Effort to stamp out careless driving takes a unique turn

The Healthy Streets Campaign (HSC) was formed by the Chicagoland Bicycle Association as a means to spur dialogue about making the city's streets safer.

The Healthy Streets Campaign (HSC) was formed by the Chicagoland Bicycle Association as a means to spur dialogue about making the city's streets safer.

The new "Drive with Care" effort specifically focuses on inattentive drivers who cause extra danger by talking on cell phones, eating, or doing some other activity while driving. Modeled after the Truth initiative, the effort is just in the Chicago region now, but HSC hopes to get enough funding to take it national. "It's social marketing," said communications manager David Callahan. "We [want] to make careless driving socially unacceptable and stigmatize it like drunk driving."

Idea: "People do not want to hear a lecture," said Callahan of the irreverent campaign. "This gets into their consciousness." The ads, created by Energy BBDO, feature fictional Roadside Memorial salesman Bob Fuller telling drivers that they can call him 24/7 for all their driving-related fatality needs. At the end, the ads direct you to healthystreets.org. "People spend way too much time in their cars and their focus is fading," said Callahan. "We have to remind people how easy it is to kill someone with your car."

Tools: HSC has been putting Fuller's business cards promoting the roadside memorials on windshields and has set up fake roadside memorials in key locations across the area. The memorials are tailored to specific audiences - like "The Jogger" or "The Brittany" - which would be used for hitting a jogger or a sorority girl, respectively. Fuller is available for events and speaking engagements.

Measurement: HSC will look at Web site traffic, views on YouTube, and phone calls. "We're hoping people talk about this and initiate a conversation about attentive driving," said Callahan.

Organization:  
Healthy Streets Campaign (HSC)

Campaign:  
Drive with Care

PR team:  
In-house

Other marketing:
Advertising by Energy BBDO

Launch:  
October 17, 2006

Budget:  
Undisclosed

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