2017 Winners

Don't give a damn

SAAQ (Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec)

Bronze Agency of the Year: lg2

The Challenge

Texting has become a basic form of everyday communication. It’s handy, easy and cheap. But behind the wheel it can have tragic consequences – texting is a factor in a great many accidents and deaths on Québec roads. Everyone knows the risks: 98% of Quebecers are aware that texting and driving is dangerous. And yet in 2015, 29% of drivers who owned a cellphone admitted to having texted while driving. They somehow couldn’t help it. The challenge for the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec and agency Lg2 was to squelch the temptation to text and drive.

The Insight

The idea was to make it clear that if people know texting and driving is dangerous, they obviously just don’t give a damn. The team had to attack the problem head on – find something direct and hard-hitting to penetrate drivers’ thick skulls, force them to unplug from their phone screens behind the wheel, bring home the risks and make responsibility their main concern.
The team made “If you text and drive, you just don’t give a damn” the campaign’s cornerstone and key message. Its simplicity and power had the necessary oomph to grab hold and get to people on a visceral level.

The Plan

The team wanted to surprise and strike hard by coming at people often and from every direction. The campaign incorporated a number of productions with novel concepts. The media priorities were the reach/frequency ratio and a diversity of contact points. A 30-second video spot powerfully told, in reverse order, the story of a boy’s accident, amputation and suffering at the hands of an indifferent driver texting at the wheel. The message ran on TV, online, and via social media. Partnerships with digital content publishers added further resonance (nightlife.ca, tonpetitlook.com, petitpetitgamin.com). A 30-second radio spot with the same structure as the video featured a young woman talking about her accident and subsequent paralysis caused by a driver distracted by a text. An absurdist fake contest carried on the radio and online invited listeners to “win the ultimate journey by texting” with secondary prizes including “vehicle damage,” “injuries,” and “trauma.” Entrants could invite their friends to enter by texting as well.

The Results

It’s difficult to measure the concrete results of a road safety campaign. Nonetheless, post-campaign research did find the following:
-An overall campaign awareness of 90%, which is extremely high for this type of campaign and higher than the three previous years’ campaigns
-An appreciation of 8.1/10; people weren’t offended or turned away by the message despite its hard-hitting tone
-A desire to be more attentive on the road for 78% of respondents; the intent to change in the right direction was created

It’s impossible to link the numbers of road accident victims to the campaign directly, but the following results were noted:
-As of the end of 2016, the number of deaths and serious injuries was down from 2015
-2016 was the second best year for road safety in Quebec since 1946