Pushing the limit
Client: Transport Accident Commission
Agency: Naked Communications
Faced with the omnipresent issue of people speeding on rural roads we took a completely different approach to address the issue. We worked with the tiny rural town of Speed to create a campaign that would make people step forward and publically declare they are sick and tired of people speeding on rural roads. It’s a new behavioural change approach focused on action, not emotion. Coming from the voice of the community- not the government’s.
Objective 1: We knew that Facebook would be a central mechanic of the campaign to harness peoples voices. We set ourselves the target of 10,000 coming to the Facebook site and ‘Liking’ (endorsing) the campaign. We also wanted 300,000 views of the Facebook page, and the content to be watched 30,000 times.
Objective 2: Create noise and public chatter of the issue of rural speeding. This objective was difficult to quantify as we were unsure how much ‘voice’ or PR we would get from this one off, isolated campaign.
Vehicles speeding along the wide-open roads of rural Australia is a real problem. Road trauma on Victorian roads has been estimated to cost the state an estimated $4 billion a year. We’ve taken a radically different way to stop people speeding, rather than send a message from the government; we’ve gone to the rural community and asked them to promote the message on our behalf.
The rural town in question is called ‘Speed’, it’s a tiny town of just 45 inhabitants. They agreed to change their name to ‘SpeedKills’ if 10,000 people liked the idea on Facebook. That is 10,000 people had to take action, and publically declare in front of their family and friends that, yes, Speed kills. With the town of Speed we created appeal videos, an instructional ‘how to like us on Facebook’ video, and held the world’s first ‘slow car race’ all to raise awareness of the town’s mission.
Successful behaviour change strategies are often more associated with ‘action’, that is getting people to act first. Once they have acted they will adjust their thoughts and feelings to make sense of that action. On figure 1 our campaign targeted action (‘like’ this campaign on Facebook), whereas traditional campaigns attempt change behaviour by focusing on thoughts (rational messages) or feelings (emotive appeals).
The other interesting change in approach was ensuring that the voice of the campaign was the people affected, rural townsfolk. The people of Speed all got involved, in particular there were several videos created; an appeal plea (this was also shown as a TVC), a how to like us on Facebook video, a recording of their ‘Slow car race’, a recording of a beautiful song by 12 year old Gabby, and several interviews with the townsfolk. All can be viewed at youtube.com/speedkills. The communication was very much peer to peer, not the government telling people what they should do. The TVC created was used to support the Facebook page, further driving people to the site.
The campaign snowballed as mainstream media took hold of the initiative. The speed kills message was reported on all broadcast networks several times during the campaign. The largest spike in PR coverage coincided with the unveiling of the town’s new name, SpeedKills.
This is interesting. We hit the 10,000 likes target in the first day, and after a spontaneous challenge put to one of the residents, Phil Down, during a radio interview we set a new challenge. Phil would change his name to Phil ‘Slow’ Down if we reached 20,000 likes. We hit that target within a week. We’re now at over 35,000 likes. The town changed its name, and so did Phil.
Some other interesting statistics were:
– Over 2, 000,000 page impression on Facebook
– Over 10,000,000 exposures on Twitter
– Over $6,000,000 worth of free media
– 25% of the 35,000 people liking the campaign were young males, traditionally the hardest group to reach
The overall budget for the campaign was only 100,000 – for everything.
People are now more aware than ever of SpeedKills, and that speed kills.