Campaign: Photography exhibition promotes road safety

More than 3,500 people die in car crashes each year in the UK, and as part of its commitment to road safety, Green Flag Motoring Assistance agreed to sponsor photography exhibition ‘When Lives Collide’, by photographer Paul Wenham-Clarke.

Campaign When lives collide
Client Green Flag Motoring Assistance
PR team Smart Association
Timescale November 2005-January 2006
Budget Less than £10,000

The show featured mocked-up images showing the horror of car crashes, as well as portraits of those whose lives had been affected by car deaths.

The photographer worked with RoadPeace, the UK’s charity for bereaved and road-crash victims. The exhibition was held at gallery@oxo on the Thames’ South Bank from 6-29 January.

To promote Paul Wenham-Clarke and the exhibition; to generate footfall to the exhibition; and to raise awareness of Green Flag’s involvement with the exhibition and its aim of promoting road safety.

Strategy and Plan
To gain maximum exposure of the exhibition’s key messages, a wish list of opinion-formers and influencers were targeted to attend a private viewing of the exhibition, which also doubled as a press event, on 5 January. These included road-safety officers, police officers, as well as Mayor Ken Livingston, members of the London Assembly and Greater London Assembly and members of RoadPeace.

A press release was sent to the national press and London broadcast media to ensure maximum coverage.

A number of people who featured in the exhibition were available as case study interviewees, and the campaign was supported by the website, where it was possible to download high-resolution images. Green Flag wanted road safety to be the key theme, not its commercial activities, so Wenham-Clarke rather than Green Flag was used as the spokesman for media interviews.

In addition, marketing material was produced, including an A5 promotional leaflet and an A4 brochure for use at the exhibition.

These were distributed at hospitals, police stations, fire stations, libraries and other public buildings.

Measurement and Evaluation
The exhibition was covered in The Guardian, Evening Standard, PA News Wire, Time Out, and Big Issue, as well as a number of regional newspapers.

There was also a two-minute feature on BBC London TV, as well as a three-minute feature on BBC Radio 4’s The Today Programme. Other radio coverage included features on LBC Radio, BBC Radio London and News Talk 106. Other magazines that covered the event were Intersection, Amateur Photographer, British Journal of Photography and MCN. Online coverage came from BBC News Online, Guardian Online and BBC London Online.

Although Livingstone did not attend, 150 people attended the private viewing, including Melanie Leech, executive director of the Association of Police Authorities and Chris Lines, head of Road Safety at Transport for London. More than 8,000 visitors attended the exhibition.

Its success has meant that Paul Wenham-Clarke has now taken the exhibition to his home town of Newbury and is considering a UK tour of seven cities, supported by Green Flag.

Evening Standard motoring editor David Williams recalls: ‘The exhibition had a big effect on me – it was an unusual way of looking at the implications of car smashes.’

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