Campaign attacks BC’s bad driving habits

The creative's offbeat approach is aimed at alerting drivers about various high-risk behaviours.

‘When will your bad habit catch up with you?’ is the overall focus of a road safety awareness campaign launched yesterday by Vancouver’s Wasserman + Partners Advertising on behalf of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. The ICBC’s aim is to improve some grim provincial statistics: 180 road deaths annually because of speeding; 45 crashes per day caused by distractions such as cell phone use; and 270 intersection pile-ups due to inattention.

‘People tend to think that because they’ve never been in a serious crash, they are not the problem,’ explains Wasserman’s VP of strategic planning, Karen Nishi. ‘This campaign emphasizes that the 695 crashes that occur on BC roads every day do so because of unsafe driving habits – like talking on the phone, drinking coffee, rushing through traffic and generally not paying attention to the road.’

Accordingly, four executions of a 30-second TV spot depict people experiencing close calls at home and work due to such bad habits, and then repeating them while driving, when risky behaviour is more likely to have devastating consequences. The spots broke on June 4 and will roll out on various BC channels over the next two years.

The campaign’s four radio spots – now running province-wide – include a law enforcement element that will coincide with increased police focus on high-risk driving in BC, as well as seat belt usage and speeding in poor weather. Voiceover reminds drivers about the negative consequences of bad driving habits.

Oversized transit advertising, known as ‘supertails,’ is an additional component of the campaign. And posters with a similar message are being distributed in insurance broker outlets across the province. Wasserman handled media buys as well as the creative work.

‘Unlike previous campaigns,’ adds Nishi, ‘these ads integrate messaging around all forms of bad driving habits, as opposed to tackling one bad habit at a time. We’re effectively targeting a wider audience and reminding all motorists to listen to their road sense.’