This chilling PSA depicts the 'toll' we pay for road deaths

FCB's film for the New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi has a horror movie feel

Published On
Mar 25, 2022

Editor's Pick

A new road safety PSA from Waka Kotahi, the New Zealand Transport Agency, gets across a message about the "price" the country's people pay road deaths in a chilling, almost horror film-like way. 

The spot, by FCB New Zealand, at first shows a father and his kids apparently enjoying the countryside together on a day out. We then see them in their car, driving along a road when they suddenly see a toll booth and barrier ahead. Immediately, there's something unsettling and creepy about the woman in the booth, who tells them they have to pay. When the father asks how much, the woman looks into the car, and indicates the daughter, saying "just the little one today." We realize that the daughter's life is the price they have to pay. 

The spot, was directed by Steve Ayson, who build the menace and foreboding skifully, via 3&7. Running across TV, online, print, cinema, out-of-home and digital/social, it is part of a wider campaign from Waka Kotahi called "Road to Zero," launched in 2019, which aims to reduce deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand roads by 40% by 2030. 

"The challenge is that we have become complacent around road safety and almost numb around the phrase 'road toll' which in New Zealand means road deaths– it becomes just another number, when the toll itself is actually payment in human lives," said Sean Keaney, managing director of FCB Wellington, in a statement."It’s no longer acceptable that the cost of our mobility should be paid with the lives of hundreds of Kiwis every year. It’s time to create a disruptive, step change in our attitude towards this horrifying figure."

“Each number represents someone’s child, father or family member," added Peter Vegas and Leisa Wall, the agency's executive creative directors. "It’s actually totally unacceptable, and that’s the creative trigger we needed to pull in the advertising. It’s not a number, it’s a human life. You need to be confronted by that.”


Mar 25, 2022
Client :
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency
Agency :
Media Agency :
Production Company :
Director :
Steve Ayson
Producer :
Larisa Tiffin
Marty Williams
Editor :
Luke Haigh
Online :
Music :
Cam Ballantyne
Photographer :
Steve Boniface

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