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Creative in association withGear Seven
Group745
New Zealand's Need for Speed Awareness
25/01/2013
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An innovative, award winning youth speeding campaign from the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA)
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An innovative, award winning youth speeding campaign from the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) was launched under the guise of a video game in October 2012. Using channels and techniques similar to any console video game launch it was presented as a browser based 3D racer but ended with a dramatic twist. This grass roots campaign spread between users on Facebook. Currently 41k users played the game which exceeded the expected count by a half. Try it yourself at www.flashdrivinggame.com

 

The idea


A proactive idea from NZTA's agency, Clemenger BBDO in collaboration with digital production partner Resn, the campaign came from the simple insight that young people love to play video games, in particular car racing ones, but unfortunately they also like to carry across this fast driving into real life.


BBDO Creative Director, Brigid Alkema, says, "We asked ourselves, could a personal death experience change the way youth think about their speeding? It was then a case of working out how best to achieve that."
 

The game experience


For the first minute of gameplay Flash Driving Game is a thrilling racing game set to a pounding dubstep soundtrack by award winning composer and Sound Designer Jeramiah Ross AKA Module, but just as a player feels like they are mastering it their car is led into an unavoidable crash at high speed.

All of a sudden the experience changes, and instead of being asked if they want to play again as they normally would be, they find themselves actually experiencing the crash of the car. Objects are flying, the car is rolling, the pumping soundtrack is replaced with the graunching of damaged metal and breaking items, their vision is clouding and eyes are slowly closing as if they have been injured and are near death. As this happens images of people start to flicker in their vision. They suddenly realise they are people they know - their life is literally flashing before their eyes.

Thomas Scovell, Clemenger BBDO Director of Digital innovation, describes how the experience is constructed, "In connecting to Facebook to play the game they have allowed us access to their photo albums. And using Facebook technology and our proprietary algorithms we are able to select only photos of their closest friends and family – not just acquaintances or workmates."

As the important people, and moments, of their life flash before their eyes, their vision fades and eventually goes blank. They're not able to play the "game" again, even if they visit the site later – all they see is the message, "You only get one life. slow down."

The reaction

 

Reaction from youth has been tremendous with thousands of plays in the first week:
“darn game tricking me into learning a lesson.”
“Mine is me and my dad so it creeped me out”
“so good when you crash and it flashes all your FB photos like your life flashing before your eyes”

This grass roots campaign spread between users on Facebook, bloggers and other social media channels. The reactions were enthusiastic and the 41k of users who played the game by now is about to double in the next month.

 

A Resn production

 

Clemenger BBDO chose digital interactive agency Resn to design and develop the gaming experience knowing that the experience had to be extremely credible and fun. The kind of work that Resn are known for and that few other international agencies could deliver.

 

Producer Matt Walsh said, "We knew we had to make a game that was fun in its own right or youth would never play. And we knew the death sequence had to be high quality to be really impactful. We're hearing from players that we've achieved both."

“Gamers are notoriously critical and opinionated when it comes to what they like, so we had to wow them at the very outset. Stage 3D’s hardware-acceleration gave us the flexibility to generate texturally rich and expansive environments geared at full immersion, pulling the digital wool over our audience’s eyes. Our custom built 3D track editor enabling us to fully adjust the course and a multitude of in-game assets creating a track specifically designed to ramp up in intensity at critical moments.”

NZTA's Rachel Prince comments on the campaign, "Creating this dynamic racing game is a way for us to reach our younger audience with a pretty hard-hitting message about the issue of speed in a completely unexpected and surprising way. We know they're not always keen to hear what we have to say, but using a medium that they can relate to is a way in. We're really happy with the end result"

Game: www.flashdrivinggame.com
Soundtrack: http://soundcloud.com/flashdrivinggame/you-only-get-one-shot
Resn: http://resn.co.nz
 

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