The following article was taken from the Media Release: Zombies spread the fatigue road safety message – Re:act 2021 selected Victorian campaign announced.
A striking and straight to the point campaign, that ‘unleashes’ zombies to educate young drivers about the risks of driving fatigued, is the selected Victorian campaign for Re:act 2021.
Created by Swinburne students Eve Uittenbosch, Lulu Nicholls, Charlotte Tiong and Gabrielle Versace, the campaign uses zombies and the ‘Don’t Drive Dead’ tagline to create awareness of the risks of drowsy driving for young people.
It was created as part of the annual Re:act road safety behaviour change program, which challenges local university students to create a campaign that raises awareness among 18-25 year old road users of a critical road safety issue.
An initiative of Hard Edge and now in its sixth year, the Re:act program is running in 2021 in Australia with Swinburne University in Melbourne, University of Technology Sydney, Curtin University in Perth, and Queensland University of Technology. The Re:act program is also running overseas, through University of the Arts London.
Selected student campaigns from each university in Australia will be developed with Hard Edge and oOh!media for public execution via oOh!media’s extensive network of media assets including university campus, retail, street furniture and roadside billboards.
Swinburne student Gabrielle Versace said the group wanted to create a campaign that was accessible to its target audience while delivering a clear and direct message.
Gabrielle said participating in Re:act had changed her own, and her peer group’s, behaviour around driving fatigued, where they now employed strategies they suggested as part of their ‘Don’t Drive Dead’ campaign.
“We wanted to create something that was relatable to the target audience and work within a genre that was a visual language they could recognise,” she said. “Something we saw being executed often in popular culture was the zombie genre.
“We liked the idea of relating this campaign with a character that represented the state of being fatigued. ‘You look dead’ is something our age group will often say to each other when we recognise someone is looking tired, so we liked that connection with being fatigued and how the zombie character could represent that.
“After doing Re:act we realised, especially driving to university and then to work, that people in our age group are frequently on the road fatigued, without even realising. We found we kept using our campaign tagline in our own lives – ‘guys, don’t drive dead if you’re feeling tired’ – so we started holding each other accountable, which is great because that’s what we wanted our campaign to do with the audience.”
Re:act founder Andrew Hardwick said: “The messaging of this campaign is so clever and resonates strongly with the young age group through the inspired use of zombies, which seems to be having a resurgence right now.
“Luckily, we were able to see the Swinburne students present just before lockdown so, after facing pandemic restrictions last year, it was fantastic to be able to sit in the same room with program partners and students and work together in a collaborative nature, which is a hallmark of Re:act.”
Noel Cook, oOh!media Chief Commercial & Operations Officer, added: “We look forward to working with the Swinburne students to reach young drivers across Australia with this important road safety message around the dangers of fatigue on our roads.
“Our team of creative specialists will provide consultancy and technical assistance to ensure that we deliver a powerful Out of Home campaign that leads to behavioural change among young people. Using our internal expertise and our extensive network of signs is a proven combination to save young lives when they get behind the wheel.”
Stephen Hehir, from Re:act program partner Australia Post, added: “With one of Australia’s largest truck and other vehicle fleets, and a corporate cultural pillar for safety, Australia Post knows the importance of recognising, understanding and managing driver fatigue.
“The Swinburne Media/Communications students this year all demonstrated a ‘felt’ understanding of the driver fatigue issue and all delivered adept campaigns, evidenced by the challenge the adjudicators had in determining a winner. Congratulations to the team with the cut through message, ‘Don’t Drive Dead’, targeting an 18-25 age group.”
Visit reactforchange.com to learn more about the Re:act program.
An initiative of Hard Edge, the annual Re:act program challenges local higher education students to create a behaviour change campaign that raises awareness among 16-25 year old road users of a critical road safety issue where they are overrepresented.
A panel of university or TAFE, road and workplace safety, and industry partners selects the most compelling road safety campaign in each state, which is then developed and launched on university or TAFE campuses and oOh!media’s digital assets, including its landmark billboards.
Now in its sixth year, Re:act ran in 2020 in Melbourne with Swinburne, UTS in Sydney and, for the first time, Brisbane, through QUT. The program also expanded internationally into London, at University of the Arts London. In 2021, the Re:act program will once again run in each of those institutions and grow further in Australia, running in Perth for the first time with Curtin University and as well as in TAFE campuses across Australia. There are further plans for international expansion into Europe, the United States and South America.