We’ve all seen our share of road safety ads, but the newest ad from the NZ transport agency has struck a cord with many. It is hard hitting, confronting and quite powerful…but not in the way you would expect. There are no gruesome scenes, it doesn’t show you the impact on loved ones you leave behind, the ad simply shows you that people make mistakes.
Everyone thinks that they are perfect drivers, but no one can deny that other people make mistakes, and that’s why we have to be so careful with our own driving. This ad focuses on the need to slow down and take care, because other people make mistakes that you cannot control.
This ad is effective on a few different levels. Obviously the message is strong - and for an audience that is immune to many of these road safety ads - it does put forward an argument that is hard to disagree with.
Secondly, it adds in a human element, not just bodies, but people that you can associate with. The ads shows a disturbing freeze frame discussion between the two drivers, each realizing that their fate is now sealed. Then we watch as the drivers return to their vehicles to play out the inevitable conclusion of what is going to happen.
Finally, the all-important emotional tug to pull on the heart strings. When one of the men gets back into his car, you see the pain in his face as he looks back at his young son sitting in the back, knowing what is about to happen, but powerless to protect his son. Even if you don’t have kids, that is a devastating moment in the ad. View the NZ 'Mistakes' ad here > Although a very different approach, I still recall this ad from the UK from a few years ago encouraging people to wear seat belts. A powerful, yet beautifully simple ad. See what you think! View the 'Embrace Life' ad here > Author: Zoe Manderson
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