CAMPAIGN: ‘Don’t be a loser’ gets to young drivers in Norfolk

Young drivers account for 10 per cent of all cars on the road, but are involved in 20 per cent of all serious accidents and 30 per cent of fatalities. Norfolk County Council commissioned a hard-hitting campaign to reduce casualties.

Road safety drive: ‘wear a seatbelt’
Road safety drive: ‘wear a seatbelt’

Campaign: ‘Don’t be a loser – THINK! Road safety in Norfolk’
Client: Norfolk County Council
PR team: Fox Murphy PR and in-house
Timescale: March to December 2006
Budget: £30,000

To help save young lives and prevent serious injuries in the 17-25 age group. To raise awareness of the high number of casualties in this age group.

Research showed that young people are most likely to listen to messages about their actions causing harm to people they care about.

Messages delivered by authority figures are less likely to hit home, so the catchphrase ‘Don’t be a loser’ was designed to reach the target group.

The campaign messages were built around the four main dangerous driving habits of young people: don’t dial and drive, don’t drive fast, wear a seatbelt, and don’t drink and drive.

Stakeholders including concerned parents were targeted through regional media, with contributions from an A&E consultant and young people who had suffered injuries in road accidents.

Young people were targeted where they socialise and shop, using a mixture of face-to-face communications, guerrilla activity and strategic partnerships.

East Anglia brewer Adnams agreed to support ‘Don’t drink and drive’ ­activity, and the Eastern Daily Press printed tokens which could be exchanged for soft drinks. Kiss FM interviewed drivers for their attitudes to drinking and driving.

‘Don’t dial and drive’ featured at two weekend dance festivals via campaign wristbands and automated text-back messages. Vibe FM drive-time presenters were recruited to remind people not to use their phones while driving to the events. Scratchcards were distributed to 15,000 young people at petrol stations, 30,000 emails were sent and an automated SMS campaign reached 17,000 unique users.

The media campaign generated more than 50 features, with 26 articles in regional print media including three editorial endorsements, 18 radio interview and three local TV slots. Shaun Low­thorpe, public affairs correspondent for the Eastern Daily Press, says: ‘The campaign worked both as hard news and as a direct piece of marketing.’

The overall cost of the campaign equalled the cost of a single fatal road accident to the NHS.

The number of young people killed or seriously injured in Norfolk was down 17 per cent on the previous year, with a 26 per cent reduction in West Norfolk.


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