Getting Teens to Pay Attention

Mobile Phone Video Warns of Dangers on the Road

Published on .

Brand: Teen road safety
Brand Owner: U.K. government
Category: Government/Public Sector
Region: U.K.
Date: August 2005 to March 2006
Media Agency: Carat
Other Agencies: Leo Burnett
Media Channels: Mobile, internet

Media cost is often the biggest bill that any marketing director will face. So it's no wonder that the rise of consumer distribution channels is attracting so much attention. This work for the U.K. government is an excellent example of the genre, a campaign that made its first public appearance unbranded for added effect.

The video ad used real teenagers and was shot using a mobile phone.
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The aim of the Teen Road Safety campaign was to get teenagers to pay more attention when they were on or near the road. The problem was telling them in a way that didn't come across as simply more adult grief.

The insight that drove the campaign was the issue of friends. If death was too heavy a concept to consider, how about the impact on your circle of friends?

A 30-second ad was created by real teenagers and shot on their medium of choice, the mobile phone. It showed a group of friends larking around by the road before one of them walks into the road without looking and pays a terrible price.

The ad was then distributed via an unbranded website -- -- as well as via mobiles to seed the message prior to its official launch. A week later it was unveiled as a government message in a cinema ad in key movies.

The message was also run in youth clubs, a market first.

The consumer-distributed media strategy was highly effective, 29% of the target audience had seen the film within five days, giving it peer endorsement. A similar reach on a conventional TV schedule would have been eight times as expensive.

Attitudes also changed with nine out of 10 teens saying the campaign would make them think about being more careful.

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Cream is a U.K.-based magazine owned by C Squared Communications aimed at highlighting the best in creative media worldwide. All media ideas are part of C Squared's Creative Media Database.
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