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Communicator of the Week: NZ Transport Agency

21st January 2014


In a world where children grow up killing and being killed in video games and we all see mass destruction and violence on the evening news how can you successfully communicate a road safety message? How do government agencies successfully get their message across?

One approach would be to go for scenes more and more shocking in an attempt to grab attention and column inches. Another might be to go back to basics and keep it simple in the style of the old ‘Stop. Look. Listen’ campaigns. Or what about a new approach of getting inside the minds of two motorists in the moments before a life-changing collision occurs?

The last of these is the option taken by the New Zealand Transport Agency who have launched a new campaign which allows viewers to see the final thoughts of two drivers in the seconds before a car accident. In the ad a man pulls out into a country road after deciding he can beat an oncoming car.

In a moment he realises the other car is approaching faster than he thought and then time stops. The real point of difference in the ad is that the two drivers step out of their cars and the accident is given a personal twist which really grabs your attention. As one driver pleads with the other that he has “my boy in the back”, the other apologises and ponders what might have happened if he “was going a bit slower”. 

Its cleverness comes in its simplicity and concentrating on human emotions rather than attempting to shock viewers with graphic images. The desperation in the voice of the father of the boy is frankly heart rendering enough. By personalising common mistakes made when driving in a new way is extremely effective and is why the NZ Transport Agency are my Communicators of the Week. 



Communicator of the Week is written by Edward Staite



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