Clemenger BBDO Wellington

NZ Transport Agency
"The Unsaid"

Client: NZ Transport Agency
Product: Road Safety
Title: The Unsaid
Media: TV, Social Media, Outdoor
Country: New Zealand
Date Of Campaign: 21-07-19

Background: Drug driving now kills more Kiwis than drink driving. The families affected are often too ashamed to share their stories, so the truth remains silent. Because of this, 90% of Kiwis denied drug driving was a problem, and any government safety messaging sounded like propaganda. We needed to prove the truth in an inarguable way.

Idea: Crash report analysis told us drug driving was a huge and growing problem. The families affected are often too ashamed to share their stories, not wanting a loved one remembered that way, or being afraid to speaking out against our country’s relaxed drug culture. We needed a safe way to gather and tell these stories. Sharing each death one by one gave each story the weight it deserved, and being able to broadcast their own stories through a front person meant families felt comfortable coming forward. First, Ashleigh filmed and shared her own story of losing someone to drug driving. She promised the nation she would only come back if there were more drug driving deaths to share. One by one, the deaths came in. Each family that shared their deeply personal story with Ashleigh had it turned into a haunting tribute, a one off film that aired once only.Each new story was filmed that day and aired that night, so every time you saw Ashleigh, you knew it represented another real death. The whole country saw real grief in real time. Each execution shared one story, and continued to ‘recruit’ for others, via a handle at the end of the film. By the end of the campaign, multiple stories were being received, filmed, and shared back out each day. A vocal online community formed, and finally the silent data we had got a voice.

Results: Tragically, in just 6 weeks, over 250 real drug driving deaths were received and the raw and honest stories shared with the nation. To put that number in perspective, it had taken seven months just to find Ashleigh, one person willing to share their story. By the end of the campaign, scepticism around the issue had dropped from 64 to 14%. Discussion around driving impairment grew from 17 to 87%, where it had previously been derailed by other sentiments around general drug use. Measures of concern around drug driving almost doubled. And on Day 151 of the campaign, the Government announced roadside testing would be introduced, finally bringing New Zealand in line with the rest of the world.

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