Kissing dangerous driving goodbye

2016-06-21 14:14
The controversial First Kiss campaign has had significant success during its run. The results of a seatbelt compliance survey was recently released as part of the campaign. This is a screengrab of the advertisement.

The controversial First Kiss campaign has had significant success during its run. The results of a seatbelt compliance survey was recently released as part of the campaign. This is a screengrab of the advertisement.

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Wearing a seatbelt can save your life.

This is the powerful message behind a graphic and controversial advertisement that recently aired as part of a government campaign.
The First Kiss campaign advertisement first aired in March and has since had screenings in cinema, online and on TV.
Although the initial airing has ended, the Western Cape Government is continuing their billboard and online advertising.

Provincial minister for transport and public works, Donald Grant, and Safely Home recently discussed the successes of the advertising campaign.
Grant says there has been a 27.5% increase in overall seatbelt compliance and for the month of May passenger fatalities have been down 30% in comparison to 2014 and 2015 figures.
“[The advertisement] First Kiss was released in March as part of Safely Home’s #BeTheChange themed period on the road safety calendar. At the core of the campaign is a hard-hitting TV commercial showing the consequences of not buckling up. The commercial was widely praised for its exceptional quality, and won two advertising industry awards within weeks of release. It was also subject to heated public discussion both for and against, with criticism levelled at the graphic portrayal of the consequences of reckless road-user behaviour,” says Grant.
International best practice and in-depth research into local audience perceptions drove the development and production of the advertisement, with an impact assessment component built into the project.

“The assessment of the campaign’s impact has proven that the scientific, evidence driven methodologies employed to create First Kiss really work, especially when they are fused with the creative vision of our team at Y&R and Egg Films,” says Grant.

The advertisement was informed by four seatbelt compliance surveys at four major intersections in Cape Town prior to the launch of the ad.
These surveys were “snap counts”, which entails actual observation of driver and passenger behaviour, not from self-reported behaviour.
“These surveys, based on observation of vehicle occupants, found an overall compliance of 40%. Six weeks into the campaign, these four surveys were repeated at the same intersections. Over time it was found that overall compliance went up to 51% – an increase of 11 percentage points over the pre-campaign surveys,” says Grant.
This translates to the 27.5% improvement overall.

“By far the most impressive improvement was in rear-seat compliance, which shot up an astonishing 161.5%,” says Grant.
The four intersections chosen as part of the survey were in Mitchell’s Plain, the CBD, Bellville and Khayelitsha.
These intersections were on the corners of Christiaan Barnard Street and Hertzog Boulevard in the CBD, Spine Road and AZ Berman Drive in Mitchell’s Plain, Spine Road and Govan Mbeki Drive in Khayelitsha and Voortrekker and De La Rey roads in Bellville.

Siphesihle Dube, spokesperson for the minister, says: “The intersections chosen are among the busiest intersections in the City, seeing high traffic volumes at peak times.”
Dube adds the graphic nature of the advertisement was necessary and has had the desired effect.
“The advertisement was made to depict the most accurate account of the daily horror on our roads. Crashes are by nature horrific and gruesome, and result in serious injury and death. The advertisement has received wide-ranging support for its boldness and accuracy in showing the very serious consequences of not wearing a seat belt in your vehicle,” he says.
The results of the second snap survey were conducted on Tuesday 3 May from 07:30 to 09:00 and then again from 16:00 to 17:30.

The second survey saw 1226 vehicles checked, totalling 2399 occupants.
Vehicles checked included cars, SUVs, minivans, metered taxis, buses, vans, trucks and single- and double-cab bakkies.
Passengers included children, adults and passengers in the front and back seats of a car.

In Mitchell’s Plain 310 cars were checked, 308 in the CBD, 305 in Khayelitsha and 303 vehicles were checked in the northern suburbs.
Most of the vehicles checked were also hatchbacks and sedans.
The release sees an increase predominantly in driver compliance with 56% of drivers buckling up, 48% of front passengers buckling up and 34% of back seat passengers buckling up.

The CBD saw a 66% overall compliance with 71% of drivers, 57% of front passengers and 47% of back passengers being compliant.

In Mitchell’s Plain there was a 42% overall compliance with 39% of drivers, 48% of front passengers and 38% of back passengers using their seatbelts.

In the northern suburbs compliance sees 72% of all vehicle occupants using their seatbelts overall.

This can further be separated to 69% driver compliance, 79% front passenger compliance and 61% back passenger compliance.

In Khayelitsha, the least overall compliance was recorded with only 30% of vehicle occupants using their seatbelts.
Of the occupants tallied, 46% of drivers wore seatbelts, 21% of front passengers wore seatbelts and 1% of all back passengers were compliant.

Grant says these improvements were driven mainly by behaviour change in Belville, the CBD and Mitchell’s Plain, with less impact recorded in Khayelitsha.
“This despite a concentration of outdoor advertising supporting the commercial in the area. This aspect of the campaign has been extremely influential in how we design the research into our next TV advertising campaign, which is centred on our #BoozeFreeRoads theme for November, December and January,” says Grant.

This result is further driving the development of a new activation of “First Kiss” for September’s #AlwaysBuckleUp theme.
“We will be repeating the surveys six months after the campaign, and testing public perception and behaviour again in the annual Safely Home Attitudinal Survey later in the year,” says Grant.

“We will also be analysing fatalities and injury data as these become available to track this impact. So far the data is extremely promising, as passenger fatality numbers from May 2016 were 30% below passenger fatalities numbers for both May 2014 and May 2015, although the department cautions against drawing conclusions regarding this aspect of the campaign impact. Much more data needs to be accumulated and analysed.”

While TV and cinema airings have now wrapped up, “First Kiss” continues online, with ongoing billboard support.
Dube says viewers can expect something similar during the November campaign.
“We hope to release an adapted version of the campaign in November, which will hopefully reach an even greater audience. The current advertisement has received over 100 000 views online. We will not shy away from conveying the truth about the daily horror on our roads,” he says.

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