VCCP commission Levon Biss to shoot the latest TFL campaign

22 October 2019

I found an interesting article on Marketing & Communication News which I have copied directly below. It writes neatly about the theory of the ad.

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Transport for London (TfL) has launched a new campaign encouraging London drivers to watch their speed. Instead of focusing on the driver and their actions on the road, the new TV spot and print takes a different viewpoint, focusing on the passenger in the vehicle and how they feel.

The new approach to road danger reduction communications moves away from traditional shock tactics, prompting drivers to think differently about their speed by reframing it through the eyes of those closest to them.

New research, commissioned by TfL, has identified that two-thirds of car passengers have felt uncomfortable with speed when driven by a friend or family member, and almost 30 per cent of car passengers, would feel uncomfortable asking a friend or family member to slow down.

This worrying statistic suggests that many drivers may be driving in London unaware that they are driving at an unsafe speed and that their passengers feel uncomfortable about this.

103 people have tragically died on London’s roads already this year and analysis by TfL of historical casualty figures recorded by the Police suggests that speed accounts for 37 per cent of all deaths and serious injuries. Collision data from around the world is very clear.

It shows that the faster a vehicle is travelling; the more likely a collision will occur because the driver has less time to react, stop or avoid the collision; and the more severe an injury resulting from the collision will be.

While many people driving may feel they are driving safely by adhering to speed limits, their speed may be considered unsafe due to other factors, such as being near to a school, a busy location with many other road users, weather conditions, turning at a junction or driving over or through speed restrictions too quickly.

The TV spot by VCCP, shows this all too often reality, with the camera focusing on the passengers in the car; children and adults with an internal monologue. The reactions on their faces perfectly highlight the insight that even if the driver isn’t watching their speed, everybody else is.

Similarly a powerful out of home print campaign features close up shots of passengers in the car; their eyes wide. The campaign forms part of TfL’s commitment to Vision Zero.

“People are seriously injured or die on our roads each day. It seems that driving at an unsafe speed has now sadly become socially acceptable and many people simply don’t think of it as a risk. Nobody gets behind the wheel intending to kill or harm someone but all too often, the way people choose to drive results in death or serious injury. This has devastating consequences for the victim, the driver and their families.  I would urge drivers to slow down and also encourage people who feel uncomfortable with the speed they’re being driven at to speak up,” said Stuart Reid, TfL’s Director of Vision Zero.

“Human life is so precious and we are committed to working to reduce this suffering but we all have a part to play. Through our wider Vision Zero programme we are targeting the root causes or road casualties. By doing so, we can make London’s roads safer and achieve our goal that, by 2041, all deaths and serious injuries will be eliminated from London’s transport network.”

We are targeting the root causes of road casualties. By doing so, we can make London’s roads safer and achieve our goal that, by 2041, all deaths and serious injuries will be eliminated from London’s transport network.”

Miranda Leedham, Head of Customer and Marketing Behaviour at TFL, said: “We have focused on how driving inappropriately can make others feel whilst in the car rather than just focusing on the bad behaviours of the drivers. We know the vast majority of Londoners understand it’s never OK to drive too fast – but that all changes when it’s them behind the wheel. We want drivers to question how their driving is perceived by others and take responsibility for their behaviour.”

Simon Learman, Creative Director at VCCP, added: “Although we shouldn’t, I am sure that sometimes we all drive a little faster than we should. This campaign is a salutary reminder that we don’t just raise the risks but also the distress levels of our passengers and more importantly the consequences can have devastating effects on people’s lives.”