcement are unable to(e.g. fatigue). 6. Can be a catalyst for legislative change and improved enforcement. 7. An investment in long-term, sustainable behavior change (life ofperson and inter-generational). 8. Has potential for some quick gains. 14. Road Safety Advertising Has ParticularChallengesRoad Safety advertising is not like other advertising.Consequently, it is easy to get it wrong, wasting precious funding andfalling short on road safety goals.With Commercial AdvertisingWith Road Safety AdvertisingPeople are interested and want to buy in the category People like to avoid the subject and opt outThe aim is to focus on the positivesThe focus needs to raisethe risks and consequencesYoure usually selling a brandThe message is the brand (e.g. Slow Down)The goal is to raise awareness and attract interest Awareness isnot enough to have an effect on road safety you need towork at a level that motivates behavior changeExaggeration and creative license is used to entertain and motivate It is important to use reality to make people pay attention, see themselvesin the advertising message and mitigate their urge to opt out from it 15. Road Safety Advertising Best PracticeGlobal Road Safety Partnership: Road Safety Best Practices, 2005The effectiveness of publicity campaigns, when they are backedup by enforcement, is shown by substantial reductions in thefrequency and severity of casualty crashes in Australia, NewZealand, North America and Europe.GRSP Best Practice principles for road safety campaigns are:1. Use of an underlying theoretical model2. Use research to assess the issues to be addressed in thecampaign3. Support the campaign with legislation, enforcement andpublic relations4. Adapt the use of media and messages to the specificcampaign5. Carefully manage the intensity, duration, timing and exposureof the campaignHeadlight International has a practical understanding andconsiderable experience in all of these aspects, and we areavailable to share this knowledge. 16. How We WorkClients only deal with our Directors. We bring a powerful combination of international Best Practice thinking and our personal experience.We work alongside local teams in two main ways:1. Facilitating a comprehensive Road Safety Advertising Training Course A general introduction and context for Best Practice road safety advertising Understanding and insights about how people drive and a framework for how to influence driving behavior A guide for how to create successful campaigns A menu of specific insights and international examples for each of the main road safety issues (eg speed, drink driving, safety belts, child restraints, helmets, fatigue etc)2. Working with the local team to develop their own Road Safety advertising campaign using a simple, but effective process. Assess goals & priorities - identify which road safety issues to address. Review local capacity and resources. Adapt international Best Practice as appropriate. Develop specific strategies & tactics to address road safety issues with the local teams. Align resources & influencers (e.g. Police enforcement, publ