When you drive, you set an example for everybody in the car -- including the little ones. That's the message behind Victoria's Transport Accident Commission's jarring campaign called "Strings," featuring an eerie boy puppet.
In the Australian spot created out of Clemenger BBDO and directed by Tomas Mankovsky, a boy mimes driving a car, his appendages attached to mysterious strings. He texts, yells at other drivers and even swerves -- mimicking what seems to be a real, disgruntled driver's every move. The camera pans out and reveals that the child's strings are attached to his father, the "master" behind his son's every move.
"What kind of driver are you raising?" appears as the video ends, driving home the message that parents set an example for drivers of the future.
The agency worked with professional puppeteers to ensure the spot could be filmed in a single take.
The Transport Accident Commission, or TAC, has been advertising for 25 years, and is known for its edgy, dark approach to road safety messaging. This ad is meant to be a new, more positive approach to road safety, although it still does read as pretty disturbing.
Past efforts from the TAC include the Homesafely campaign from 2012, which encouraged drivers to put down cell phones while driving.