Cinema stunt’s powerful road-safety message

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AUCKLAND, Today: Ogilvy has released details of Auckland Transport’s latest road safety campaign – a multimedia affair that the agency rightly describes as “hard-hitting”.

“Every week, at least one person dies on Auckland roads,” says the PR. “Since 2014, there has been a 70% increase in people being injured or dying, as a result of speeding in Auckland.

“This reached its peak in 2017, with 64 road deaths across the year in Auckland alone. A staggering number for any one city or town in New Zealand to have.”

Auckland Transport’s multi-channel campaign is called, simply, 64 – and features 64 sets of keys to represent the 64 people who will never drive a car again.

A centrepiece of the campaign is a special-build Adshel in downtown Auckland, along with targeted radio spots, Facebook ads, an “eye-opening” cinema stunt (scroll down for the link), and bus wraps (demonstrating that 64 is an entire busload of people).

“Drivers are desensitised to gruesome ads. Scaremongering doesn’t work, so we needed a fresh way to get people to slow down.”

The cinema stunt was done by projecting an unsuspecting audience back at themselves on the cinema screen – key road safety statistics then appeared in tandem with targeted lighting, singling out 64 people in the audience who then unitedly stood in silence, before exiting the cinema.

“Yeah definitely, I’ll be safer on the roads,” said one affected cinemagoer.

Ogilvy chief creative officer Regan Grafton said: “The idea came from the insight that, sadly, when you hear about one person dying on Auckland roads, you don’t realise how big of a problem it is.

“But if all those people died on the same day, it would be recognised as a national disaster.

“To put that into perspective, when one person gets up and leaves the theatre, you don’t bat an eyelid, but when 64 people do, you really pay attention.

“Many drivers have become desensitised to gruesome ads. Scaremongering and reprimanding doesn’t work, so we needed a fresh way to get people to slow down.”

AT marketing services manager Mark Sharman said: “Ogilvy approached this brief with a unique proposition that has been highly effective and seamlessly executed.”

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