Ad Nut
Jan 20, 2017

Less speed equals less harm in NZ safety campaign

'Thank you for your speed' for the New Zealand Transport Agency by Clemenger BBDO Wellington.

A couple years ago, the New Zealand Transport Agency froze time to emphasize the horrific impact of excessive speed, in one of the most visually and emotionally memorable ads of the last several years (in Ad Nut's opinion).

This time out, the agency and its agency have taken a less spectacular approach in order to communicate a more subtle message: the positive effect of less speed.  

As Brigid Alkema, ECD at Clemenger BBDO puts it:

Until now speed messaging has focussed on the negative impacts of speed. This new chapter highlights a benefit, not a cost, of the speed of a driver.

Ad Nut commends the message wholeheartedly. It's just physics: Less speed means less energy to be absorbed by the vehicles and the bodies within them, so a few kph can mean the difference between walking away and permanent disability, between life and death.

A question, however. Ad Nut was not taken in by the twist in the spot; it was clear all along that the voiceover was not the same person being shown on the screen, so Ad Nut was not surprised when the voice turned out to belong to the older man. And it was clear from the script that the younger man had caused the crash, and was grateful to the older man for traveling at a prudent speed.

But the older man's line at the end, "It's OK", in reponse to the young man's "Thank you", was a bit offputting. Who is he to say it's OK? He didn't just spend months in rehab in order to walk again. It just doesn't seem like the right response to "Thank you." But then, Ad Nut thought, maybe that's just how Kiwis say "You're welcome"? Like saying "No problem", perhaps? Ad Nut is genuinely asking.

This sounds like nitpicking, but it's not as it's the climactic moment of the whole spot. Maybe the line works perfectly for the target audience, in which case, Ad Nut stands corrected. But maybe a different line, or even no line, would have been more poignant? 


Agency: Clemenger BBDO/Proximity
Media comapny: OMD
Client: New Zealand Transport Agency
Principal Advisor: Rachel Prince
Principal Scientist: Paul Graham
Production Co: The Sweet Shop
Director: Noah Marshall
Executive Producer: Fiona King
Producer: Tony Whyman
DP: Marty Williams
Editor: Tim Mauger
Colour Grade: Pete Ritchie, Blockhead
Music composition: Liquid Studios
Composer: Peter van der Fluit
Audio Post: Flare

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