This article was sourced from Hard Edge: ‘New’ energy drink busts the myth on drowsy driving, selected as Re:act TAFE NSW 2021 campaign.

A clever campaign ‘busting’ a common myth around driver fatigue has been selected as the 2021 NSW campaign for the Re:act TAFE road safety behaviour change program.

Created by TAFE NSW Design Centre Enmore students Derbail Kinsella and Thomas Carr, the campaign was inspired by research showing young drivers commonly used energy drinks to try and combat the effects of fatigue. The students created their own energy drink – False Focus – and employed similar marketing tactics to convey their ‘Energy in a can won’t save you from a slam’ message, raising awareness of the risks of drowsy driving among young people.

The campaign was created as part of Re:act TAFE, which challenges graphic design students to devise a campaign that raises awareness among 16-24 year old road users of a critical road safety issue. This year’s Re:act topic is fatigue.

NSW TAFE is the fourth Australian TAFE college to run the Re:act program in 2021, following Queensland TAFE, North Metropolitan TAFE in WA and Holmesglen in Victoria. Re:act, an initiative of Hard Edge strategic creative behaviour change agency, also runs with university students in the same Australian states as well as internationally through University of the Arts London.

The selected campaign from each local program is developed for public execution via Australian media partner oOh!media’s extensive network of digital assets including campus, retail, street furniture and roadside billboards. The Re:act TAFE NSW campaign is expected to be executed publicly later in 2021, subject to lifting of lockdown restrictions in the state.

“The big thing that came from our research was that young people understood fatigue put them at a higher risk of crashing but when asked about how they deal with driver fatigue, everyone started talking about things they did to combat it – nobody was talking about you shouldn’t drive if you feel fatigued,” Derbail Kinsella said.

“We were surprised to see that energy drinks were mentioned so often, so we had the idea of creating our own energy drink and a campaign similar to existing marketing for energy drinks but giving real information instead, which is why we called it ‘False Focus’.

“I never thought about fatigue as an issue on the road before – I thought if an accident happened it was to do with drinking or being distracted – but after completing the Re:act program, I am much more aware of this issue and I can’t believe there aren’t more road safety campaigns about it.”

Re:act and Hard Edge Founder Andrew Hardwick said research by students across states showed young drivers and workers trying to combat the effects of fatigue was a common theme, particularly through the use of energy drinks or caffeine.

“The selected Re:act TAFE NSW campaign is so clever in its approach. Derbail and Thomas actually created the False Focus energy drink brand and mimicked energy drink advertising to get across their road safety message. It’s well thought out and executed but also highly appealing to the target age group,” he said.

“This is the first time the Re:act program has run in the TAFE sector in NSW, and we are thankful for the support of NSW TAFE and our State Government partners. The standard of all the students’ work is a powerful demonstration of what can happen when young people’s creativity and ideas are combined with the expertise and commitment of road and workplace safety stakeholders.”

SafeWork NSW WHS Regional Director Lisa Foley also commended students for the exceptionally high quality of work they produced.

“We were also incredibly impressed with the students’ ability to stay on topic and devise direct and effective messaging to raise awareness of driver fatigue in both personal and workplace settings,” she said.

“I’d also like to acknowledge the contribution of WHS Regional Inspector Phil Lalor, SafeWork NSW’s representative for the Re:act program. The calibre of the campaigns produced is testament to the commitment of all the parties involved and to the Re:act program’s focus on giving young people a voice in safety.”

Visit to learn more about the Re:act program.

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