In 2016 South Wales Police took the lead on a Wales-wide awareness campaign, aiming to prevent drivers from driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs over the Christmas period. Each year one of four police forces in Wales takes responsibility for the campaign as a way of maximising value, national impact and consistency across Wales.
Avoiding the obvious
When we researched previous campaigns one thing was clear—hard hitting, sometimes quite brutal imagery of injuries and mangled cars were often used, in an attempt to shock. We felt that this approach had become the norm and no longer created the lasting impact needed to drive the message home.
The campaign was to be run predominantly in digital media such as social channels, so when we were asked to tackle this hard hitting subject, we knew it required a different approach—one that avoided shock tactics. Instead, we wanted to capture the viewer's attention by means of subtlety, pulling at the heartstrings and making people stop to think.
With the Roald Dahl 100 year celebrations drawing to a close, we felt linking a campaign with storytelling and narrative would be a powerful method of delivery.
We designed the campaign to focus on loss. Loss of family, loss of loved ones. Adopting the style of a children’s book, we created a series of hand drawn, watercolour illustrations that tell the story of a family dealing with loss through drink or drug driving. The images depict a family that has lost the father and son—whether as a result of self infliction or at the hands of another intoxicated driver is left deliberately vague.
The story and execution—made up of a series of images accompanied by a single line of copy, purposely subtle and open to interpretation. It takes a few seconds to read into the images, but once read they are emotionally powerful.
All the images are based on Christmas Day, and represent the sadness of three recognisable parts of the day—Christmas morning, dinner and an afternoon walk.
The morning after
To complement the main emotional campaign there are a number of supplementary messages that highlight the dangers of driving whilst still under the influence the next day, which adopt the same visual style.
During the 30 day campaign the messages were seen interacted with over 195k times, and the work has been featured by The Drum and Design Week. We loved working with the team at South Wales Police, and pushing what is expected from this type of campaign.
If want to grab some attention with your next campaign, get in touch with us!