Automotive PR: 5 road safety adverts to take note of 

rt_mattdawson-27
Here at Smoking Gun heights we don’t just believe in coming up with fantastic, ingenious ideas to sell brands. We also believe in coming up with fantastic, ingenious ideas that have a positive impact. Hence us advising, and working with, so many companies on their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.
Even when not focussed on CSR we’re all about the good stuff. Take one of our current undertakings, on behalf of our automotive PR client Holts, which is looking to draw attention to its Tyreweld brand.
Drafting in one of the faces of British rugby, retired England tri-star Matt Dawson, who supports the product, the overall goal is ensuring people understand the importance of having fit-for-purpose tyres fitted during winter months, when the country’s roads are at their most treacherous, inspired by research showing 54.5% 18-24 year old drivers do not know how to change a tyre, with 36% not knowing what the items in their toolkit even do.
All of which got us thinking about some of the other great road safety campaigns out there, of which there are many. In our homeland alone advertisers have long-since made a huge impact on TV viewers with jarring, shock-you-into-action clips that show just how easy it is for accidents to happen for a variety of reasons. Perhaps not the most pleasant watch, nevertheless each deserves to be celebrated as a success.
Think! Seat Belts (UK)

The truly horrifying and powerful thing about this clip is the way it proves, beyond any uncertainty, that by not belting up in the back you don’t just place yourself in danger, but others in the car too. One from the 90s here, as effective now as then.
Stop violence (Brazil)
img_0150
Unlike most road safety ads of note, this South American effort is a still image rather than clip. Nevertheless, it does the job very well indeed- the red herring of stop violence, which could refer to anything from street brawls to gangs, heightens the impact of this anti-drink driving piece.
Pub Loo Shocker (UK)

One of the best examples of hidden camera, covert, (almost) experiential marketing we have ever seen is again from Blighty. Featuring a pub toilet, corpses crashing through mirrors like windscreens, and one very simple message- things can change very suddenly on the road.
 
Tailgating (USA)
img_0151
Another phenomenal example of how one simple picture can do so much, the U.S. is a notoriously tailgate-happy country, but those passing this billboard in Denver, Colorado, probably won’t fit with that stereotype (we hope).
Killer Selfie: A Tragic Love Story (Ford – international) 

Ford isn’t the only car manufacturer to have taken it upon itself to preach from the book of safe driving, but this company clip is a great example of how people don’t realise the prevalence of such dangerous behaviour. 1 in 4 Europeans has taken a selfie when driving… the very idea is enough to send a shudder down your spine.