Creative agency Voskhod and their client SM Polis drove down distracted driving, writes Laura Swinton
Talking and texting while driving is a major issue in Russia. The country sees around 35,000 traffic deaths a year – in a 2013 report Russia was tied with Brazil as the country with the third highest overall road deaths. In fact, using a phone is second only to alcohol when it comes to car accident causes – and even hands-free devices can increase the risk of an accident by four.
Russian insurance brand SM Polis and their agency Voskhod decided to tackle this behaviour head on – by bringing the conversation to radio shows. After all, phone-in debates and competitions are a major temptation for drivers.
The campaign involved persuading radio presenters to broadcast fake ‘car crashes’. Whenever someone who was clearly driving called in, the producer would suddenly cut the call and broadcast the sound of a crash. After a short and gut-lurching pause, the presenter would reveal that it was a stunt and that no one had been hurt.
The team approached a total of 18 radio stations to take part in the stunt – but only one, Novoe Radio, was brave enough to take up the challenge at first. Within days the station was receiving fewer calls from drivers.
However, the other stations soon changed their minds when the results became clear and the news media began to pick up the story.