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Czech Insurance Associations Use Time to Get Drivers to Slow Down Before its Too Late

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Emotional, unique project from McCann Prague points out the risk of speeding in documentary

Czech Insurance Associations Use Time to Get Drivers to Slow Down Before its Too Late

The Czech advertisement scene is often labeled as not being creative enough. The problem is not that it's missing creative people or daring ideas. What's absent is the courage to push the ideas through. Courage to experiment, overcome, encourage social discussion, all in that naive, almost childish faith that anything must be possible. Here and there, an idea like that makes it through, to the delight of not just the client but of the whole market. It becomes proof that can persuade the less courageous ones that those big things are not restricted to the big world and can work even in our market. Generally, two pillars can support more big ideas. The first one is agencies that can push ideas through thanks to their expertise, they are not afraid to present ideas that generally get shelved, and they can persuade the client that these ideas have merit. The other is a client that does not lack vision and has guts. If two such players meet on one team, they can score big. One such example is the cooperation of the Czech Insurance Association (ČAP) and the Prague creative house of Riegerovy sady, comprising agencies McCann Prague, Hero&Outlaw, and Renegadz. Their big hit is the campaign 'Slow down before it's too late.'

The Insurance Association has long confronted society-wide problems in its communication in the Czech Republic. These concern, for example, life insurance and underestimating income problems in case of a death in the family, but more often (and more widespread) driver behaviour. Considering its business revolves around accident prevention or driver aggression, it is precisely the Czech Insurance Association whose campaigns should provoke society-wide discussion, and who better to cooperate with than the Ministry of Transport's department for road security and human factor impact - BESIP. This time, the priority was speeding (not simply breaking the legal speed limit, but driving dangerously fast), a behaviour that our society not just overlooks and trivialises but views as the norm. 

Speeding is a topic we often hide from others and even from ourselves behind 'hurry' or 'lack of time' since 'time' is a topic discussed far more frequently and openly. It is socially acceptable, whether we're making excuses due to a lack of it or boasting our 'time management' skills. And that is why time and the folly of trying to catch it are the central campaign motifs. It is a means to open our eyes and make us look into the mirror, draw attention to dangerous speeding that is directly responsible for human lives lost and ruined (which is a statistical fact).

The brief seemed simple: try to change the behaviour of the Czech public, who seem incorrigible regarding dangerous speeding. One should note this also concerns driving too fast on a wet surface or before a sharp curve while still within the "legal speed limit." This campaign is the largest ČAP has ever conducted and was built on the wide cooperation of all the subjects. That was also possible by the involvement of BESIP and the Police of the Czech Republic. 

The data BESIP supplied pointed out that the Czech public tends to play down the seriousness of speeding and the fact that speeding is also the most frequent cause of death on roads, making up almost 40 % of lethal accidents. In the last decade, speeding has killed nearly 2200 people. Furthermore, 90 % of all drivers responded to our query that the most important thing while driving is not endangering themselves or others. Yet, almost the same amount (86 %) admitted to willfully speeding both within built-up areas and outside of them. One-third of them acknowledged that the reason is haste and a race against time. All these statistics are pretty alarming and unequivocally suggest it is time for a change.


What sort of a campaign can change the public's behaviour?

It was clear that changing such a deep-rooted habit needs to evoke a lively public debate. And such a debate requires one thing most of all - emotions.

That's why McCann Prague, with its partners, has built the whole concept around strong emotions, with the insight that the 'pirates' of the roads are all of us. Except that most of us have not yet had to pay for it. Both the current age and current society pushes us to be ever faster, more effective, and we live with a notion of a perpetual lack of time. We seem always to need more minutes and hours that we're trying to win at the worst possible time: when we're behind the wheel and when this behaviour puts us and others in serious jeopardy. 

McCann designed the campaign as a study of time in Czech society and on the Czech roads. We're desperately trying to win the minutes and seconds there are contrasted with the absurdly high price some of us have already paid. So the campaign is focused on telling these stories - stories of people who have already paid dearly for this mistake.

The scope of the project is nothing short of revolutionary. It's not mere TV commercials, internet ads, or other 'traditional media.'

"We've opened the campaign with a sophisticated PR stunt. A feigned road accident, the footage of which we spread through partner media and influencers. The aim was to open a debate about speeding and gain awareness about how Czechs generally approach speed. Of course, the accident itself was designed to include a multitude of factors (much like in real life), but speeding was one of them." commented Aleš Brichta, creative director of McCann Prague, and he adds: “Before going public with our 'PR stunt,' we expected that given the Czechs' attitude to speeding, people would marginalise the factor of dangerous speed in the accident. People would either ignore it or blame other factors. After a week's monitoring of all outputs, comments, and sentiments, we could say our hypothesis was correct, and the task ahead of us is challenging. The PR stunt has caused a large wave of discussions, has reached over 2 million users, and showed the Czech public's attitude to speeding.

We revealed our aims publicly in an exclusive report aired in the program 168 hours on the Czech Television, officially kicking off the campaign. On the following day, we introduced the campaign in all its depth, including the TVC."

Most importantly, the campaign is including the most extended spot in the history of (perhaps not only) Czech advertisement. It is a 90-minute-long feature film of the director Vít Klusák, a well-known Czech filmmaker who has often responded to society-wide topics. He established himself in 2004 with the document Český sen (Czech Dream) about a staged super-sale event. Recently he directed the acclaimed movie "Caught in the Net" tackling online child abuse. 

His film '13 MINUTES' tells five stories of real people who have paid a heavy price for their speeding. It has been created under Czech Television, which scheduled it to broadcast during prime time on its ČT1 channel. The document will also feature on HBO in the Czech and Slovak Republic during June. Negotiations are underway in other countries.

The documentary 13 MINUTES is the centerpiece of the campaign. A good movie deserves a good movie poster, so given the topic of roads and cars, the agency combined forces with the best in their branch, the Automobilist studio. Together with its founder Jan Rambousek they created an edition of prints that communicates the main thoughts of the campaign through a more artistic, "hip" form, as is typical in contemporary filmography. Posters are primarily intended for journalists, influencers, and other prominent figures of public life. 

Some of the well-known influencers contributing to the campaign are MenT, one of the most famous Czech Youtubers, the traveler Ladislav Zibura or the automotive journalist Jan Červenka. Antonín Milata of the Renegadz company explains this connection: "We looked for people who are linked with the world of automobiles and who can speak to drivers of different profiles. The influencers who joined us for this project believe in the idea and goal of the campaign. Apart from sharing the campaign content, they have started to create original content, which can further improve the impact of "Slow down before it's really too late." 

Apart from the ATL campaign and the documentary, there are works on a country-wide roadshow, created through big and small events. Here, onlookers will be able to experience the atmosphere of an actual car accident. In addition, they will be confronted with facts and myths concerning accidents and will leave with a strong emotional experience.

Both the document and the roadshow are linked tightly with the webpage www.13minut.cz, which provides information and education and expands on the documentary with more details on the stories of the culprits and relevant expert opinions.

"We believe, and first signals and reactions confirm it, that a campaign of this size has a chance to inspire the Czech advertisement industry and, more importantly, spark that fundamental social discussion on the topic of haste and speeding. This type of discussion could change the current dangerous behaviour norm of the drivers on the Czech roads." close it Aleš Brichta.


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Categories: Insurance, Finance

McCann Prague, Fri, 18 Jun 2021 14:44:21 GMT