WA Office of Road Safety: Enjoy the ride

Derry Simpson and Bart Hodgen


Over the past decade or two, for a whole raft of social problems - smoking, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, Aids, obesity and road safety - many social marketing campaigns have relied on 'shock tactics'; to get the audiences attention and attempt to appall them into changing their habits. Some of these campaigns have undoubtedly contributed to changing attitudes and behaviour. But how long before you might need to move beyond 'shock ' alone? Might there be other messages to which people could now be more susceptible?

This was the planning dilemma confronting us when the Office of Road Safety briefed another years advertising to counter speeding on our roads. Despite a worldwide inclination to persevere with an entrenched style of communication, we thought we detected some weakening in people's receptivity. Listening to the community at large only confirmed our suspicions.