A criss-cross of bruising. A red raw shoulder. If you’re in a car accident, the seat belt you’re wearing may leave a scar. It will most likely also let you live. Clemenger BBDO Wellington and New Zealand Transport Agency are helping real car accident survivors to show off the wounds they received from seat belts in car accidents – to point out to those who don’t wear seat belts that these “badges of honour” are testament to the fact that they’re still alive.
Around 90 people die on New Zealand roads every year because they’re not wearing their seatbelt. Young males make up the majority of them. To these people who feel “immortal”, seatbelts are an unnecessary accessory. It’s just not true.
The campaign is running in partnership with Vice, which hosted a national call-out to receive hundreds of real stories from people who survived crashes thanks to their seatbelt. Ten were chosen. Using their post-crash pics, their real-life injuries were recreated by PROFX, which also created the make-up for Thor: Ragnarok and The Hobbit trilogy. The team then worked with Emergency Medicine Specialist Dr Tash McKay, who provided close medical guidance.
“A seatbelt really does leave a mark like this. It will save your life, but it will leave you a mark to show how they’ve done it,” he stated.
The survivors were photographed in their own homes around the country, so they could be in a familiar environment and surrounded by family and friends while reliving their past experiences.
The campaign was launched by the survivors themselves over their own social channels. Large-scale outdoor ads were also placed in their hometowns, promoting their tales of survival in their local communities, as well as outdoor events that resonate with the target audience. Emotive social vids feature the lads telling their stories in their own words, giving insight into what living on meant to each of them.
Rachel Prince, principal advisor advertising, NZ Transport Agency, commented, “We’re selling an undesirable product to these guys. Research told us they think seatbelt messages are for kids, for the elderly, for everyone else. We worked with them to make the undesirable something they wanted to buy.”
Many others have already shared their own story of survival on beltedsurvivors.nz. The campaign will keep evolving as more of these stories are shared and amplified.
Clemenger BBDO executive creative director, Brigid Alkema, added, “You can’t argue with these stories. They’re real experiences, lived by real people. We hope this truth will move our audience to wear their seatbelt.”
Client: NZ Transport Agency
Creative Agency: Clemenger BBDO Wellington
Photography: Our Production Team
Make-Up SFX: PROFX New Zealand
Retouching: Becci Manson @ The Post Office
Media Agency: OMD