VIAS + OVK / PEVR (Parents of Road Victims)

Client: VIAS + OVK / PEVR (Parents of Road Victims)
Product: Road Safety Organisation
Title: Non-Bob
Media: Online, Guerilla, DM
Country: Belgium
Date Of Campaign: 21/12/2020

Background: In Belgium, Bob is a first name. But it’s also an ‘iconic key chain’ and a symbol recognised nationwide as being the name given to those that are the designated driver. The name was installed through the in Belgium iconic ‘Bob-campaign’ that has been running since 1995. For 25 consecutive years Police have continued to award non-drunk drivers during alcohol checks with special Bob keychains. So much so that 98% of all Belgians know exactly what Bob means and can recognise the yellow foam keychain immediately.Yet, Belgians continue to drink and drive and 1 in 5 road accidents are still alcohol-related.

Idea: For the 25th anniversary of the BOB-campaign, and from this year forward, drunk drivers will now also receive a keychain. In the exact same style and same yellow colour as the BOB one, but bearing names such as Axelle, Corwin, Laetitia, Nathan, Olivier, Philippe, Romina, Timmy, … children who were killed in a traffic accident caused by a driver who was driving under the influence. These hard-hitting key rings are handed out by the police during routine alcohol checks. The offenders will also hear the story behind each victim name.Drivers who were caught during the alcohol checks can exchange their non-Bob key ring for a traffic course at VIAS (the Belgian Traffic Institute). During this course, the consequences of alcohol on driving behaviour are discussed in more detail and the training examines the influence of alcohol on drivers’ behaviour in more detail.

Results: Sadly, the results are nothing to be proud of. In the first 3 months over 4,000 non-bob keychains were handed out to drunk drivers (together with a fine and eventually a driving licence withdrawal). All national press picked up the story, without any exception. Resulting in huge talk and debate value about the installation of a new zero-tolerance law. Because of this lasting news buzz, the distribution of the key rings will continue throughout the year and will now evolve - at Belgian Government’s request – from a temporary to a permanent campaign. Just like and together with the original BOB keychain. In the meantime, also the members of parliament in The Netherlands have demanded to follow the Belgian example and introduce the NON-Bob key rings next to the BOB ones, in order to achieve a sustained behavioural change overtime.

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