Why I love it
What’s not to love about this campaign? It’s a beautifully simple idea executed extraordinarily well.
I first saw this awareness campaign at Emergence Creative Festival earlier this year presented by Jose Miguel Sokoloff, and it has stuck with me ever since.
Increasing road traffic in many major Chinese cities is leading to the increase of crashes and fatalities and major injuries. More drivers are ignoring traffic signs simply so they can keep moving through the traffic. But, ignoring the road rules has a human cost.
By evidencing that human cost literally as human traffic signs, the campaign has managed to raise the awareness of the need to follow road rules and the unintentional consequences if not.
If this campaign stopped there, I would be happy. But, I think the real genius in this campaign is that it is in essence a road safety message delivered by a foreign car brand - Buick.
Now we are seeing more brands taking on cause related campaigns. Perhaps the challenge is doing it in such a way that is genuine and sympathetic with the cause and not gratuitously linked to the brand. That’s understated and respectful of the cause and the individuals concerned. This one has done that, in spades.
If it ran today
Well, it’s less than a couple of years old, so I don’t imagine anything would change if this campaign was running today in China - in fact it might still be as far as I know. In reality, that’s a true indicator of the strength of the campaign. It will be current for years to come.
I liken it in many ways to the ‘sponge’ anti-smoking demonstration campaign. This campaign was first developed by John Bevans back in 1979 and has run (although in slightly different form) recently. It continues to perform well across a number of metrics even after 37 years.
This awareness campaign reminded me that there is a place for genuine, honest communications and there is room (in fact a need) for brands to engage in positive social impact.
For me though, there are many more examples of brands taking on a cause in a far less genuine and not authentic ways. And in my opinion, consumers are highly suspicious of brands linking themselves to causes.