New Think! road safety ad takes a surprisingly light-hearted approach

AMV BBDO’s latest ad for the UK Department of Transport’s Think! campaign opts for gentle humour rather than shock, which makes for an unexpected strategy.

The ad focuses on driving in the countryside, and aims to emphasise the fact that blind bends may contain unexpected hazards so drivers should always brake before the bend, not on it. But rather than do this by showing an upsetting crash, Think! has created a stunt spot, where animals and countryside vehicles are shown bearing road safety messages, like moving signs. The film below demonstrates these ‘signs’ in action:

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Think! supposedly partnered with a local farmer to spraypaint the animals and vehicles in the ad and the implication is that they actually did their job in the real world for a period of time, though unlike most ad stunts, there is no attempt to set this one in a specific time and place, and no faux reaction-cam shots of people spotting the animals (and then filming them with their mobile phones).

The stunt is therefore clearly intended to play out as an online film, with the public then hopefully remembering the messages as they pass a wandering sheep on a countryside road, and responding by cutting their speed. It’s a subtle approach, especially when we’ve grown used to increasingly hard-hitting and sad road safety ads, but perhaps in its difference, will be effective. It’s certainly an easier ad to watch, and therefore perhaps to share: like all road safety ads, we can only hope it does its job.

Credits:
Agency: AMV BBDO
Creative directors: Steve Jones, Martin Lorraine
Creatives: Michael Hughes, Dalatando Almeida
Director: Nick Angel
Production company and Post-production: AMV – Flare

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