Swinburne students’ new road safety campaign targets Melbourne’s young road users

oOh!media is helping four talented Swinburne University students save young road users’ lives, by promoting their animated road safety campaign across its digital billboards and other signage in Melbourne.

The campaign has just gone live across roadside, retail, bus shelter and café locations as Melbourne’s lockdown measures start to ease. It is the result of behaviour change program Re:act, which challenges university students to come up with ideas to raise road safety awareness among adults aged 18 to 25. This demographic is almost twice as likely to be killed in traffic accidents than their parents, according to data from Australian Roads.

The ‘You miss a lot when you’re distracted’ campaign was devised by students Laura Hughes, Caitlin Xavier, Stephanie Powell and Thomas Pritchard. Their creative approach depicts vulnerable road users oblivious to the virtual presence of wild animals in the city, to highlight the topic of distraction.

“We thought something a little bit lighter – you miss a lot when you’re distracted – so we leveraged that idea out to be applied to still symbolically dangerous, but less abrasive things,” Ms Hughes said.

“We used crocodiles, cheetahs, images that are associated with danger but still have visual impact, to symbolise other things. Crossing a road on a red signal was symbolised by a coral snake, and the cheetah represented a car.”

Noel Cook, oOh!media’s Chief Commercial & Operations Officer, said creativity was a crucial aspect in any effective Out of Home campaign.

“Roadside billboards reach large numbers of drivers, but you’ve got to be quick, creative and punchy with your messaging,” he said. “The students’ campaign does just that, and we’re really proud to support them and the Re:act team – it’s a great program about a really important issue.”

Andrew Hardwick, Re:act founder and CEO, said that despite ongoing challenges due to COVID, it was rewarding to see the campaign go live with oOh’s unwavering support.

“It’s been a very difficult time in Melbourne, and as restrictions ease and our roads get busier, it is timely to remind people to interact with the roads safely. We’ve been working with the students on this campaign for some time, and the students are really proud to see their creativity up in lights.”

The Re:act program is an initiative of creative behaviour change agency Hard Edge. In 2020 it ran at Swinburne University in Melbourne, University of Technology Sydney and, for the first time, Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. It also expanded internationally to the University of the Arts London.

The Melbourne campaign is now running after recent local campaign launches in Brisbane and Sydney over the past few months.

oOh!’s support for Re:act is part of the company’s broader approach to road safety. In conjunction with the Outdoor Media Association (OMA), oOh! is committed to working closely with governments and authorities to invest in research and make roads safer.

To find out more about the Re:act program, visit reactforchange.com