Driving should be your distraction, says this out-of-the-box road safety ad

New Zealand spot from Clemenger BBDO paints keeping your eyes on the road as a blissful escape from your phone

Published On
Jul 09, 2019

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To date, most road safety ads about distracted driving have focused on the awful consequences of what could happen if you text and drive—for example, AT&T's disturbing "It can wait" campaign.

However, a new spot for the New Zealand Transport Agency by Clemenger BBDO takes a different tack: it tries to persuade you of the benefits of switching your phone off. In other words, it could be a blissful escape from the stream of dings, likes, tags, memes, messages and emails (a little like taking a long flight, before they introduced Wi-Fi on planes).

The director, Sweetshop's Jakob Marky, expertly helps to communicates the dystopian aspect of being "always on" and the constant headache that phones have become, before we see a young woman switching off her phone and driving serenely off in utter quiet.

Brigid Alkema, executive creative director at Clemenger BBDO, explains further: “This campaign changes what it means to not check your phone in the car. Instead of your car inconveniencing your connectedness, it can offer a sweet escape. A subtle yet brilliant flip that changes the way you think about the hierarchy of your car and phone. ‘Let Driving Distract You’ turns the car into a helpful and useful tool for phone resistance–a place to start practicing restraint.”