A commercial is shot with a cellphone to get teenagers' attention for a safety message.
[London] The U.K. government's Teen Road Safety spot is creating a buzz on the award-show circuit because the commercial was shot entirely with a cellphone. In the ad, a real group of teenage friends are walking home together from school. Like typical teens, they chat, laugh, goof around-and film each other as they go. When they cross the street, they are so focused on each other that they don't see a car approaching. One boy is run over, and the ad closes with the screams of his friends running to help.
Kate Harrison, group communications director on the Teen Road Safety account at Leo Burnett, said, "The ad has a chilling impact because it talks to kids in their own language, environment and culture."
The spot recently won gold at the British Television Advertising Association Awards.
Part was unscripted and shot by the teenagers, and the whole ad was filmed on the London streets where they hang out. Professional actors were only used for the stunt sequence for the accident.
Leo Burnett built the campaign around research findings that teenagers are distracted when crossing the road. The agency's research shows that the spot is having the desired effect. Of kids who saw the ad, 95% found it easy to understand and 92% said it made them think again about being careful on the road.
A follow-up is already being planned. Ms. Harrison said, "We are suggesting the use of interactive media-we need to get them at the very moment they step off the curb."