Department For Transport: Motorcycle Safety - Named riders

Andrew Phillips
Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO


This is the story of how planning defined a novel approach to motorcycle safety communication - changing attitudes and claimed behaviours by humanising motorcyclists to those most likely to cause them harm.

This idea shows the value of tenacity, and not settling for easy answers. As we have demonstrated, the planning behind many other award winning campaigns stopped too early. In this case, we asked ‘why’ not once, not twice, but three times.

We discovered that inattentional blindness explained why drivers look but don’t see. We discovered that this was made worse because drivers see motorcyclists as threats. And we discovered that the symbolism of the motorcycle helmet made motorcyclists look more like machines than friends and family.

And then, we asked ‘how’.