NSW Government enlists bearded man-child to tell drivers to ‘get their hand off it’

The trend for putting a funny spin on a serious issue continues, with the latest offering from  the NSW Centre for Road Safety featuring a self confessed ‘bearded man child’ singing to drivers to ‘get their hand off it.’

What he wants drivers to get their hands off however, is not the first thing that may come to mind. The new TV spot is asking motorists to get their hands off their mobile phones while driving.

NSW roads minister Duncan Gay says the drivers who continue to use their mobile phones while driving are putting lives at risk.

“This behaviour needs to change. ‘Get Your Hand Off It’ provides the community with a cheeky phrase that empowers them to speak out against friends and family who use their phones in a reckless manner behind the wheel.

“The video addresses, in an unconventional way, the danger of using a handheld phone behind the wheel and references some of the common excuses used to justify such dangerous and illegal behaviour,” he says.

The song was created by the New South Wales Government in conjunction with Ogilvy, MediaCom and Infinity, and sung by self-described ‘bearded man-child’ Derek Anderson.

The song includes quotes like: “Maybe you can’t text and drive, but I sure as hell can and I’m still alive. I’m on a 12-hour shift, I’ve got to stay alert, A cheeky little text, well it never hurt. A brother gotta get from A to B, and I keep it out of sight so the cops can’t see.”

Anderson formerly worked as an art director at Blue Marlin, Leo Burnett and Whybin\TBWA and is now based at Taxi in Canada. He has also collaborated with ‘the Bondi Hipsters’ and ‘Beached As’ to help communicate safety messages in a “fun and engaging way”.

The ‘Get Your Hands Off It’ campaign will be rolled out on outdoor, TV, online and social media platforms.

“We’ve wanted to do a social media campaign for some time, and this campaign, with its subject matter and young target market was an ideal fit,” Gay says.

“We needed to work with someone who understands YouTube and were impressed by the way Derek Anderson engages with young people through his off-beat videos. We chose to use humour that would appeal to the target audience and get them talking about and sharing it with their peers,” he says.

Optus, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone have thrown their support behind the campaign.