Category Social
Subcategory Interactive
Entrant agency DDB Latvia
Client Road Traffic Safety Department
Brand Road Traffic Safety Department
Product/service Safety belt use in passenger seats
Release date 06.09.2016
Advertising agency DDB Latvia
Creative director Vairis Strazds
Copywriter Oskars Kupcāns
DESIGNER Krišjānis Šteins
Account director Didzis Paeglis
DIRECTOR Mārtiņš Sudrabs
PRODUCER Madara Makovska

Latvia in constantly one of the top 3 countries in the EU safety statistics for highest road fatality rates. The Road Traffic Safety Department (RTSD/CSDD) runs regular campaigns, addressing a number of safety issues from various angles, including safety belt use among private cars and public transport passengers. Only 50% fasten their seatbelt when in the back seat of car. On public transport seatbelt use is a rarity. The brief was to tackle this issue for the lowest price. Our objective was to change behaviours, promote the use of safety belts (both on public transport and in private cars) and reduce the severity of injuries and the number of fatalities in road accidents.

It occurred to us – there actually is one kind of transport where every passenger fastens their seatbelt. Flights. When a flight attendant reminds everyone to fasten their seatbelt, people do it with no objections. So we decided to use this analogy to convince people to buckle up and make it feel natural – break entrenched behaviour patterns with politeness and a smile. We set out to shoot hidden camera videos to see whether the same thing works on passengers in taxis and intercity buses – by tailoring a traditional safety belt demonstration for each of these modes of transport, presented by an actual flight attendant supported by a voice-over recording.

It worked. Hidden camera footage reveals that after flight attendant demonstrations all passengers buckled up. We sent out one supporting press release and put both the social experiment videos (intercity bus and taxi) up on the RTSD/CSDD Facebook page. Three days later each video had more than 100 000 views and the campaign had its first appearance on national TV. Both online videos became popular nationwide. The implementation of the PR activity was driven by and focussed on the creative idea. With only one person available for dedicated PR support over the course of the campaign because of the budget constraints (remember the brief), we relied on the creative to carry all the weight, supported by only a small number of press releases.

Paid publications: 0 Publications earned by PR TV: 15 quality reports Radio: 14 quality reports (yes, the video made it into the radio) Print media: 18 quality articles Online media: 109 quantity articles Media earned: EUR ~120 000 Facebook results: 554 369 views 4700 likes 4255 shares Total campaign reach: 3 650 436 Comparing 2015 to 2016 the number of passenger death decreased by 27,5%. The passenger fatality decrease contributed significantly to make 2016 the safest year on the roads of Latvia.