There have been so many campaigns about phone use and driving, creating one that stands out for NZ Transport Agency must have been a daunting task for Clemenger BBDO Wellington. Surveys of young Australian and New Zealand drivers show that 43% will try not to use their phones while driving but end up doing so anyway. The world has a problem that advertising throughout the world is still struggling to solve.
The agency has triumphed at its attempt. Triumphed by asking the obvious – we’re all so frequently distracted our phones, what is that costing us?
The spot’s message, Let driving distract you from your phone, is a thought-provokingly new way of looking at phone use and driving that taps into a growing concern about our addiction to phones and a global desire to have balance in our phone use. Let Driving Distract You positions the car as a safe haven from the never-ending stream of dings, likes, tags, memes, messages and emails – a place where young people can be free from the distraction of their phones, and actively resist its constant pull for their immediate attention.
The mime artist who can’t get anyone’s attention in the campaign film symbolises the real world that people are missing out on. If people overlook this device, the film still stands strong.
Brigid Alkema, executive creative director at Clemenger BBDO, commented, “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 practising restraint.”
Rachel Prince, principal advisor advertising at the NZ Transport Agency, stated, “With this campaign we want to find the positives in saying, ‘no’ and really celebrate those showing strength by denying the urge to check their phone while driving. All power to you checking those likes in the shower, just not behind the wheel.”
The campaign film was shot by Sweetshop director, Jakob Marky.
Marky commented, “This is a very important film with a profound message. It covers comedy, drama and the dependent relationship we have with our phones, as they take more and more of our attention. It does this with nuance and sophistication, presenting all sides of the story, so that our message, ‘let driving distract you from your phone’, has authenticity.”
Agency: Clemenger BBDO
Production Company: Sweetshop
Director: Jakob Marky
Managing Director: Fiona King
Executive Producer: Ben Dailey
Producer: Larisa Tiffin
Editing Company: ARC Edit
Editors: Jo Scott & Rasmus Gitz-Johansen
Post Production: Perceptual Engineering Auckland
VFX Artist: Jon Baxter
Colourist: Julien Alary
Sound Designer & Composer: Cam Ballantyne @ Beatworms